Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published September 1st 2014
Iconic, Historic Pub in The Heart of Fitzroy
Impressive by day and night
For fifteen years I drove past this appealing and historic hotel on the corner of Brunswick and Johnson Street Fitzroy. I often stopped at the traffic lights and would imagine what this place would have been like when it was built so many decades ago. The various paint layers are partially revealed by renovators who have gone for the shabby chic style and stripped back the exterior to the original brickwork.
This place is buzzing on Friday and Saturday nights with standing room only. Inside some of the original features have been maintained with an open fireplace, ruby lamps and timberwork. More recent restoration and rejuvenation includes mosaic features, exposed ducts and multi-leveled dining area. The dim lights may be intimate and flattering but make it hard to take a photo to capture the beauty of the Provincial.
We decided to try out the Provincial when in search of a Pina colada cocktail. The waiting staff service was friendly and attentive, however my seemingly simple cocktail desire was more challenging than you might imagine.
The bar attendant said that unfortunately there was no coconut milk. My suggestion to use cream was utilised warily. The eventual product makes me suspect that this was the first time this cocktail has been made by this barman. There was much more rum than anything else. It's just as well, because for the price of this drink I could have bought sushi for lunch for a week.
The deadly Pina Colada
It's probably not a great look to be advising the barman of alternative recipes for cocktails, but the Piņa colada is something I know a thing or two about. I probably should have suggested portions too, however considering the cost I should be grateful that I could not drink more than one. It wasn't served on a fancy cocktail glass but a large tumbler which almost had the same effect on me when I got down from my tall bar stool. I had obviously been paying more attention to the outside passing traffic than the effect of the drink on me.
While people watching it occurred to me that this would be a lovely spot for many occasions. It's right in the heart of Brunswick Street's shopping, dining and nightlife precinct. It is a great place to meet and sit by the fire, have a starter, relax for a hearty meal or for a night cap.
The Provincial hotel has a bar, a swish restaurant and function room facilities. So if you are in Fitzroy for shopping or dining (and why wouldn't you be?) be sure to stop in at the Provincial. Check out the website for their specials. It's more than just a pretty face.