Unlike the Stanley pub, a gastropub that has full table service, Tanswell’s Commercial hotel in Beechworth is something of a fusion between the old style of pub and the new, where you order at your table but go to the bar for drinks. On a busy Saturday night, with the town full of visitors for the Easter long weekend, we were lucky to get a table.
The girlfriend bought a strangely cute pink knitted alien with a long flexible neck that encourages head bobbing at the craft market. It’s at once completely blank in expression and impossibly adorable. And it coordinated nicely with her beetroot salad. She also liked her smoked salmon on rosti.
I loved my spicy goat ragu with polenta. It was somewhere between a stew and a curry with cardamon and other spices. The was a long wine list by the bottle and a patchy selection by the glass. I skipped the cheap imports and managed to find us two good local reds whose names I can’t remember. The pub has no website and so there’s no chance I can remind myself.
We finished our meal with cheese, which is presented simply with slices of baguette and quince paste. Tanswell’s was easily the busiest pub in town on the night we visited (we walked around looking at them all) and, given that, the service was prompt. It also had a more interesting menu than the other pubs. While we didn’t want fine dining we also didn’t want a parma or steak, and so it provided just what we wanted, which made us happy.