"The good things in life are family, friends,good food & wine,books you can't put down & as much travel as you can cram in."
Published January 3rd 2015
Where Royalty has slept
My husband and I travelled up to Bendigo this New Year's Eve and stayed at the beautiful old Hotel Shamrock . If you are looking for old world atmosphere at a reasonable price, try out this old beauty. The original hotel opened in 1854 and has had a few reincarnations since then with many ups and downs, but always remaining a much loved part of Bendigo. Wrought iron lacework adorns the outside balconies where you can sit and enjoy a drink in the evenings while enjoying the view of the beautiful botanical gardens opposite. Rooms start from $140.
Downstairs in the basement is the Gold Dust Lounge which has live jazz & blues on Friday & Saturday nights. One of the regular acts, The Bell and John Band played at the upstairs bistro, The Yard Bird Bar & Kitchen, on NYE. They were great with strong vocals and popular music choices that were a hit with the crowd.
Unfortunately the only sour note to our evening was the food served at the bistro. Yard Bird advertises itself as serving American home-style food such as brisket and grits. I was quite excited as my nephew's partner is Texan and we have occasionally been treated to his sliders and pumpkin pie. What a disappointment. So much so that we sent the food back and dined on potato chips and fries. To add insult to injury there was no dessert on the menu and if you wanted coffee it meant walking downstairs to the bar, then collecting it after ordering at the upstairs bar. It made no sense at all.
Although I haven't tried the high tea it sounds great. They are held on the last Sunday of the month from 1-3pm. Traditional tea is $45 per person, or a cocktail high tea is $50. I'd include this as part of a lazy long week-end. As it's served on the upstairs balcony, it would be a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
So, definitely recommend the hotel itself and the live music on offer. The wine we drank was really nice too, as was breakfast the next morning. I just can't recommend the upstairs eatery.