Country pubs – still a destination

Hotels everywhere have needed to reinvent themselves over the past few years, becoming known as “gastro pubs” or “gourmet pubs”. Country towns, no matter how large or small had at least one pub, with many towns supporting three or four. As the population of these towns diminished, the pubs closed, one after another.

In it’s hay day, Kingston (between Daylesford and Creswick) had twelve hotels with only The Commercial Hotel @ Kingston surviving today. The hotel, built in the 1800’s has had a chequered past with the original weatherboard building being destroyed by fire in 1904. Rebuilt a year later in red brick it was run over the subsequent 100 years by a series of different publicans, unlike many others that were run by families, passing from one generation to the next. The Commercial Hotel struggled on, but closed to the public 12 years ago, being converted into a private residence. However, around three years ago the current owner bought the the iconic hotel with the intention of retaining it as a private home, but seeing it’s potential sympathetically returned this grand old lady into an operating Hotel, Gallery & Cafe with a statement outdoor wood fired pizza area and beer garden.

The venue exhibits local artisan’s works, local providores and trades in small antiques and curios. The bar area is an eclectic mix of old whiskey jugs and bar mirrors with a pool table, pin ball machines and jukebox loaded with hits from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The rear of the hotel has terraced gardens with roses, shade trees and manicured hedges, with a wood fired pizza oven and beer garden. The hotel is available for private functions and has boutique accommodation perfect for bridal parties looking for pre wedding day stays.

The Commercial @ Kingston also operate magnificent vintage and classic wedding cars, perfect for transporting the bridal party.

Open Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm for lunch, or simply coffee and cake. Dinner is available Friday to Sunday during summer and autumn. or Facebook