The interior of the Swiss Mountain Hotel in Blampied is testimony to generations of European immigrants who came to the region in the 19th Century. Pictures of Swiss-Italian family members with names like LaFranchi and Gervasoni and line the wooden walls of the old pub, established in 1865.
It's possibly the oldest weatherboard hotel in the country, which is testament to luck as much as any other factor - wooden hotels had a nasty habit of going up in flames, as happened to lasting effect in Ballarat in 1854.
Instead the Swiss Mountain has flourished. After being closed four years ago, it's expanded and is expanding further. Where once a tiny hotel kitchen stood, there is now a dining room opening onto an outdoor eating area. A new function facility, built of local stone and glass, in nearing completion; it will have a larder, bakery and cafe attached. A courtesy bus service has opened for patrons
The hotel is located, manager and chef Ewan Apedaile says, 'in the middle of nowhere'. Which is not quite true: Blampied, named for Louis Blampied who built the original hotel, is not far from Ballarat, Daylesford, Creswick and even Melbourne, and is a popular stop-off for car and motorcycle clubs.
"It doesn't have the feel of an average pub, and that's down to (owner Jim Frangos's) Jim's renovation, says Mr Apedaile.
"My job is to make great food and help create the atmosphere, make sure we have great staff - and that combination is paying off I suppose.
"We get people coming from Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat, Woodend - even further west. They use it as a meeting spot, they might have lunch, then off they go.
With a background working in Daylesford, Ewan Apedaile says the menu of the Swiss Mountain is a combination of classic pub food and modern bistro.
"Simple food, done well, using good ingredients," Mr Apedaile says.
"The best way I can explain it is that I can have a John Deere tractor or a Porsche parked out the front here."
There's also an extensive range of beer on tap and bottled, and new varieties are something which Mr apediale encourages punters to try.
"There are beers from the Otways, from Bendigo, Ballarat, from Melbourne...I select what I think are the best beers from those breweries and try a few different things, as well as some really good quality local wines.
"Blampied is happening; B&Bs are opening up, people are doing the treechange from the city, buying places and doing them up as weekenders, moving up here."