Monday 17 May 2010

A random turn in the road.

I am a great one for adventures. Ask my kids. A drive with Mum was ALWAYS an adventure. I had them convinced that multiple U-turns were not, in fact, Mummy being hopelessly lost AGAIN, but an integral part of a drive with me.

Random turns in the road have led me to some of my most awesome adventures. If not for a split-second decision of "left or right?", would I ever have eaten this most amazing Tuscan mushroom bruschetta, nor would I ever have discovered Darling Park Winery, with its awesome 20km platter, and ultimately would never have been given our wood-fired oven.. which really means I probabaly would never have started blogging.!

So this weekend, Furry and I headed off to Chez Fur, for some much needed R&R. And we got to the end of our street, and I had an overwhelming compunction to head right instead of left.

And Furry didn't miss a beat. He just whacked on the indicator and headed in the very opposite direction of our intended destination.

Originally my plan was to head to Chez Fur via the ferry. The ferry trip from Queenslcliff to Sorrento is a Melbourne institution, and friends of our recently did it. We've been meaning to do it for ages. So that was the loose plan.

Right up until we stopped in Queenscliff.

What a magnificent little town! The buildings, the shops, the wharf, the inlet, everything! We completely fell in love with the place.

And our love was requited over lunch at the Royal Hotel. Local mussels in a Thai-inspired broth, a real chicken schnitzel, a Guiness and a Beez Kneez for $32.00. The mussels, a dozen of them, were only $13.00.

We were hooked.

The delicious Alicia then showed us around the place. The hotel is a curious hodge-podge of different rooms, connected by random doorways and staircases. The basement, which housed the Queenscliff morgue and Coroner's office up until the 60's is a chilly and clearly haunted space, yet the owners have turned it into a funky private function space.

For $144, we got a beautiful room for the night, complete with 4 poster bed and net. (shared bathroom), dinner in the dining room (including a wine and a beer) AND a full cooked breakfast and coffee the next morning.

It's not the Vue Grand, and it doesn't pretend to be. It's a funky, quirkly family hotel with some of the friendliest staff I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. The food is OUTSTANDING and unbelievably cheap. Every little nook and cranny is filled with some antique biscuit tin, or fishing rod, or some other curio. There is an awesome outside grotto, to which we will be returning in Summer, and their breakfast arrangement with Beaches Cafe in Hesse Street keeps us early risers happy.

Hell, there's even a gift shop that sells everything from antique glass ear syringes to Japanese calligraphy brushes. And more excitingly than all of the above.. NOT A POKIE MACHINE IN SIGHT!!

If this hotel were a person, it would be an aging, beret-wearing Beat poetess, with a penchant for crumpets and velvet capes. Or your Dowager Great Aunt, in silk lace who smokes a cheroot in a verdegris'd holder.. Go and embrace her slightly down-at-heel yet proudly authentic self soon!

Royal Hotel, QUeenscliff, 34 KING STREET, QUEENSCLIFF VIC 3225,
(03)5258 1669


Rikki said...

Wow, it looks absolutely gorgeous!! Another place to add to my list :)