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The Cumberland Hotel, Smeaton

Home > Melbourne > Escape the City | Pubs | Travel | Vegan | Vegetarian
by Susan J Bowes (subscribe)
Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published December 18th 2022
Newly renovated Cumberland Hotel provides hearty meals
Touring around Victoria reminds me so much of England, where you do not have to travel far before you come across another township. Whereas in Queensland, we can travel for hours and see nothing but trees and highways On my recent visit to Garden State, my friend and I came across the Cumberland Hotel in Smeaton and decided to stop for lunch.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
Historic Cumberland Hotel (Author's Photo)


New owners, Caleb and James Consiglio, purchased the hotel in 2022 and have undertaken extensive renovations to bring this historic hotel back to its former glory. From previous occupations in the construction industry and as a senior executive chef onboard super yachts, Caleb and James yearned for an escape from the hustle and bustle and saw this purchase as a perfect opportunity. With a vision of what a country pub should be, and incorporating their experience and knowledge, they have created a warm and inviting venue for lunch, dinner or for those wishing to drop in for a drink or coffee from the bar.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
Well-Stocked Bar & Coffee (Author's Photo)


As you walk into the front of the hotel entrance, a beautiful brown leather settee is positioned against one wall, where you could easily see yourself settled sipping wine and chatting with a friend. You can dine in the bar area as there are tables for two or three against the one wall or in the larger dining room at the rear, where on the day we visited, were booked for larger groups. A brick fireplace is situated at the doorway from the bar into the pool table area and was providing warmth on our chilly day out. There is also more dining seating in the pool table area.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
Comfy Lounge Invites Patrons (Author's Photo)


I was impressed with the design of the wallpaper, the colour of the newly painted walls and the choice of furnishings and lighting, which gave the hotel a new lease of life, yet it still retained its stance as the strength of the community, as it had done for one hundred and sixty years. The Cumberland Hotel is the oldest wooden pub in Victoria, originally named Cumberland Arms when in June 1861 the licence was first awarded, although from research the hotel may also have gone by the name of The Smeaton Hotel.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
Ceiling Lighting and Feature in Bar Area (Author's Photo)


The menu for dining is comprehensive and caters for all dietary requirements including Gluten Free, Gluten Free Options, Dairy Free, Vegan and Vegetarian. My friend and I chose a burger for our lunch, which were both delicious and very filling. On the dinner menu, you will also find House Baked Bread with a Gluten Free Option. Having dietary requirements myself, I was impressed to see this added touch for those who always miss the usual dinner roll with a meal.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
GFO Steak Burger (Author's Photo)


Both Caleb and James love the community and region and so, are collaborating closely with local growers, butchers, farmers and business owners to ensure the food you eat is of the best quality while also supporting those around the area. Bookings for dining can be made online or by calling 0478 536 192.

History, Travel, Victoria, Food & Wine, Smeaton, Near Ballarat, Pubs, Bucket List, Learn Something, Fun Things to Do
Large Round Mirror Shows Pool Room Area (Author's Photo)


On chatting with Caleb, he advised that more renovations were still to come with a vision of an outside area with live music on weekends and an area for holiday campers travelling through.

The Cumberland Hotel is on the southwest corner of Daylesford-Clunes Road and the Creswick-Newstead Road in Smeaton. It is also shown on the 1880 Creswick Goldfields Map. The Cumberland Hotel is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6.00am until late. See you there!
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Why? Historic country pub provides delicious meals to visitors
When: Wednesday to Sunday, 6am to Late
Phone: 0478 536 192
Where: Smeaton
Cost: Individually Priced Meals and Beverages
Your Comment
My husband and I love checking out Victoria's small towns. It's amazing what historical gems you can find and the pub meals are such great value.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10397) 45 days ago
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