Daylesford Hotel reborn under new publicans

Daylesford’s iconic Edwardian pub, The Daylesford Hotel, was reborn last month, after an overhaul by new publicans, hospitality veterans and Daylesford locals Ann-Marie Banting and Graham Bamford.

The renovated pub has a fresh new look in the front bar and dining room, and an upgraded beer garden out the back. 

The front bar offers great pub classics, along with local, craft and international beers on tap while the wine list now contains a “really punchy list” hand picked from the surrounding region. 

A new upstairs bar is underway, where guests will be able to relax and enjoy the ambient atmosphere while enjoying fantastic views of Daylesford. 

New chef Dan Melbourne, previously of Annie Smithers’ Du Fermier in Trentham, and Innocent Bystander in Healesville, will bring his love for working with great regional produce to the kitchen.

Co-owner Graham Bamford, who has 20 years experience in restaurants including many years as an owner of St Kilda’s Galleon Cafe, said the menu in both the front bar and the dining room would be full of “the stuff you really want to eat.”

The dining room, which will reopen this month, will focus on serving great bistro classics.

“We are steering away from fine dining and degustation menus, offering down to earth dishes like duck leg confit, Kyneton Black Angus steak or maybe even a Western Plains double cut pork cutlet.

“We also plan to offer cheese after the main course in the dining room, with our great regional cheeses showcased alongside quality imported cheese varieties.”

The wine store attached to the pub has also been overhauled.

Ann-Marie, who founded Must Winebar in Perth, brings wine knowledge to the great new roster.  

“We have sourced our own regional range of wine and plan to showcase these alongside wine from the nearby regions, including Heathcote and the Pyrenees,” she said.

The thought placed into the renovations has excited the “locals” who have complemented Anne Marie and Graham. 

“There is a great feel and atmosphere to the ‘Old Girl’ which just make you want to enjoy yourself,” Anne Marie said. “We are very happy with the result.”

Publican's Anne Marie Banting, Graham Bamford catch up with owner Jim Walsh and interior design consultant Kim Clifford at the Daylesford hotel.

Publican's Anne Marie Banting, Graham Bamford catch up with owner Jim Walsh and interior design consultant Kim Clifford at the Daylesford hotel.