Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published June 22nd 2015
Eat Local Festive Week, Scenic Rim
The Scenic Rim of South East Queensland is located approximately 80 kms or about an hour's drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The rim covers a group of towns from Tamborine in the north through to Aratula in the west and Rathdowney in the south with the region's primary business being agriculture, horticultural, equine industry and tourism.
From Saturday 27th June through to Sunday 5th July, the townships in this area come alive with activities for the annual "Scenic Rim Eat Local Week Festival". The Eat Local Week Festival is conducting numerous activities each day in different towns and more information on these activities can be located on their website.
Among the Scenic Rim towns is the small town of Harrisville located inland approximately 5 kms from its depicted turnoff on the Cunningham Highway and home to the historic Royal Hotel. The town is believed to be name after brothers John and George Harris who had a store and cotton ginnery in the area. The township celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.
At the 2011 Australian Census, Harrisville had a population of 421 people and is an area supporting a surrounding dairy beef and small crops. To understand the history of a town, it is well worth the effort to visit the local cemetery, which always provides a wealth of knowledge of the pioneering families of the township.
The Royal Hotel was built in approximately 1875 and was originally known as The Royal James Hotel. Over 20 licencees have conducted business at the Royal Hotel over the years with current owners Steve & Monika Patrick having bought the premises in 2011 after it had been closed for a period of time. Seeing the potential in this lovely building, they transformed it into a restaurant and bar that now cater to locals and tourists for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday of each week.
Many groups spend weekends at the Royal Hotel
The hotel has become so well-known with many motorcycle clubs, car clubs and caravan clubs regularly visiting on weekends. Even local trial riders stop in for a quick bite and drink whilst parking their horses out the back. The hotel has a large open area at the rear, which is equipped with bar-be-ques and provides facilities for free camping. The hotel caters for all tastes and offers five beers on tap with a further 20 or so varieties in cans and bottles and a selection of local and Australian wines. Non-alcoholic refreshments are also available.
Free camping at back of hotel
The Royal Hotel is not just a pub as they can cater for your specific needs which include weddings, christenings, birthday and anniversary celebrations, work parties etc. and provide a menu to suit all budgets and platters available on request. On Saturday 27th June, during the Scenic Rim Eat Local Festival, the Royal Hotel will be hosting a 7-course Degustation Dinner using local produce and Scenic Rim Wines. Cost per person is $99.00 and bookings are essential to avoid disappointment. Dinner starts at 17:45 til 21:45 providing the attendee four hours of a relaxed dining experience.
7-course Degustation Dinner using local produce and Scenic Rim Wines
Whilst in Harrisville, allot time to stroll around the town as there are a number of heritage sites to visit and learn about. On the morning I visited, it was relaxing to bask in the sun sitting on the bench outside the local shop and talking to the locals as they came in from their properties to pick up the morning paper.