Williamstown being one of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne means that many-a hotel was constructed back in the day when the only source of heating was a fireplace (natural gas at the time being nothing more than something one discretely sought out a doctor to address). There is of course nothing more snug than finding a venue with a good fireplace.
Below is a list of some of my favourites:
The Stag's Head Hotel The Stag's Head is a good old fashioned pub where pokies are regarded as a rumour and worthy of no further note. The fire place in the front bar is always roaring during Melbourne's winter, though at some stage some blockhead blocked up the chimney and the flame is courtesy of natural gas. It's warm, it can cause third degree burns but without the romantic crackle of a log on the fire it's not quite the same. Of course when mild hypothermia is setting in as you clutch your ice cold pot glass no one will split hairs!
So cold he cannot feel his legs
The Odd Spot Café A foodie's café that makes its own baked goods and provides a killer big breakfast. If all the Odd Spot's cracking comfort food doesn't warm you up on a cold winter's morn then perhaps a 10:00am Bloody Mary will. For those who are averse to hard liquor pre midday you may wish instead to try getting a seat next to the wood fired pot belly stove. These seats are hard to get but definitely worth the wait. Careful that it doesn't melt your tablet or – if you've already used up your free monthly allocations to The Onion, Crikey and The Age – your newspaper.
Odd Spot Belly
The Prince Albert Hotel The Prince Albert contains the quintessential open fire place. No blue gas fuelled flame here, nor is there a glass door between you and the crackling warmth. No, just an honest to god open fire providing all and sundry with the romantic warmth of yore. The only drawback is that the fireplace is located in the bistro so you need to shell out for a feed if you want to enjoy the most scenic of heating devices. Smart product placement!