Last week I met the most amazing taxi driver on the face of the planet. Serge, one of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs only taxi drivers, chauffeured us to and from our dinner at The Grande Hotel, offered handy tips about the weather and opened our doors for us like a real gentleman. It was like stepping back to another time.
Following boredom in retirement, Serge now drives the local folk, and visitors, to and from the culinary capitals of the region – The Grande Hotel being just one of the sought after spots to dine. And it’s gorgeous olde worlde charm makes it all the more special.
We turned up on Locals Night as it were, where 2 or 3 courses were on offer for bargain prices. There was the fireplace, a piano and tables of couples looking at each other adoringly over candlelight. All the romance.
Little Miss Melbourne and I elected to go with two courses, and share the entree and dessert. Scallops as a starter were beautifully presented and delish before our mains – meatballs for me and duck for LMM – arrived. Champagne continued to be drunk while we chatted to the Maitre’d, and the owner of The Grande, who later gave us a tour of this impressive estate.
Feeling full and satisfied, we moved to the lounge chairs by the fire to enjoy cheese and quince paste before tea in the adjoining room that might best be described as a smoking lounge (without the smoking part).
The whole building is delightfully southern, and in a word, Grand. Also apparently haunted! The food is prepared by a renowned hatted chef, the staff were all wonderfully pleasant and chatty and while it was dark, it felt like the outlook over Wombat Forest would not disappoint.
The Grande Hotel
1 Church Avenue