Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Rutherglen, Victoria

 

THE EXPERT

Mandy Jones, a fifth generation winemaker at the family's Jones Winery and Vineyard, uses grapes grown by her brother, Arthur, on their vines in Rutherglen. The Tastes of Rutherglen festival showcasing the region's food and wines is on March 6-8. See tastesofrutherglen.com.au

BRUNCH

You can't go past a chicken, ham and mustard gourmet pastry from Parker Pies on Rutherglen's Main Street. If you're more adventurous, they also have crocodile, emu, kangaroo and venison fillings. Like many of the region's businesses, Parker Pies is family owned and operated, and there's a reason they sell more than 250,000 pies and pastries a year. People drive from far and wide for a Parker Pie. I'm very lucky that I can pop in on my way to the post office. See parkerpies.com.au

COFFEE

Coffee choice in Rutherglen has grown significantly over the past few years with more cafes popping up. I'll pop into either the Rutherglen Provedore, a vibrant food hub for local fresh produce, wine and kitchen pantry essentials sourced from across North East Victoria, or The Other Place @ Rutherglen for a latte. Both are on Main Street. (62 Main Street; 138 Main Street)

LUNCH

At Jones Winery & Vineyard's restaurant, the style is French country kitchen with our head chef, Briony Bradford, showcasing her "nose to tail" approach to cooking: wasting nothing and selecting only seasonal and local produce from growers and suppliers she knows personally. Briony has seriously added an extra dimension to the gourmet experience in Rutherglen – her innovative food looks and tastes amazing. My favourite dishes are the Rutherglen "Kidden Park" goat with eggplant, beetroot and lavender or the charcuterie board if sharing. If you're in town for two days or more, I'd recommend also dining at The Terrace at All Saints Estate, which very much deserved their Good Food Guide Hat last year, with lovely food, great wine and beautiful surrounds. See joneswinery.com.au allsaintswine.com.au

DINNER

Have pre-dinner drinks at James & Co. Wines on Main Street. My go-to is their Sparkling Sangiovese Rose. Then, head on down the road to Thousand Pound Wine Bar & Store - definitely the best place in town for dinner. It's only open on Fridays and Saturdays, but has an eclectic wine list, great bistro-style food and usually a great (often local) crowd. I'd recommend ordering the seared scallops to start, followed by either the blue swimmer crab risotto or a steak depending on what you're feeling, as well as a refreshing Hip Sip wine cocktail - Hip Sip Tawny Port, St. Leonards Vineyard's Brut, elderflower and blueberries. See jamesandcowines.com.au ; thousandpound.com.au

NIGHTCAP

If you happen to find yourself in Rutherglen mid-week when Thousand Pound is closed, I'd suggest picking up some cheese from the Indigo Cheese Company at All Saints Estate (when you're out and about doing the tasting rounds during the day) and enjoying it with a gorgeous Rutherglen fortified wine back at your accommodation - tastes like nothing else in this world. See allsaintswine.com.au

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