Monday, 10 August 2009

Gippsland Gastronome (Day 3)

Sponsored by Nuffnang

West Gippsland

This is the last of three posts writing up highlights from the weekend away that C and I had in West Gippsland, as guests of Destination Gippsland (Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here).

Gippsland deer

Deer grazing on the hillside opposite Gracefield Cottage, the B&B where we stayed.

Gippsland cows

We wanted to drive in to Warragul in the morning, so we went to the Courthouse (72 Smith St, Warragul VIC (03) 5622 2442) for breakfast. As the name suggests, the restaurant is located inside Warragul's historic (ca 1887) courthouse.

The Courthouse Restaurant, Warragul

C ordered the Officer of the Court ($11.50 bacon and eggs, with $2.70 tomato and basil sausages and $1.70 grilled tomatoes). I ordered the Chef's Breakfast ($13.90), a rösti and smoked salmon stack with wilted spinach, soft poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Officer of the CourtChef's Breakfast

Cherry blossoms in the middle of winter!

West Gippsland

After breakfast we decided to go on a Fern Gully Nature Walk in nearby Glen Nayook. Absolutely gorgeous.

Glen Nayook

Parks Victoria knows much more about this sort of thing than I do - this is what the sign said:
Take an enjoyable 45 minute stroll to explore one of the ancient forests of Gippsland.
Walking down to the picturesque ferry glade on the Little Tarago River, you'll pass through wet scierophyll (or hard-leaved) forest, complete with towering stands of Mountain Ash.
Make your way through granite boulders (The Skinks) that have fallen into the creek over 1000 years ago forming the underground river and many sink holes.
From here you'll wind your way into a ferny glade amongst Cool Temperature Rainforest.

Glen NayookGlen Nayook

We then drove down to Wild Dog Winery for a spot of lunch. It's located a few kilometres outside of Warragul, its namesake (from the Aboriginal word "Warrigal" meaning dingo or wild dog).

Wild Dog Winery

Wild Dog Winery
Warragul Korumburra Rd, Warragul (map)
(03) 5623 2211

Wild Dog Winery

The restaurant has been beautifully fitted out, allowing in abundant natural light and offering superb views out over the vines. Chef Ed McDowell is in charge in the kitchen, serving light lunches as well as more substantial restaurant fare. We sat looking out at the sun-drenched decking and enjoying the winery's blackcurranty Cabernet Franc.

Wild Dog Winery

Alas, we'd had cooked breakfast just two hours beforehand so could only fit in one dish each. If I'd've been hungrier I would've also ordered the entree of Gippsland natural eye fillet carpaccio with semi dried tomato, fire roasted peppers, balsamic, shallot, parmesan and EVOO (saw some being taken to another table and it looked deelish).

Instead I chose the Victorian lamb rump, served with rosemary, thyme, garlic, wild ruby lime jus, roast garlic mash, smoked baby orange and red beets with cottage cheese ($33.90). The lamb had a great juicy flavour and the mash was nicely lumpy, studded with roast garlic and slightly tangy beetroot.

Lamb rump

C ordered the steak and Guinness pie which came served in a pot with a puff pastry top, house cut chips, aioli and a unsweetened tomato sauce ($19.90). Nice skinny chips and a very saucy pie, once the puff pastry lid was peeled back. C liked it a lot!

Steak and Guinness pie

And there you have it! After lunch we got into C's car and drove the hour and a bit's drive back to the big smoke. Thank you to those who helped make our Gippsland weekend away so enjoyable. :)

And Melbourne Gastronome readers, keep an eye out for the upcoming Gippsland-related blog prize giveaway - details to follow soon!

Give Way to Stock

Melbourne Gastronome visited West Gippsland as a guest, with transport paid for by Destination Gippsland and complimentary accommodation provided by Gracefield Cottage. All food and beverages in this post paid for by Melbourne Gastronome.


cp said...

Oh, just the thing at the end of a dreary Monday. Thanks Claire, beautiful photos again.. :) love the brightness, space, colours, and most of all the out-of-townness.

essjayeats said...

Cows! Deer! stacks of eggs and a winery; what more could a deprived city girl want? Nice posts Claire.

Kruppy said...

Great posts Claire, thanks again for coming on board.


arnold said...

Beautifully taken your blog. Especially the trip to NYC. I am thinking of going there at the end of the year. Any tips on accommodation, places to go etc.


claire said...

Hi Cathy, thanks! Glad you like the photos. :)

Ah Essjay, you got it in one. Can you tell I'm a deprived city girl going ooooooh at the novelty of all the animals? Goats! Cows! Deer! Cute!

Hi David, thanks for the opportunity to explore Gippsland!

Hey Arnold, thanks. For accommodation in NYC I'd definitely recommend subletting an apartment for any stays that are a week or longer as it's much cheaper than a hotel (I listed some good sites for finding sublets here.
As for places to go... well, I just wrote up four long posts on NYC places to go! If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me.

Polecat said...

Great work Claire on the Gippsland reviews. I will look out for those places next time I'm down there. I ate at the Grand Ridge Brewery in Mirboo North last time I was in Gippsland. Excellent pub food, though was not so sold on their restaurant fare. It was a bit hit & miss.