A Weekend in Launceston

1/27/2018 02:49:00 PM

Josef Chromy Winery

Well hello there! As I mentioned in my November Unblogged Files, I recently took a little weekend away to Launceston with two of my oldest friends, An and Adri. I'd been to Tasmania before (both Launceston and Hobart), but it was the first time for both of them. We wanted to have a weekend away, I suggested Tassie because it was close and easy, An picked Launceston on a whim, I put together a food-focussed itinerary, and Adri tagged along and was a generally awesome and easygoing travel buddy. Go team! Here are some photos from our trip - a little nature, and lots of good food and wine!

Dinner on the first night was at The Black Cow (70 George St, Launceston, TAS 7250), an excellent steak house. (You may remember The Black Cow from my previous trip to Launceston in 2010). I'm glad to say the food was as good as I remember! I would highly recommend having dinner here any time you're in Launceston.

Scotch Fillet, Cape Grim Beef (Smithton, NW Tas), aged 30 days, 330g - $53

Frozen caramel slice, salted hazelnut caramel, choc soil, tonka bean cream - $18.50

Warm pear and hazelnut financier, butter roasted pears & caramelised white chocolate anglaise - $18

On Saturday, we started by visiting the Launceston Harvest Market (71 Cimitiere St, Launceston TAS 7250). There were lots of great stalls to see, we bought lots of goodies to take home, and we had delicious ham and cheese toasties from the Meat Bread Cheese stand.

Launceston Harvest Market

Launceston Harvest Market

Launceston Harvest Market

Launceston Harvest Market

Monsieur Grilled Cheese sandwich - Heidi Farm Raclette + Emmental cheese & shaved double smoked ham, grilled in fresh sourdough Vienna bread. Served with mustard on the side - $10 From Meat Bread Cheese

Our big destination for the day was Cradle Mountain, and on the way there we fuelled up with a second breakfast at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe (9 Christmas Hills Road, Elizabeth Town, TAS 7304). It's an old fashioned, cheery, cafe with very friendly staff and lots of delicious raspberry goodies. The chocolate-stuffed French toast, raspberry lattes and waffles were all good, but I especially enjoyed my order of the hearty caramel dumplings with raspberry ice-cream. (They reminded me of the old-timey golden syrup dumplings I learned how to make at school, from a battered copy of Cookery The Australian Way).

Christmas Hills Raspberry Cafe - French toast w chocolate & berries - $16; Small Raspberry waffles - $10; Caramel dumplings with raspberry ice-cream

As we drove from Launceston, the weather got progressively worse and worse, and by the time we got to Cradle Mountain, it was bucketing down, windy, and freezing! I even had to buy a very snazzy Cradle Mountain fleecy jumper at the visitor centre on the way in. (And then I had to swiftly leave the visitor centre in case anyone thought I worked there and started asking me questions I couldn't answer, hah). An, Adri and I aren't particularly active people, so we certainly weren't planning on hiking (even the notion!), but I had been hoping to do one of the easy walks like The Enchanted Walk. Oh well, the weather put a stop to that, so we just drove down to Dove Lake and had a wander around and took some photos. I love it there, it's so beautiful!

Dove Lake

And of course the sky cleared up as we left Cradle Mountain, and it was lovely and sunny again by the time we got to Ashgrove Cheese (6173 Bass Hwy, Elizabeth Town TAS 7304) for an afternoon cheese platter. The shop there is pretty cool too, and I got some cute handmade jugs and cups to bring home (photo at the bottom of this post).

Cheese Platter at Ashgrove Cheese

Dinner that night was at Hallam's Seafood (13 Park Street, Launceston, TAS, 7250). I hadn't been there before, but Adri chose it because she wanted some Tasmanian seafood and I was more than happy to go along! We shared an entrée and this very generous "hot and cold seafood platter for two", and a salad, and it was more than enough for the three of us.

Hot & Cold Seafood Platter for Two - freshly shucked pacific oysters, marinated spring bay mussel's, king tiger prawns, citrus cured salmon, tempura fish, grilled harissa calamari, crumbed scallops, oven roasted salmon + fries - $110

On our final morning in Launceston, we went to Stillwater (2 Bridge Rd, Launceston TAS 7250) for breakfast. I really like this place, and I visited for both dinner and breakfast on my last trip to Launceston - you can read the posts here). I'm glad it was still as good as I remembered!

Coffees at Stillwater

An's chilli con carne with chorizo and crispy roast potatoes was a delicious behemoth of a breakfast, whilst I loved my rye waffles with cold smoked salmon, dill cucumber, poached eggs and mustard crème fraîche. Definitely a cut above usual brunch fare! (Although having said that, Adri's simple breakfast of poached eggs on toast with mushrooms was also very good).

Breakfast at Stillwater - Rye waffle, cold smoked Huon salmon, dill cucumber, eggs & mustard crème fraiche - $25; Chilli con carne, chorizo, eggs & fried potato - $23; Poached eggs on toast with mushrooms - $21.50

They've got a cute shop upstairs, Stillwater Providore, which sells a lot of homewares, pantry items, cheeses, alcohol, gifts, and more. It's well worth a look.

Stillwater Providore

Stillwater Providore Cheese

A very short walk from Stillwater is Cataract Gorge, a unique natural formation with a walking track, swimming pool, chairlift, suspension bridge, cafes and lookouts with gorgeous views. And they have peacocks! It's a really nice spot for a walk on a sunny day.

Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge

Peacock at Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge

Last stop, before catching our flight back to Melbourne, was a lazy lunch at Josef Chromy Winery (370 Relbia Rd, Relbia TAS 7258). I'd never been before, but when I was planning our trip I thought it might be nice if we included a winery lunch, and some internet searches led to Josef Chromy Winery. I'm so glad we visited, because the food was excellent, the atmosphere was lovely, and we loved the wines! (We even ended up ordering a case of their SGR Delikat Riesling to have shipped home).


They have a short, sharp menu that I believe changes with the seasons. We started with oysters and excellent house-baked spelt bread, followed by some hearty meat dishes, accompanied by double potatoes. (Pork scotch fillet for An and Adri, tender lamb with peas and broad beans for me, roast kipflers and French fries for everyone).

Josef Chromy mains & double potato

The only gripe I have about the meal is that the desserts were extremely small for the price. They were delicious and of high quality (the spelt toast ice-cream, in particular, was a standout), but at $16 I'd expect something a little bigger than a single small quenelle of ice-cream with a little jug of sauce, and the pile of fruits and crumbs. Aside from that, however, the meal was very good, and I'd definitely want to visit again.

Desserts at Josef Chromy Winery

And finally, I want to show you all the goodies I purchased over the weekend - freeze dried blueberries (gonna make some super-stable blueberry cream!), chocolate hazelnut spread, cute little coffee cup and milk jug, honeys, shortbreads, a bottle of Negroni mix, and a cute little lavender soap bear (that one was a gift from Adri). Yay!

Goodies from Tasmania

Enjoy your weekend

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.