This one is from a little further afield than usual.
This weekend we got brave and decided to steal a weekend away to the beautiful rolling hills of Gippsland. I say steal because, like any family of five, there is NEVER a weekend without something in it. Sport, parties, school events, work, anything. Always something.
We actually decided to leave early Friday and take the kids out of school for the day. We almost never do this, although it always pays off. Things are so much quieter when 99% of the population is at work or school.
Our destination was Wilsons Promontory.
We have a mixed race marriage, my husband and I. I mean, we are both Aussie born and bred but he likes camping and I do not. In a bid to find some kind of happy medium we lashed out and bought ourselves a caravan a few years ago. So this weekend my husband wanted to camp at Tidal River on Wilsons prom, sans electricity. I wanted to stay at the Marriott in Sydney, so instead we booked a site for our caravan at Waratah Bay.
One dead rabbit, 22 long distance hikes to the toilet and 50 hand washes in dirty lake water later and we had upped sticks and moved to a much nicer caravan park in Toora.
Toora, who has ever been there? Indeed who has ever heard of it? Not me. But. I. Loved. It.
Gorgeous little ghost town.
Gorgeous heritage buildings, overflowing gardens, endless coastal views and birds galore.
The husband convinced me to dine at the Royal Standard Hotel Toora for dinner on our first night.
Now I have had Trouble (with a capital T, see?) at country pub’s in the past. I’m thinking sticky carpet and a hovering cloud that smell’s of old, stale oil. A meal cooked in before mentioned oil. Smelly toilets and weird drunken glances.
Royal Standard Hotel delivered none of those things.
First of all there was a heaven sent designated children’s play area. With Play Stations. For free. And toys galore! The kids were smitten and excited the moment we walked in to the Hotel. I immediately forgave them the red and black patterned carpet (we all know that the sole purpose of this type of carpet is to hide the stains).
The staff at the Royal Standard Hotel were lovely and friendly and helpful. We ordered local wines at the bar where the bar man was busy but very helpful and chatty. The wine specials were reasonably priced.
Dinner was typical Pub fair and I went all 68 year old retiree and ordered the roast of the day. Hubby ordered one of the specials. The kids ate off the kids menu and we all enjoyed our meals. My roast was well cooked ($22). There were lots of veggies and this made me happy. Hubby ordered some kind of sausage three ways and I have to admit it was delicious (don’t tell him I said so). It was swimming in a pool of tasty gravy and sitting on some mash. Classic. The kids all ate fish and chips which was well priced at $9. There were other options for the children such as mini pizza or nuggets or even schnitzel.
The best thing about the whole evening though was the vibe of the place (if you know what I mean, which you probably don’t because that is such a silly, non-specific phrase). So I will try and explain.
There was a meat raffle and there were two local youths selling tickets. They were wearing cool t.shirts. The staff were lovely and friendly and helpful and some local Grade 5 girl had done a project on the history of the town and it was there in its plastic pocketed glory for our viewing. The walls were dotted with grainy black and white photo’s of the 100 plus year old pub and also the surrounding areas. It kid of felt like we were on the set of neighbours. Old school neighbours. You know in that restaurant where Des worked?
So all up, I would not recommend you travel hours to visit the Royal Standard Hotel, but if you are in the area you could stop buy. You will probably enjoy yourself if you kind of give over to it all.
You might even get to see Charlene.