Royal George Hotel
While the Royal George falls into the category of spruced-up country gastropub, it still retains the relaxed and hospitable vibe of the old-time hotel. The dining room may be all quality linen cloths, good stemware and designer salt – a good fit with a menu full of deftly cooked, quality ingredients – but the service and ambience are neither stuffy nor snooty. You feel as if they want you to have a good time, which is easy to do with dishes like local lamb teamed with Moroccan spices, salt cod croquettes and a good selection of local cheeses. The wine list gives you a chance to sample the region’s best.
24 Piper St; (03) 5422 1390; open Thurs–Sun for lunch and Wed–Sat for dinner