Mietta's ReviewThe Healesville Hotel is genuinely sophisticated in its changes. They took what was described as "a shocking old place", and cleaned it up completely. False ceilings were removed to reveal the originals. Part of the old pub that was sublet to an antique shop, was restored as a function room. The central dining room, which has a modern style long banquette seat and regular tables for about eighty, leads out onto a vast and enticing beer garden. The menu focuses on Yarra Valley produce and Yarra Valley wines, which makes good sense and great eating and drinking. A growing percentage of clientele are locals, who, originally sceptical, are now enjoying the fine produce of their area. For a special night out in the dining room, main courses are between $19 and $29.50 or you can get a terrific value bar meal for much less. The market pitch is somewhere between the expensive wineries back in the Yarra Valley and a country pub. The recipe was pretty right as it's become another Healesville sanctuary, and a destination point for the young Melbourne escape trade, at the end of a trip to the Yarra Valley.
Other Published Opinions
The Age Larissa Dubecki, July 23, 2013 Score: 15.5/20 "Read full review ...
The Age Cheap Eats 2012 February 28, 2012 "Read full review ...
The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 14/20
Gourmet Traveller 2013 Australian Restaurant Guide "The heart of any country town is its pub, and the century-old Healesville Hotel ticks the box with a convivial, mod front bar that serves boutique beers. But the stately dining room is dedicated to things gastronomic, all conducted with great flair"
Age Good Food Guide 2013 Score: 14/20
Gourmet Traveller 2012 Australian Restaurant Guide "Let's hear it for the Healesville. With its ornate pressed-metal ceilings, wicker chairs and fresh-cut flowers, this is a dining room that's at once stately and charming. It's home to a wine list of note and an everchanging menu that really does move with the Yarra Valley's four seasons"
Age Good Food Guide 2012 Score: 14.5/20
Gourmet Traveller 2011 Australian Restaurant Guide "The century-old Healesville Hotel draws on the rich primary produce of the Yarra Valley to create a modern gastropub steeped in its surroundings. Beneath soaring, pressed-tin ceilings in a dining room nicely decked with fresh flowers, chef Ben Arnold reacquaints diners with the delicious virtues of seasonal ingredients prepared, for the most part, with respect and understanding"
Gourmet Traveller 2010 Australian Restaurant Guide "The high ceilings, wooden floorboards and period features of this handsome dining room speak of old-fashioned charm, yet there's a confidence and style here reminiscent of inner-city eateries"
Age Good Food Guide 2009 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2009 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: * "It's the archetypal country hotel that inspires dreams of swapping the rat race for a bucolic life - the Healesville's allure is based on the assumption that country living could be this consistently good"
Age Good Food Guide 2008 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2008 Australian Restaurant Guide "A little foodie empire has sprung up along Healesville's main street, courtesy of the town's eponymous hotel"
Age Cheap Eats 2007
Age Good Food Guide 2006 score 16/20
Age (melbournemagazine) Hot John Lethlean Oct 05
Age Good Food Guide 2005
Gourmet Traveller 2005 Restaurant Guide "In any wine-growing region like the Yarra Valley, it pays to see where the winemakers eat, and the Healesville Hotel is deservedly first choice for many. Eighty minutes east of Melbourne, it offers technique and quality while trumpeting the cause of local produce."
The Foodies' Guide 2004, Allan Campion & Michele Curtis,'The relaxed setting in the pub's dining room can be the stage for an informal lunch,or a more serious dinner affair with good food and service lifting the bar.Classic dishes are worked to produce excellent modern food'
Age, A2, 5/7/04, John Weldon
Age Good Food Guide Awards 2004 1 hat, score 15/20
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide Australia 2004, Excellent wine list, 1 Black star,'a spacious dining room, heated in winter by a splendid open fire and, in summer, opening onto a grassy, sunny backyard...The menu changes seasonally, with an emphasis on Mediterranean and sometimes Asian-flavoured dishes.'
Age, Sunday Life, 16/11/03, Roslyn Grundy
The Herald Sun, Food&wine, Stephen Downes, 3/9/02, Score 17/20.
Age, Sunday life, Eat Streets, 21.4.02
Age, 25.09.01, John Lethlean review Score: 15 out of 20
The Herald Sun 25/7/2000 Michael Harden
Sunday Age, 24.10.99, Jane Faulkner
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