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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Clunes

Last Friday Jeremy and I went on a little getaway. We had been told about Clunes, an old gold mining town which had hardly been touched since those days. It's not far from Ballarat and only about 1 1/2 hours from Melbourne. It's also close to Daylesford which was important for us because we had to have dinner one night in the wonderful Breakfast and Beer. This is the town they filmed Ned Kelly, Mad Max and some beer ad apparently!


This photo is from the bottom of Fraser Street looking up.


And this photo is from the top of Fraser Street looking down. We stayed in a comfortable B & B called Dukes at no. 19 Fraser Street where they even have their own wine label and served up a wonderful breakfast of homemade toasted muesli and a great home cooked breakfast.

Most of the shops are only open at the weekend and a lot are empty, but there is still an undeniable charm about the place and a feeling of potential. I couldn't help imagining myself opening a gallery in every empty building we went past! There is also a lovely silence to the town.

We had a bite to eat in the strangely named Widow Twankeys. We were slightly put off by the lurid pink walls, but we were wrong! That was one of the best sweet potato soups I'd ever had and Jeremy's vegie tart was 'incredible!'



We just spent the day wandering and wondering about the town.


Then we stumbled upon the old school which has been converted into the Bottle Museum containing the largest collection of bottles in the southern hemisphere! They are in the process of renovating it, they need a bit of work on the gift shop too, but it was nonetheless quite an interesting little $3 spent.



We continued walking and discovered one of the old gold mines. The little hills in this photo are results of the mining. It's hard to imagine how busy this place was back then. Clunes was the first gold mining town in Victoria, gold was discovered in 1851.



We then pretended to be trees.



and I told Jeremy to be a train at the old train station where they filmed Mad Max. He didn't want to, but I made him and as you can see he actually quite enjoyed it.



DINNER! Now I'd like to say that we had our dinner here, but sadly we took some local's advice and drove to Crewswick and went to the American Hotel and had a horrid chewy steak and dried chicken in a pub bistro decked out with plastic chairs and domdomdom music. I admit I am a restaurant snob (my family's fault) and Jeremy had to put up with complaints under my breath for the entire meal. So to cheer me up we decided to have dessert back in Clunes in the only place open for dinner. The pub was open but only serving pizza and pasta, not great for dessert.


So, what is this little gem of a place called, well, we're not sure. It seems to have three different names depending on who you ask. I thought it was called 'Hardware and Fancygoods' taking on the name of the lettering on the windows. Someone else called it 'The Fig' I think maybe this is what the place used to be called. A man at breakfast in the B&B said he saw a sign over the door saying it was called 'The Flea.' So who knows! But it's not hard to miss, it's the only real place to eat dinner in the town and we wish we had eaten there because the menu looked delicious and if the baked cheese cake was anything to go by yum yum yum!

Us happy to be in such a lovely place, and the next night dinner in the best place in Victoria - Breakfast and Beer!

6 comments:

Robyn said...

That was fun! Amazing bottle collection.

kate said...

aww that looks like the perfect town to visit! i think i have to venture out there... i love those sleepy old towns..

Jo Horswill said...

Great time away you have had...love all these pics.
My friend Marlene from printmaking owns a house in Clunes...a historical one...
Will take her up on the offer of going to stay, Clunes looks great!

Jay Dee said...

Wow Bridget! Great getaway! Love that bottle collection and will have to get down there for a look-see some time :)

myf said...

looks like you 2 had a fantastic get-away. thanks for sharing your locomotive antics.

Penny said...

Haha at The Flea!