As a city resident, I enjoy travelling outside the city and visiting regional areas (as long as it involves food and wine). Over time I have become aware that being a food blogger is a city activity, and doing it in or about regional towns that have little online media presence has a particular effect.

My negative review of the Black Pudding deli in Echuca provoked an unexpected amount of criticism. I thought my comments were considered and supported by the evidence of my experience, but the degree of trolling suggested that locals don’t know how to cope when Melbourne food bloggers arrive in town and start flouncing about with their cameras and opinions.

The other extreme, when I write very positive reviews about restaurants in regional areas, is either relatively little response, such as my review of Oscar W’s in Echuca, or a grateful response due to the lack of information about a place, such as my review of Watermarc in Wangaratta. Often, reviews of places like Eclectic Tastes in Ballarat get no response at all.

I’d like to hear more about the experience of other Melbourne food bloggers visiting and reviewing places outside the city. I’d also like to hear from reviewers in regional areas (if there are any) about their perspective.

Melbourne food bloggers visiting regional Victoria

4 thoughts on “Melbourne food bloggers visiting regional Victoria

  • 27 December 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I like to read reviews, and a less than stellar experience won’t put me off – after all, I recall that you didn’t like the coffee in one of my favourite haunts. Well, I’m not going to get into a tizz about it: I commented that as a regular, I can confirm that your experience is unusual and you replied graciously.

    There’s no doubt that negative reviews can have unexpected consequences, but that should never be a reason to sugar coat the facts. Your experience is your experience, and the best of establishments can have off days or nights.

  • 4 January 2011 at 11:40 am

    I tend to only review places that I’ve visited twice – and tend not to go back to the worst of them – so I’m a bit light on for regional content on both counts. I wonder if you get such a response because the cafe engenders a local community, and that it serves some other function apart from food.

    Good or bad food should be held to account wherever it is.

    • 4 January 2011 at 11:50 am

      Hi Phil, I think you’re right – the criticisms of negative reviews are about supporting the local business and community as much as trying to refute the review itself. It’s a clash of cultures.


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