Tin Dragon Cottages owners, Christine and Graham, are delighted to share their recommendations for where to eat the best meals, food, brews and wine in their region.
Where to Eat in Branxholm
In Branxholm the Imperial Hotel, 5 minutes from Tin Dragon Cottages, provides hearty pub meals. Check out their specials: “Palmy Thursday”. Check dining opening hours-Phone: (03) 6354 6121
The Tuscan Fox BYO serves good value wood-fired home-style pizzas, pasta and salads at night. Currently open Friday to Sunday from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Mob: 0435 334 851
Tin Timbers Cafe serves up breakfast most mornings from 8:30. Opening hours are variable – you need to phone for details. Mob: 0437 755 483
Casa Pinocchio (BYO) restaurant serves authentic Italian meals most evenings from 16:30 (Thursday to Sunday); Sunday breakfast from 9:30 t0 14:00. (phone: 0467 868 294). Closed over the winter months.
You can also purchase groceries from the IGA supermarket in Branxholm – a short walk from Tin Dragon Cottages. The IGA is open from 7:00 to 18:00 daily.
What Food is Included in the Accommodation?
Your hosts provide the basics for a brew of tea or coffee, including both leaf tea and ground coffee with stove-top espresso.
Hot pot cooking
For a simple low-fuss meal, why not get the slow cook pot going before you head off for the day? Then, at the end of the day pour a glass of your favourite beverage and enjoy a hot casserole! You can collect the slow-cooker from the office along with a simple recipe idea. All ingredients can be purchased from the Branxholm IGA–just 5 minutes away.
There are two wood-fired outdoor bar-be-ques available for all guests– one between the cottages and one down by the river. One wood-fired bar-be-que is available for The Settlers Hut guests, only. There is also a fire pot available near each of these outdoor bar-be-ques.
For a small fee, a gas-fired bar-be-que is available to each cottage, except the Settlers Hut. Please purchase this option when your book your and pay for your reservation.
Roadside Fresh Produce
The deep red fertile soils of our region grow some of the best fresh produce you will ever taste. However, you may need local knowledge to access it!
Over summer and in to Autumn there are several roadside stalls in and around Ringarooma selling pumpkins, potatoes, berry fruits, fresh greens and much more. Make sure you have change in your wallet when you seek out these stalls, because the stall operate using an honesty box. You will need the correct change!
Most of these stalls a small and seasonal. However, one stall open through most of the year is owned by Highview Garden Farm. It is located just outside Ringarooma – 58 West Maurice Road,
Where to Eat in Derby
Just 10 minutes down the road in Derby you can enjoy breakfast (from 8:00) and lunch (till 15:00) at Two Doors Down cafe (phone: 0488 463 333). For evening meals you can choose from The Hub-pizza and beer (open Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 21:00–all through winter this year 2023!, phone: 0434 445 809, 03 6779 1585) or the Dorset Hotel (open weekdays from 14:00 and weekends from 11:30) The newest restaurant on the block is Main Street Derby. This restaurant is open every day 11:00 till late, and early on weekends (for breakfast) 7:30 till late!
Each of these businesses can be found in the main street.
Bay of Fires
In St Helens we recommend the East Coast Village Providore (phone: (03) 6376 8922). They sell the fabulous locally grown Pyengana Premium Meats – but you can buy these quality products at the Branxholm IGA! …and if you prefer free-range ethically-raised chicken, then you might also like to try Tasmanian Nichols chicken. Also available at the Branxholm IGA.
Where to Eat in Scottsdale
In Scottsdale we recommend you stock up with award-winning bread and pastries at The Cottage Bakery (phone: (03) 6352 2273), try out unique rhubarb treats at House of Rhubarb and have a fabulous fresh coffee at Scottsdale Art Gallery Cafe. Why not try out North East Tasmania’s newest brew at Little Rivers Brewing Co (open Wednesday to Sunday mostly from mid-day) opposite the Bakery. You can also purchase from a good selection of local Tasmanian wines and brews at the Scottsdale Liquor Market (phone: (03) 6352 2411) in King St.
The Ellesmere Patisserie and Providore at 19 King St provides grazing-style catering featuring local produce; ‘Provenance’ locally roasted micro-batch coffee; ‘Tasmanian Juice Press’ cold pressed juices; ‘Apiece’ bakery rustic breads; ‘Casalinga’ smoked & cured smallgoods; brunch options and baked treats. This cafe is open from 7:30 to 14:00 week days only – closed on weekends. (Mob: 04777 290 660)
If you enjoy a hearty Aussi-style pizza, then you can’t go past the Loud Iron Cafe, opposite the Woolworths Supermarket in Scottsdale (6 Victoria St, (03) 6352 3112). Their “supreme with anchovies” is our favourite! Check for opening times – open most afternoons 4:00pm till 8 pm.
Then of course there’s all those remarkable cold-climate Tassie wines. The closest vineyards are near Lebrina and Pipers Brook. Our favourite boutique cool climate wines are at Clover Hill and Brook Eden Vineyard at Lebrina.
Tamar River Vineyards
Download a copy of the Tasmanian wine-tour guide for more information about Tassie wine trails.
Our all-time favourite vineyard is the Swinging Gate Vineyard on the Tamar river. Doug Cox says:
Our old vines are an expression of the delicate landscape and climatic conditions of the premium end of the Tamar Valley. Through minimal intervention and a lot of hard work, we create wines from these grapes that exude the honesty, passion, care, imagination and science that we put into every drop. We hope that you enjoy drinking our creative and delicious wines as much as we’ve enjoyed making them.
Vineyards and history combine
Our recommendation for a terrific road trip is to combine a visit to the Platypus House and Seahorse World at Beauty Point with a visit to the mine museum and lunch in Beaconsfield followed up by a wine tasting at the Swinging Gate Vineyard on your way home.
Our final recommendation for where to eat is in Beaconsfield. Here we highly recommend the Moon Lily Kitchen and Cakes, 110 Weld St, Beaconsfield , (03) 6383 1120! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by their lunch menu. They are open from early (~7:00) to mid-afternoon each day.
Then take a leisurely drive back to Tin Dragon Cottages by crossing driving over the Batman bridge and drive via Bridport (Bridport Road).
Great Foodies Day Out on the Tamar
So, you have booked into Tin Dragon Cottages on a Saturday afternoon and you are travelling from Launceston? Here’s our suggeston for a great day out.
Start at the Harvest Market in Launceston to stock up on some fresh local produce for your stay with us. Then head for the West Tamar Highway (A7). But once out of Launceston deviate off the highway to enjoy views of the Tamar River. For example, Rosevears Drive (C733), C728 (C729), and drive through Deviot. Cross over the Batman Bridge.
Now, if you enjoy maritime history, then here is another great tip. Drive to The Low Head Pilot Station (411-437 Low Head Rd, LOW HEAD 7253). Then, after visiting the museum and noting that one of Graham’s aunts (Kathleen Cashion) is featured, treat yourself to a fabulous seafood lunch at the Low Head Seafood Shack. You will be very pleased that you did!