Spend time in Launceston and surrounds with Amanda Michetti, quietly exploring some delicious gourmet offerings in the wonderful countryside.
If sightseeing is not your thing when travelling and you are mostly consumed by when and were you will eat your next meal, then you have passed the test – this is the Insider’s Guide for you.
Where better to travel as a foodie than Tasmania, and while the majority of people looking for a food adventure will head to Hobart, my tip is to spend some time in Launceston and surrounds quietly and calmly exploring these incredible offerings in the serenity of the wonderful countryside.
Stay, Eat and Cook at Red Feather Inn
Located in Hadspen – a mere 15 minutes from the centre of Launceston – Red Feather Inn is incredible from first sight. It is the sort of location where you imagine yourself checking in and never checking out again. While owner Lydia has created a remarkable place to stay, what chef Lewis and wife Felicity have created for foodies is nothing short of a wonderland.
Ingredients for their on-site cooking school and restaurant are largely cut from the vegetable garden with the rest sourced from the local area. There is a quality of flavour that comes from local produce which means the simplest of treatment is required to allow them to sing – and chef Lewis sure knows how to make them sing.
Dine and Shop at Stillwater and Stillwater Providore
At the edge of the Tamar River in a renovated 1830s flour mill resides the famed Stillwater restaurant and Stillwater Providore. The tranquil setting has been home to Stillwater restaurant for 11 years and after all this time, it is still THE place to dine if you ask the locals.
The Stillwater Providore seems to be a new addition to the Stillwater family, and it could be the best providore you ever visit. The staff in here know their stuff and you’ll want their advice as it is a treasure trove of local foodie delights that could easily cause you to be standing there forever trying to decide between 20 different types of Tasmanian honey.
Grab a coffee at Inside Café or Sweet Brew
If you are in the centre of Launceston and in dire need of a morning or afternoon coffee, then there are two places I suggest you visit to get your fix – Inside Café or Sweetbrew.
When breakfast is required with your coffee addiction, head to Inside Café. There you’ll be greeted with an ever-changing menu using quality produce and you can also tend to your shopping addiction with their great adjacent homewares store.
For a shot of coffee made by baristas who know to ask if you want your macchiato short or long, Sweetbrew is the place for you. Seriously great patisserie and espresso bar, these guys know their stuff. They also have just launched ‘That Sweet Little Caravan’ which travels around Launceston taking great coffee and sweets on the road!
Pick Hazelnuts at Hazelbrae Farm
If you order a dish with Hazelnuts from a local Launceston restaurant, chances are they come from Hazelbrae and are the tastiest hazelnuts you’ve ever eaten. The good news is that just outside town in Hagley you can visit Hazelbrae yourself and see the magic orchard.
With a shop and cafe on-site you can buy a few bags of delicious hazelnuts, or better yet… pick your own hazelnuts direct from the orchard. Warning though, you will need to crack the bad boys open to get to the nut, so bear that in mind before you go crazy picking bags and bags of nuts.
Wine Tasting and Lunch at Josef Chromy Wines
10 minutes’ drive from Launceston sits Josef Chromy Wines in the most picturesque of lakeside settings. Visiting during the day is the tip as you can take full advantage of the exceptional view across the lake and over the vineyard.
Josef Chromy Wines boasts one of the top winery experiences in Australia, and it’s easy to understand why – it’s not just the view. They have won many awards for their cool climate wines which include Sparkling, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and more, which are all sip-able from their Cellar Door on-site.
In my opinion, the restaurant is what really sets this winery apart. It offers seasonal menus that boast an incredible selection of regional produce. The dishes on offer are both interesting and unique, but not too foreign to confuse. Visit with friends as I anticipate you’ll want to try as many dishes as possible.
Visit Design Tasmania
While not obviously food related, I highly recommend a visit to Design Tasmania in the city centre adjacent to the western edge of City Park. Celebrating 40 years and located in a heritage church hall, it is the Design Tasmania shop that exceeds expectation.
In a world where design and art gallery shops around Australia are becoming a jumble of “usual suspect” products, here you will find only Tasmanian artisans offering unique and distinct pieces that you won’t easily find elsewhere. From hand blown glassware to Tasmanian oak rolling pins, everything you see is meticulously selected by someone with an incredible eye.