The country town of Yea,100 kilometres north-east of Melbourne and a short 90 minute drive, has a new addition to its food and drinks offerings in the form of a new cafe and whisky bar The Killingworth Hill Cafe and Whisky Bar. But this is not just any cafe and whisky bar, this place is full of Australian memorabilia and quirky vintage furniture and objects to ponder and look at. There is even an old telephone box in the middle of the room! It's rustic, traditional Australiana with more than a smack of sophistication. You can feel the passion behind the owners years of collecting and curating.
Killingworthhill Cafe and Whisky Bar is a short drive from the town centre of Yea. Driving up, you are surrounded by green pastures, gently rolling hills, cattle, sheep and all the other signs of country living. Arriving in the car park, you see lots of old barrels and wheels and relics of old machinery, adding much atmosphere to this property. The newly built front of the building belies what is behind but makes you intrigued as to what you will see next. And there is indeed a lot to see inside, old radios, vintage bottles and kitchen implements, lots of old tools and so much more presenting a history lesson in visual form. The outside spaces are made to while away a morning or afternoon sitting in the shade of the trees and enjoying all that the cafe has to offer.
As well as a collection of Australian memorabilia, there is also a large collection of whisky, both from Australia and the rest of the world. Garry and Lesley, the owners also host exclusive special events in the bar to provide more opportunities to get to know whisky as well as the accompanying food. There is a whisky masterclass, exploring everything from the influence of ingredients at origin to formal tasting techniques. You can also book a private evening to share with family and friends.
Tastings, which come with 4 "wee" drams can be accompanied by a charcuterie board with the finest Australian, French, Italian cheeses and meats. These accompaniments are specially chosen to include flavours and textures that complement the whiskies. Salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami delights take your enjoyment to another level. Or, if you are like me and cannot resist a delicious country made scone, you could just have a Devonshire Tea instead.
There are so many things to discover at Killingworth Cafe and Whisky Bar, that you will be tempted to stay much longer than you planned or come back another day. If you are cycling the The Great Victorian Rail Trail then this is the perfect stop to refresh yourself with a cold drink, a coffee or perhaps a dram of whisky. Garry reassured me that 4 drams (they are tiny) are the equivalent of one standard drink. Oh and don't forget to say hi to the reindeer in the toilet. He may not be as friendly as Garry, Leslie and their staff but he is lovely to look at.