Farmers Arms Hotel
By chance, we chose the perfect night to try the Farmers Arms Hotel in Daylesford. Spring had all but disappeared for a few days, boots & scarves were called upon...a gentle rain & creeping mist fell as we arrived at this classic country pub with friends from Ballarat. At 150 years old, the red brick pub is impossible to miss on your way into Daylesford from the Bendigo side...we've driven past more times than I can count, but curiosity & word of mouth had gotten the better of me. Finally the night had come to dine in.
This place strikes the perfect balance between comfortable country dining and the kind of menu and wine list you'd expect from an area such as Daylesford. There are quirky touches like the cockatoo & elk (??) at the bar, combined with candles & high back leather chairs. Multiple cozy cushioned corners allow for uninterrupted conversation away from the buzz of the long communal dining table and the animated traditional raffle. The regulars and the visitors mingle one and the same...we watched a cheerful trade of raffle winnings: a six pack of beer for a dozen eggs...local produce is just that good :)
Fried polenta chips with garlic aioli
Grilled porterhouse with roast potatoes, rocket salad & red wine jus Roast pork belly with mash, broccolini & eggplant relish Eye fillet bistecchina with sautéed potato & spinach "Ravioli Nudi" - spinach & ricotta dumplings baked in tomato napoli with bocconcini
Creme brûlée with berry compote & biscotti Soft centred chocolate pudding with ice cream Chocolate & caramel parfait with salty peanut caramel
We would go back in a heart beat...in fact we all wish this was our local pub. Quality hearty dining & drinks combined with good conversation & laughter...what more could a girl want for her birthday! I also got a cooking torch, I foresee homemade creme brûlée in our future...yum! Gradually the room emptied around us and we resigned ourselves to the the inevitable...time to drive off into the wintery night. But, a tradition has been established, we are already thinking about which country pub between Bendigo & Ballarat will be next on our list...and I for one can't wait.