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A Royal Experience in Victoria’s High Country

It’s genuine curiosity that makes you want to drive three and a half hours to the quiet, sleepy town of Dunkeld in the Southern Grampians, with 460 inhabitants, an antiquarian bookshop, service station and a visitor information centre. But there’s a very good reason to be here. Dunkeld’s local pub, restaurant and hotel ‘The Royal Mail’ is one of Australia’s most exciting dining and accommodation experiences.

Since opening, the Royal Mail Hotel has won multiple food and wine accolades and is well respected internationally amongst wealthy European jetsetters and business people alike, keen to satisfy their curiousity and see if this little hotel in Victoria’s western grazing district lives up to it’s infamous reputation. And of course it does.

And it’s not only diners keen for a royal experience, the Hotel's legendary reputation attracts Australia’s most highly qualified hospitality staff, seeking a tree-change at this exciting food and wine destination. At the end of the day, it’s the team working here that approach their roles with uncompromising dedication, infectious enthusiasm and a genuine sense of pride that undoubtedly makes your visit such a memorable experience.

Even without the infamous and talented Dan Hunter at the helm, the Royal Mail continues to deliver an extraordinary dining experience. Dan’s influence with the hotel has left a lasting legacy and one that the current staff and new Executive Chef, Robin Wickens, are determined to uphold and maintain.

Royal Mail Hotel Kitchen Garden Tour

Historically the Royal Mail kitchen brigade has always been committed to sourcing and using local produce. What started as a humble veggie patch by Dan and his fellow chefs, has now grown into a full organic kitchen garden employing a full time gardener, supplying around 85% of all produce used in the hotel’s restaurants, with chef’s spending up to 2hours harvesting the garden each day for guests to enjoy in the bistro and restaurant that evening. Our kitchen garden tour host and resident Sous Chef Jeff J comments, “No where else in Australia do you get to work with produce like this!”

Mt Sturgeon Cottages

In the past the food has been the most significant drawing card for visitors to the Royal Mail Hotel. As impressive as the dining experience is, there is more to the Royal Mail experience then the fine dining restaurant. The Mt Sturgeon bluestone Cottages, are just a short five-minute drive from the Royal Mail Hotel and the location in the Southern Grampians, provides a definitive sense of character and a unique tourism experience for guests. Take some time to go for a walk around the cottages, and what lies in arms reach is a working sheep station, orchards, opportunity to view local wildlife, all with the imposing backdrop of Mt Sturgeon. This is the ultimate in luxury rural getaways.

View from the backdoor step of your cottage.

Surrounded by working sheep farm.

Mt Sturgeon Historic Homestead

If you have a larger group travelling together then consider booking the historic 6-bedroom Mt Sturgeon Homestead (sleeps up to 12 guests), hidden away at the back of the property, with it’s very own kitchen garden and orchard. The homestead’s front veranda provides the ideal setting for afternoon or pre-dinner drinks before relocating inside or to the back lawn, depending on the event. The homestead is often used for small weddings, but would be the perfect weekend destination for a private dinner party or celebration amongst close friends.

The Homestead

If you want to rock up and have everything taken care of, then the Hotel will happily do your grocery shopping and arrange catering for your stay, or alternatively you can arrange this yourself. Both the cottages and the Homestead have full access to the Royal Mail Hotel Facilities and transfers are available to and from the Bistro and Restaurant.

Your private kitchen garden at the Homestead

Lawn at the back of the Homestead.

Let your curiosity bring you here, it’s worthy of the drive. We’d highly recommend spending more than just one night and take some extra time to explore the local wine region, sample some local produce and explore the extensive walking trails such as the hike up Mt Abrupt.

The backdrop of Mount Sturgeon leaves a lasting impression, as will your overall experience at the Royal Mail Hotel. And it won’t all be about the food….

During your stay…
• Have a drink with the locals in the pub on a Friday night
• Definitely do the ‘wine and food match’ in the fine dining restaurant
• Stay at the Mount Sturgeon Cottages
• If you have a larger group book the Homestead for a weekend
• Stay more than one night, two or three nights would be ideal to really experience Dunkeld and the Grampians
• Do a tour of the kitchen garden and the famous wine cellar
• Get up early one morning and Climb Mt Abrupt or explore the local walking trails
• Visit the local wineries and sample some local produce. If you can’t be bothered driving, the hotel can arrange a local tour guide for you.

To book your stay www.royalmail.com.au

To view more photos from the Royal Mail Hotel vist www.facebook.com/winefoodhotelmedia

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