CRESWICK’S culinary renaissance is continuing to draw a crowd, with the revamped Farmers Arms Hotel adding another string to the once-sleepy country town’s bow.
The pub was recently purchased by Creswick local Christine Molloy, who also heads up Daylesford fine dining favourite The Perfect Drop.
Ms Molloy said she wanted to provide a high quality dining option in Creswick, and saw the 1850’s pub as the perfect opportunity. “I’ve wanted to do something closer to home for some time, and doing a pub is really different to fine dining.”
The culinary approach demonstrates a balance between perfecting pub favourites while also offering some more refined dishes. The kitchen takes a particular interest in meat, with all butchery work done on site.
With a strong focus on sourcing local produce where possible, Ms Molloy said she wanted to maintain the ethos of serving reasonably priced, well portioned meals without forsaking quality.
“We’ve got chefs who have worked in hatted kitchens who just want to serve great food,” Ms Molloy said. “Obviously we’ve got to do some pub classics, but we know the chicken and the fish is relatively local, and I think you can taste that.”
A revamped menu is not the only noticeable change at the pub, which has received its first major makeover since 1971.
While renovation plans for the 160-year-old building were initially minor, after discovering rotting floorboards and a bar riddled with asbestos Ms Molloy decided more extensive works were necessary. The pub now boasts a large concrete bar, while the building’s original brickwork has been exposed.
The pub has now been open for two weeks, and Ms Molloy said there had been an overwhelming response from locals and out-of towners alike, with a strong contingent of Daylesford regulars making the trek.
“We get to see a diverse range of people,” Ms Molloy said. “A lot of the locals who used to go to the pub have been coming back, but we’ve also had lots of people coming from Ballarat and Daylesford.”
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