I finally made it to Tassie!! Hobart is super cute and to quote Jax “like being in the 50s but with really good food”. The number one thing you are going to want to do is eat, so pack stretchy pants. You’re also going to end up buying 10,000 jams, chutneys, pickles etc so make sure you have a bag big enough to carry it all!
My other top tip is to hire a car. Even if you just do it for 1 day. There’s Uber, but more than likely you won’t get one to get back from where you’ve headed out to!
Explore the piers
All the little piers along the waterfront are full of little shops, cafes and bars. Don’t get too distracted by all the lovely jars of preserves though, it’s more fun to buy them at the market.
You do, however, want to test the gin & cheese from GrandVewe! The blue sheep cheese is phenomenal and the gin is too. I love the whole concept here of using the by-products to create something new. Who would ever think of using sheep whey to create gin! Oh, and they had a Pinot paste to go with cheese, so we had to have that too!
The Larder is a great spot for a drink while you look at the water. Looks like they do a good cheese board too (well done Tasmania, you excel at cheeseboarding) but we were too full to put it to the test- not too full to test the wine though. There are some other lovely looking restaurants in here but we ran out of time to test them all.
Check out local art & craftsmanship
So much woodwork around!! You have options galore for a good cheese board or bread board so shop around. Over by the Jam factory building is an excellent aboriginal art store with some gorgeous pieces. Not having a spare $7000 for the piece I wanted I had to settle for a Christmas bauble (I say settle, I love it).
I’m categorizing Mona in the local art even though it’s really international. This is a great gallery, absolutely worth going out to. Make sure you dedicate a couple of hours out there, especially if you get caught in some of the great bars they have. Be prepared to get lost, it’s like a rabbit warren in there!
Important tip: the poo exhibit only poos once a day, I think it’s 11 and they feed it twice a day. If you are going try and go during those times. We were there about 4 so missed it all and just got the smell. Oh, if you get too close you’ll set the alarm off (won’t you Jax).
Where to start! So many great places, so many places we didn’t get to try! Word of warning: you pretty much can’t eat anywhere after 9pm. Make sure you observe “normal” eating times or you will go hungry (or end up with a crap kebab like we did).
Devil’s Kitchen: this is one we stumbled upon accidentally, lured in with the Tassie Living article about best bacon rolls. So we had to try it! Bacon & egg roll was good! Not fatty at all and with a homemade tomato chutney which was ace. We also had to try the chicken burger, which was in the best burgers article. Again a good burger, not too big so you didn’t feel like you were going over the top. Then we couldn’t resist adding the wedges. Maybe that was the point we went over the top? Totally worth it. It looks like just a little deli, but there’s a nice dining room out the back. They are only open Monday – Friday though and close at 3, so get an early flight to make sure you don’t miss this little gem.
Frank’s: this was recommended by pretty much everyone, and with good reason. We opted for a feed me menu plus oysters and it was great. The waiter did an excellent job talking us through things, and we could let him know of dietary restrictions which he accommodated. I’m not sure why Argentinians decided to settle in the coldest part of Oz, but I’m glad they did! Everything was good. No idea what half of the things were, but I just remember it being amazing: from the cheese empanadas, to the veg, to the calamari and the meat. I would eat it all again. They also let you say with the feed me if there is something in particular you would like included, which I really liked.
Pigeon Bakery: While we were eating at Franklin we were watching these guys working like busy bees getting ready for the next day, which meant we had to try. Their hard work could not be in vain! You are definitely going to want to try here. The quiches are phenomenal. A beautiful, crisp pastry and perfect filling. Yum! Pastries are good too-light and similar to a French one (which you don’t always get in Oz).
Ginger Brown: great breakfast place! Well worth the 20 minute walk up hill! Jax & I split the brown Benedict which is a sort of potato and corned beef hash. Really, really tasty and the corned beef was so soft.
We also split the toasted croissant which had scrambled eggs, mushroom, chili jam & kale. Also really, really delicious.
Poor Al was still recovering from food poisoning (unrelated to Tassie) so he settle for a simple bacon, eggs & avo with toast. Good produce makes this classic a great dish.
Oh, they have lots of gluten free bakery stuff too.
Franklin: full disclosure, we were disappointed here. It didn’t start off great when we didn’t gel with our waitress, and then some of the food just didn’t live up to its potential. I’m glad we didn’t end up going for the feed me menu. What I did like was the space, it’s gorgeous.
Dishes wise, the chicken liver parfait was amazing- something you never here me say.
The potato galette was beautiful. There’s something about these Tassie potatoes, a kind of sweetness that really works, plus it wasn’t oily at all.
The calamari. Really nice, with some veg & xo
The things that didn’t live up to expectation were the octopus dumpling (very sad, I had high hopes but you were more like a stuffed rosti and didn’t taste like octopus at all), the quail scotch eggs, tartare (was supposed to be wallaby but they switched it to beef when they ran out and the dish was just a nothing flavour-wise).
We ended up trying a game of chicken with our waitress to see if she’d tell us the kitchen was closed (which is clearly was as they had finished washing down for the night) so ordered a dessert. I don’t know how she did it, but she pulled that out of the bag and I have to say my respect for her went right up. Well done, you beat us at our own game. We got the crispy potato with brown butter and salted caramel which was really nice. The potato was so crisp it was like a cracker.
Institut Polaire: the cheese & artichoke dip is to die for!!! We stopped in for a pre-dinner drink and ended up with this pre-dinner snack. Not one single regret! Ok not true, I really wish we had gotten the oysters too, they looked amazing.
Go for a hike
You can’t go to Tassie and not experience some nature. We went up to Mount Wellington just out of the city and went hiking for a couple of hours. Top tip: check you are taking the trail the right direction 😂😂 we got completely lost by going the wrong side of the toad and only realized about an hour in! Oh well, it was still gorgeous.
Every Saturday these will entertain you for a few hours. Especially if you slowly eat your way around them 🙂
Highlights were the wallaby burrito
The salmon sausage, big surprise!
Party pies 😂 what’s not to love about a party pie?
The only things we didn’t try were the fried fast food stuff, the sausage sizzle which was very popular, the baked potato place (looked amazing) and the scallop pie. Now scallop pie is a thing in Hobart, but it felt much too early after a big night to be testing that out. We should have just tried in on day 1.
We also left the market with a stack of preserves- why are they all so good?? Remember I said you’d need a bag big enough? This is why.
Test out wineries
There are a stack of wineries less than 30 mins outside of Hobart. We didn’t have a car so could only hit up 1 of them. We Ubered out and then called a taxi to come and get us. You need a taxi number, otherwise you aren’t getting home (136789 we’re good). We tested out the Frogmore Creek Winery. It’s $5 each for tasting and you get a good amount of wine to taste. Plus if you purchase (of course we did) it comes off the price of what you buy. The wine was good, so we grabbed a bottle and sat out in the conservatory watching the rain over the vineyard. I suggest going earlier than we did and grabbing lunch there as it is a stunning view.
It’s a shame we missed sampling more vineyards, but don’t worry, we gave it a good try in the bars.
Visit some bars
This is the number 2 thing to do in Tassie- drink! You’ve got whiskey, gin, wine, everything you could possible need!
Institut Polaire: by far our favourite bar. So much so that we went back again the next day (and would have gone again but Al thought it was going to be seafoody, which it isn’t). The bar is owned by the people who make Sud Polaire gin and Domaine wine. This gin is absolutely my new favourite. It’s such a clean taste, it is 100% what I think of as the taste of Tasmania, and it is coming back to LA with me! Also has the best waitress ever. She gave great advice and great service.
Pearl & Co: ok technically this is a restaurant, but we used it’s wine features with a side of oysters. Oysters were good, not too salty or creamy. It had a casual side and a more formal side to it. Plus it’s on the waterfront, which I am a big fan of.
Drunken Admiral Restaurant: also has a bar in it. It’s a really cute space and totally should have tested the food. The tables have these little boats for you to sit in. I love a good novelty feature.
The Lark Distillery:lots and lots and lots of whiskey!! Luckily for me though, also wine! On the weekend there are food trucks as well so we tested some of the little things- not sure exactly what they were but they tasted like stuffed Yorkshire puddings.
The Lounge by Frogmore: in the Mac 1 hotel this is a nice bar. We got a giant cheese board & charcuterie and enjoyed a good bottle of white.
Evolve: also in the Mac 1. This was recommended by our awesome waitress at Insitut Polaire and she hooked us with the skeleton of a bear. There’s all sorts of fossils in the bar and they pitch themselves as a spirits bar, though wine is an option. Plus you get complimentary popcorn in a lovely glass!
Etties: the only place we went to in town. They have a piano bar downstairs and it is a great place to drink some red and just hang out.
We went out to the Bruny Island Cheese Company which had a great toastie and you could do a $5 cheese tasting plate. Accidentally picked up for chutney & jam here. Oops.
The light house: about a 30 min drive on unpaved but stable roads, this is absolutely worth it for the views.
Get shucked: our little oyster stop on the way home. They were quite salty for my taste but I love the name of the place.
Sadly, we missed the winery because it turns out all 3 of us fall asleep as soon as we get in a car so Papa Brown was able to sneak past it without us knowing 😂😂
I am reliably informed that Bruny Island has white wallabies but we didn’t see any, though with the amount we slept, they could have been everywhere! If it wasn’t raining it would have been good to do a little hike here because it is beautiful.
Other things that would have been cool:
- More vineyards
- Dining at Templo (book well in advance, we couldn’t get in)
- Visiting Port Arthur