Food Diary: Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, the Grampians, Victoria


The Royal Mail Hotel is a two-hatted restaurant in the Grampians, some hours outside of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. It’s also a hotel, with a magnificent homestead, the site of Diana’s 50th birthday party a few weekends ago, and some beautiful bluestone cottages (where we stayed). One morning we went for a walk, and kangaroos abounded (also the magpies kept trying to swoop us).


It’s an out-of-date belief now, that small towns won’t have nice restaurants, though this still felt really surprising, how high quality and interesting the food was, and how far away it felt from… the city. We dined with the gang for the two evenings of the celebration (with food magnificently organised and catered by Monica and helpers…) but decided to treat ourselves to a Saturday lunch. Nearly all of the food comes either from the land around the hotel, or nearby!IMG_3474

It also felt quite modern that we could peer into the kitchen, not see exactly what they’re doing but sense the crew’s energy and efficiency. As you can see, the plating and presentation is amazing: vibrant colours and combinations. The parmesan gnocchi pictured below was a particular highlight (and has inspired me to roast or sear green onions as a decoration!). IMG_3475

Three courses including a glass of wine was $50, which seems to me really very cheap. I was so excited by the food, I didn’t take any photos of the restaurant itself, though you can drop by their website if you’d like to check it out (marvelous retro looking frontage). IMG_3476

As I hadn’t done my research before this weekend away, it was a lovely surprise to stumble upon a restaurant of such quality here. I love the idea of someone putting so much work and passion into creating it, and I love their philosophy of highlighting local food, and by local, I mean, it’s really local. Bravo Royal Mail Hotel.

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