Mildura Getaway - December 2012

Good evening,

The travel bug finally caught up with us and Robin found a great special deal for accommodation in the rural Victorian city of Mildura. By rural, I mean 600+ kilometres north west of Melbourne in the top left hand corner of our fair state.

Home for the four nights was the Grand Hotel, aptly named and a testament to a prior era in this prosperous city on the Murray River.

GJH_1950 (1)
The Grand Hotel, Mildura - 2012

The drive to Mildura is long via either the Western Highway or the Calder Highway, and pretty boring (with respect) once you hit the wheat belt. Harvesting was just starting while we were up there.

Leaving Melbourne Monday AM, and departing Mildura Friday AM really only left three days to take in the sights and delights. The sights were frankly relatively few, but the delights were many.

The major highlight was undoubtedly the food / wine / cafe culture of the city. With a posted population of 'just' 30,000 odd, the quality and diversity of eating and drinking options was outstanding. The Grand Hotel has a relationship with Stefano di Pieri, contains his signature restaurant, and cafe/bar as well. In addition the hotel has a bistro 'Seasons' and The New Spanish Bar & Grill, under the same roof is the Mildura Brewery Company and the Pizza Cafe at the Grand. There are five dinners right there without leaving the 'building'.

On our first night we ate at BlueSalt, a Greek/Australian Bistro on Langtree Avenue where the food was excellent and the service outstandingly friendly. Then we ate at the Old Spanish Grill and the Pizza Cafe, both impressive and enjoyable in their own way. Our last dinner was around the corner at a tapas restaurant, Verdict. Bravely we opted for the Chefs Special, five courses plus the dessert platter for two. A range of Spanish wines were on offer, choices being sparkling 'cava' for her and tempranillo for me. The savoury dishes were superbly crafted, delicately flavoured and beautifully presented. Then came the dessert. Wow.

Creme Caramel, Churros, Santiago Tart and Fried IceCream Ball. Oh yes, and toffee! - 2012

As for lunches, we had a few! The best, undoubtedly, was at Trentham Estate Winery at Trentham Cliffs, NSW. A riverboat cruise goes there which made me a little nervous, but we tried it (with a Plan B if it didn't work out) but I needn't have worried, it was superb. An expansive menu, heavily influenced with seafood well matched with a wide variety of Trentham wines (which are excellent), professionally friendly service and river views.

Robin @ Trentham Sketch
Robin posing @ Trentham Estate Winery & Restaurant - 2012

As I mentioned the 'sights' are few and dominated by the river which is the life blood of the region. Apart from general sightseeing, the other focus for the trip was for Robin and I to break out the cameras and snap away.

The Coonawarra Paddle Boat - 2012

More to come.


Bye for now, BomberBoy