McLaren Vale Hotel
Daily | 11.30am - 2.00pm
Daily | 5.30pm - 8.30pm (9.00 pm on Fri/Sat)
Pub Food | Modern Australian
$22 - $36 (mains)
Bookings (08) 8323 8208
Located in the historic end of McLaren Vale, right next to Hardys Tintara cellar door and the Fleurieu Arthouse is the McLaren Vale Hotel.
Established already way back in 1865 it was known as the McLaren Hotel when we moved to region in 2016 and looked rather worn down, not inviting at all and we never went further than looking inside before deciding it's not for us. But that definitely has changed. The news of new owners and their plans to bring it back to glory got us excited and things started to change quickly from the outside, with the old stone walls and heritage features being brought back to life.
And the news got really good after we learned that Simon Burr, previously from the Olfactory Inn in Strathalbyn, was appointed as the new head chef and we soon got the first positive feedback from other local and guests.
Having said all that - it is still a pub, with bar and gaming room but now also featuring the Bellevue Dining Room for you to enjoy the treats from Simon Burr. The menu features the usual pub food favourites on a different level, from Caesar Salads to a range of (very yummy) burgers and fish & chips but there is also a range of modern Australian dishes available.
At our last visit we enjoyed some lovely Goolwa Pippi Spaghetti with just the right amount of chilli to not overpower but supplement the flavours and a Grilled Kangaroo Fillet - in the words of Friederike, the best she ever had.
The atmosphere in the dining room can still be a bit improved - and I am sure it will as they are still in the early stages of the revamp - but our experience has put the McLaren Vale Hotel back onto the agenda.
Really good, affordable food makes it a firm contender for a regular night out.