The Clare Hotel, also known as 'the pub in the middle' has occupied its imposing spot on the main street of Clare since 1871. The old balcony and large stabling area are both long gone but much of the character of the old building remains. The hotel features a front sports bar, a large family-friendly bistro and accommodation upstairs.
The menu is packed with country pub favourites and the kitchen does some excellent value specials from just $11 at the time of writing. Drinks are from the bar with a wide range of local beers, wines, and spirits available. This is Australia's best Riesling region after all!
The dining room is quite spacious and there's a large outdoor area along the laneway outside but it was super-hot on the day we visited. We opted to sit inside but even then the poor aircon was struggling with the weather.
On our visit, the kids opted for the nuggets and chips (as always) which kept them happy while we enjoyed our country pub go-to entrée - fried camembert. It's just too decadent to eat at home, so we take every cheeky opportunity we can to enjoy it when we're out and about (as if that's some kind of excuse).
Nothing flash here, just good pub grub. The kangaroo fillet is served with beetroot relish on a bed of sweet potato mash. I know they're just trying to make it good value but this is a meal for 2-3 people. The mash is lost under the weight of so much roo and relish. I enjoyed it but it was impossible to finish.
We were way too full to choose a dessert (from the cake fridge or pavlova and ice cream). I often wonder if restaurants should adjust serving sizes and prices to make it possible to order dessert.
It's worth noting that the Clare Hotel also offers an extensive vegan/vegetarian menu and breakfast is on weekends from 8 - 11am.
The Clare Hotel is a pretty good place to take the family for a casual and hearty meal. Maybe next time we'll try something from the seafood menu or one of the salads. It's situated at 244 Main North Road, Clare. Meals are available from 12 – 2pm and 6 – 8.30pm seven days a week. Call them on 08 8842 2816 to book meals and accommodation.