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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wangaratta and Beechworth

By the time we arrived in Wangaratta, there wasn't much time to look around the town but I'd love to return when the
Jazz Festival is on.

Pizza and Pasta

We had dinner here, nice touch with the stamp they put on the paper "table cloths". I had a delicious trout fettucine and there were also wood-fired pizzas on offer. Although it looked like they literally slapped on the topping as a slab. (I think it was just the way it came out after baking!)

The service was great, no orders were mixed up or lost for our big group. I'd go again!Café Martini
Bull’s Head Hotel,
87 Murphy St,


Is about 30 minutes' drive East of Wangaratta. In the main street are shops full of pretty homeware and we even found an African shop with sculptures and jewellery.There's plenty of Ned Kelly history around and explains the souvenirs you'll see!

Budget Accommodation
The Old Priory is set up for school camps so most rooms had bunk beds. Even if you had a double bed, there was a bunk bed in the corner! It's very basic accommodation and it was a bit eery
walking down long corridors, discovering a sudden cluster of rooms tucked away behind a door or finding a massive room with 20 bunk beds however there was a lovely sitting room with a fireplace and the interior consists of warm, wooden panels and expansive ceilings.

You get a simple breakfast of cereal, juice and toast. Good value when a double only cost $80!
Beechworth Bakery
Or you can have your breakfast here! The infamous Beechworth Bakery that has spawned sister bakeries in other country towns and brought the owner Tom O'Toole fame as an author and motivational speaker. I actually went to a lunch that Tom spoke at and that man has energy; he also has a real understanding of customer satisfaction and just works on good old common sense. As he said, baking isn't anything new it's how you serve your customers that makes the difference.

Having said that, a controversial topic is how Beechworth Bakery doesn't have a numbering system for their queue so when the shop is packed - as it apparently often is - you hope the counter staff remember who got there first! (There's even a framed explanation of why they don't have a numbering system due to the number of complaints/requests!)

As we had to do tastings for you we had lunch and dessert! I had a pie - as one should in a country bakery - and Niki didn't chastise me for having tomato sauce! :-) The pastry was lovely and flaky, the filling tasted like real meat... no complaints.

The desserts in the photo (from the left): a bee sting, a Bundy ball and a blueberry snickerdoodle. (I think it was a snickerdoodle... but isn't that a "cookie". A funny name anyway!). The bee sting custard was cold so that'd been in the fridge; I'm not a fan of custard cream, strange but I'd rather have had a bowl of runny Bird's custard! Still the pastry was OK. The Bundy ball had actual rum in it, the first time I could see why it's a "rum ball"! (Reminded me of a friend at uni who only drank Bundy and coke.) And finally, the snickerdoodle was a nice way to polish off the meal. There was a layer of sweeter custard underneath the glazed berries and the pastry was a good solid shell that didn't crumble under one bite.

This isn't meant badly but Beechworth Bakery isn't producing specialty products to tempt and stand out. If you want good, standard products this is a place to go.

The Beechworth Bakery
27 Camp Street
Victoria 3747

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  • At 9/02/2006 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Lazy cow said…

    I've been desperate to try the food at Beechworth Bakery. Thanks for the honest appraisal. Obviously not worth travelling from Melb just for that :-)

  • At 9/03/2006 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Belinda said…

    Hi, LC. There's so much to do on the way and back I guess it doesn't hurt to check out the hype. Like you, I imagined a magical bakery experience so yes, a little disappointed that I couldn't find delights unique to Beechworth.

  • At 9/06/2006 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Niki said…

    I was a little disappointed, after the glowing things I've heard about it, but to put it into persepctive; it's a good country bakery. Nothing too gourmet or unusual like you'd get in a top Melbourne bakery, but good, solid country basics; apple cake, vanilla slice, custard tarts etc. My meat pie was good, but I wouldn't run back for another.

  • At 9/06/2006 02:24:00 PM, Blogger Niki said…

    The Cafe Martini in Wangaratta, on the other hand, is a place I'd RUSH back to for that divine lamb fillet with yoghurt I had. It was excellent!


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