Five cosy spots to warm up this winter
Updated: 25 July 2018
If you are visiting from an Arctic State, winter in the Fleurieu is temperate. You will have crisp days and chilly nights, and there’s no better way to warm up than by pulling up a pew near a roaring log fire. From Strathalbyn to Second Valley, we’ve rounded up some of the cosiest places to snuggle up this winter. Glass of shiraz, anyone?
1. The anchorage hotel, victor harbor
Standing proudly on the corner of Flinders Parade offering sweeping views of beautiful Encounter Bay, the historic Anchorage Hotel is an essential pit-stop if you’re heading to the charming seaside town of Victor Harbor. With a cosy log fire and warming winter specials like casserole of the day or local beer battered fish and chips served with mushy peas and house-made tartare sauce, it’s the ideal place to kick back and settle in on a cold winter’s afternoon. If you’d prefer coffee and cake to fish and chips, there’s an in-house baker here so there’s always an array of freshly baked cakes and treats available to pair with a cup of locally roasted coffee. Don’t feel like driving home? The onsite accommodation ranges from private spa rooms to self-contained apartments.
Find it: 21 Flinders Parade, Victor Harbor SA
2. The Olfactory Inn, Strathalbyn
If you’re after a winter meal to warm the cockles of your heart, the Olfactory Inn delivers in forkfuls. This small, cosy venue on High Street, Strathalbyn is all about working with local producers to create regularly changing menus that are sustainable and minimal in wastage. Owners Simon Burr and Lauren Alexander work the kitchen and the floor and strive to create a personalised dining experience, particularly given the intimate size of the restaurant. The ‘feed me’ menu at $75/head is excellent value, or if you’re ordering a la carte, there are options like Goolwa cockle croquettes, 'coq au vin' pie made with free-range chicken from local producer Nomad Farms, beef fat potatoes and quince and rhubarb pudding with cumquat glaze and jersey cream. Wash all that down with a couple of glasses of local red, and you’ll be in food and wine heaven.
Find it: 35 High Street, Strathalbyn
3. Leonards mill, second valley
Originally a flour mill dating back to 1858, the rustic Leonards Mill in Second Valley is now home to an excellent regional restaurant which celebrates the fabulous fresh produce of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Nestled in the picturesque Second Valley around 90 minutes’ drive from Adelaide, you’ll immediately feel the warmth not only from the log fire but from the friendly hospitality. It’s all about supporting the local Fleurieu growers and producers; here at Leonards Millthey buy in whole animals and have a nose-to-tail philosophy with minimal wastage. Outside you’ll find flourishing fruit trees and a thriving vegetable garden, and in the kitchen the team are busy baking bread and making their own butter, bacon, pickles and sauces. Overnight cottage accommodation is also available. NB: Leonards Mill closes for a few weeks in the depths of winter so check their website before visiting.
Find it: 7869 Main S Rd, Second Valley SA
4. the salopian inn, mclaren vale
In McLaren Vale, the Salopian Inn is one to add to your must-visit list this winter. With a warm, welcoming atmosphere, this 1850s cottage-style building is a delightful spot for a leisurely winter lunch or dinner (and not just due to the cosy log fire!). The menu here focusses on seasonal South Aussie produce - try the Steamed Boston Bay Berkshire Pork Buns - and the wine list is extensive so allow plenty of time to peruse it. If you’re a red wine buff, you’re in for a treat – a set of stairs leads down to the underground cellar where you can hand-pick your wine from a colossal selection of bottles. But before you do, be sure to sample one of the 230 different gins on offer; luckily, the staff are gin experts if you need a hand choosing.
Find it: Corner of Main Road and McMurtrie Road, McLaren Vale SA
5. victoria hotel, strathalbyn
Affectionately referred to by locals as ‘The Vic’, the restored historic 1865 bluestone building that houses the Victoria Hotel in Strathalbyn is a must-visit on a chilly winter’s day. Here you can tuck yourself up by the crackling open fires (yep, there’s more than one!) in the saloon or front bar with a glass of vino in hand. The wine list is predominantly local, featuring drops from nearby Currency Creek, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and the Adelaide Hills. If beer’s more your bag, they’ve just installed a ‘wonderwall’ of beers on tap here, featuring a range of classic Aussie brews including Adelaide’s popular Big Shed Brewing Co. If you make a night of it, there are recently refurbished rooms on offer and breakfast is available on weekends.
Find it: 16 Albyn Terrace Strathalbyn SA