I love visiting small historic towns in rural Australia. It’s my favourite thing about driving long distances. I was very excited about visiting Beechworth on our way home to Canberra from Ballarat earlier in the week. In my world, Beechworth is famous for its bakery. But it turns out Beechworth is Victoria’s oldest inland city. It had a convict prison, which is now a modern prison. The town was spectacular from first glance, and a little exploration proved this even further.
We enjoyed our picnic lunch in the Beechworth Town Hall Gardens. The gardens were stocked with various species of pine trees that were donated by the Chief Botanist of Victoria in the 1870s. It was a splendid place to have a picnic. We sat below the towering California Redwoods to enjoy our sandwiches and melting moments. I highly recommend it.
The Green Shed Bistro had a spectacular menu that was enough for me to start thinking about coming back to spend the night some time. Their menu for New Year’s Eve included freshly shucked oysters, wasabi granita, pink ginger and radish salad; as well as fennel cured lamb rump with candied baby carrots & jus gras. DELICIOUS!
I was very excited to call into the Beechworth Honey store. They have a live bee display in-store, so you can watch the little bees coming in from the countryside, down a glass tube into their glass-cased hive to do a little honey dance, telling their friends where there’s a good stash of nectar. The dance provides distance and bearing to the nectar supply. I wanted to grab a couple of bottles of their sparkling honey nectar for the trip home. It’s so refreshing and delicious. You can buy it in large, champagne looking bottles too, but I knew I’d only drink a little at a time. I’ve posted about honey wine before, and love the mead produced by Win’s Creek. It’s a staple in my cupboard now. But this sparkling honey nectar is more like champagne, though non-alcoholic. It is only very lightly sparkling, but has a refined flavour.
We stopped in to get some goodies at the famous Beechworth Bakery. I got a mini quiche and a Snickerdoodle which was a delicious little shortcrust tartlet filled with a little thick custard and topped with loads of fresh berries.
Most excitingly however, some local young lads were selling cherries from a trestle table they’d set up just off the main street. There were two sizes. Large cherries were $4 a kilo of the whoppers (as I’m calling them) were $5 a kilo. I bought myself a kilo of delicious whoppers, and was glad for it all the way home. I still am, as I gradually eat my way through them.