The pit stop: Oatlands
Peek behind the facades of Australia’s largest collection of Georgian sandstone buildings, and you’ll find that what’s old is new in Oatlands, with the Midlands town now home to a large distillery, a cosy wine bar and one of Tassie’s most curious stores, writes Andrew Bain.
Closed for much of the last decade, the 1832-built Kentish Hotel has been reborn as a quality pub and eatery. The dining experience is more cafe-style than counter meal, ranging from haloumi salads to a winter-warming lamb hot pie and all-day breakfast.
Set inside a former dispensary, The Imbibers has a simple philosophy: serve only wine, spirits and beer produced within a 60km radius of Oatlands. Settle into the Chesterfield sofa out back, or by the fire out front, and find your way through tipples from the Midlands, Coal River Valley and the lower reaches of the east coast.
Ever wanted a sandstone chateau fountain? Or a prune-drying rack and Turkish dough board? Then be sure to call in at The Jardin Room and Provincial Interiors. Tucked off the main street, it’s a curiosity shop of interior wares inside a two-level sandstone barn, and weightier garden items sprinkled between the perfectly trimmed hedges of a formal garden.
Callington Mill Distillery has finally opened its cellar door in the grounds of Australia’s third-oldest windmill. It’s a suitable setting, with the mill built in 1837 to grind flour but also for the (then illegal) production of spirits. Take a guided or self-guided tour, led by QR codes and audio and video installations, or grab a tasting flight of four of Callington’s eight whiskies.
High St. is lined with more than 80 Georgian sandstone buildings, so feel like a part of things with a stay inside one of these homes. Century-old Raffah House is a beautifully renovated three-bedroom cottage (and former maternity hospital) that’s classic outside and contemporary inside.