Regional Restaurant Reviews

We get numerous requests for restaurant recommendations so have decided to get serious and start reviewing the local fare. 


June 22, 2016

The Boathouse has new management so we thought we should check it out. As it is mainly open for breakfast and lunch we decided to go for lunch after cleaning the cottages.

The greatest thing about the Boathouse is its location. The re-build after the fire has improved the views you get from the dining area which is lovely. It was a cold day and unfortunately the fire wasn't working (needs fixing) but we weren't cold. 

Sue ordered the Istra salmon which is warm and smoked and I had the smashed avocado on toast. Funnily, our guests from The Hide were there too and Mal had the burger and Julie had the smashed avocado too. 

I enjoyed my dish and Sue enjoyed hers but thought it might have been a bit too salty. The menu has changed since the last management but there are a few, obviously popular, dishes like the burger still on it. The outside decking area is great to sit out on when the weather is optimum. 

The service was satisfactory, not particularly personable and the prices were typical Daylesford - not cheap. 

The coffee was to our liking - hot. 

Would we recommend guests to go? Yes, for brunch on a lovely day. For a more simple inexpensive breakfast or lunch we reckon the Bookbarn is great.

Franky & Connie

June 15, 2016

We went with a group of 8 only a week after they opened. This space has had many carnations. Probably the most successful was the Chowder House but that was a while back now. It is in Hepburn Springs so not far from The Hide or Central Springs Cottage.

The restaurant was full, which is great, but the service was a little confused and very slow. The idea is to have sharing plates but we all ended up ordering our own meals with sides that if they were sharing plates probably wouldn't have seemed so expensive.

I had the duck and Sue had fish. Both were very nice. The side of roasted cauliflower was delicious. We had most of the desserts and shared and they were very nice. 

Overall the table enjoyed the meal and we forgave the 1 hour wait for food. The talk around town is also very positive.

Sue and I are harsh critics and wouldn't rave about it, given the price, so best to turn to social media for reviews to decide. 

The surly goat

Surly Goat

Surly Goat


June 9, 2016

Cosy Corner in Hepburn Springs has been transformed into The Surly Goat. Simon and Vanessa used to run the Farmer's Arms pub a few owners ago and they have done a great job refurbishing the space, including discovering an open fire place inside a wall. 

There is a bar (so we sat there for our first glass of vino) and several tables. The food is sharing style and was really very good. I over ordered and was bulging by the time we had finished. The wine was excellent - I had the sauv blanc from Indented Head (Scotchman's Hill) and Sue had a Chardy (not sure from where) but both were lovely.

The prices were reasonable and the atmosphere was great. It's only open from Thursday to Sunday and we recommend you book if you want to eat.  

Our table but not us!

The Argus Dining Room

Friday December 19, 2014

As we hadn't yet eaten at The Argus Dining Room in Hepburn Springs, we decided to make it our first review.

We arrived at 7pm and had a cooling aperitif in the lounge room. Zac the barman was very friendly and made us a great G & T.  Fifteen minutes later we were led to a nice quiet table next to the wine room, by a very confident Maitre d' Michael. 

I'll start by critiquing the staff. Everyone was excellent. The young support wait staff were personable and when they didn't know something they went away and found out. Michael had an excellent knowledge of the wines on the list and went to great lengths to help us choose an appropriate wine. He even replaced the first bottle we started with as he felt it wasn't quite right. Shows what wine connoisseurs we are! The timing of the delivery of food was also very good. We didn't feel like we were rushed and we weren't twiddling our thumbs waiting for the next course to arrive.

Now, the food! I am going to cheat and go to The Argus website and refer to the menu because I will have trouble remembering all of the delicious courses we had. But in summary, Sue had 3 courses from the a la carte menu and I chose the 5 course vegetarian degustation menu. Not that I am full time vegetarian but I reckon that if you can serve up great vegetarian food you are a pretty good chef. Before we even started with the amuse bouche (a complimentary small dish to amuse the mouth (French)), we were served some little starters consisting of nori crisps (yummy crunchy morsels) and a toothpick sized piece of uncooked rhubarb coated in sugar and pepper (sounds weird but it was really interesting).

This is what we had and it was fantastic. We would have to say it was the best meal we have had in a very long time.


Beetroot, pumpernickel, apple, buttermilk, wild flowers


Duck egg custard, burnt onion, broad bean, peas, truffle


Potato, charred leek, 63 degree egg yolk


Heirloom carrots, sheep’s milk, Arabic spice


Caramelised banana, chocolate, peanut, avocado

The look and quality of what we were served.






Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout, fermented red cabbage, onion, apple, creme fraiche

Hampshire Down lamb 

Hampshire Down lamb loin, carrots, sheep’s milk, Arabic spice, kofta

Pears & apples

Pears & apples, medlar custard, parsnip, burnt honey


If you are wanting to have an exquisite meal for a special occasion we highly recommend it. You can check out the menu and the prices at

The taxi ride to either The Hide or Central Springs Cottage won't break the bank either and it allows you to have that extra glass of wine.

To visit our full website click here.

Note - 2016 - there is a new chef and change of menu. It is not as formal as when we did this review but the food is very very good and the chef is young and innovative.