10 of Victoria’s cosiest winter restaurants

Couple by the fire at Cosmopolitan Hotel

Megan Whitfield, Tianna Nadalin

Posted April 29, 2021

Warm up with a full belly and a glass of wine at these cosy winter dining spots.

Winter is upon us, but it’s not all sniffles and frosted fingers. Celebrate the chill with that most welcome seasonal ingredient – a roaring fire. We’ve compiled a guide to some of Victoria’s cosiest fireside spots, from fine dining to bars to classic Aussie pubs.

Red Gum BBQ in Red Hill
Swiss Mountain Hotel in Blampied
Jones Winery in Rutherglen

10 of the cosiest places to get your winter feast on in Victoria

Sault, Daylesford

For a fine-dining experience that will warm you from the inside out, head to Sault restaurant in Daylesford. Enjoy a three or four-course seasonal menu with the backdrop of a crackling fire and beautiful views over the 50-hectare estate and Wombat State Forest.

Swiss Mountain Hotel, Blampied

In the tiny town of Blampied (in the Shire of Hepburn) you’ll find this beautifully updated weatherboard pub that dates back to 1865. The Swiss Mountain Hotel menu has pub classics from fish and chips to a Swiss Mountain Parma, and a steak sandwich is hard to go past. Tuck in beside the roaring fire in the middle of the restaurant.

Red Gum BBQ, Red Hill

We’ll be up front – there’s no fireplace here. What there is, however, is a four-metre-long red gum barbecue smoker in the middle of the restaurant. Combined with the succulent southern-style smoked barbecue dishes and warm timber-filled interior, the cosy factor at Red Gum BBQ is 10 out of 10. What better way to spend a chilly winter evening? Plus RACV members can take advantage of this exclusive feast for two. Red Gum BBQ is also a short drive from RACV’s Cape Schanck Resort where members save on accommodation and special offers.

Jones Winery, Rutherglen

When it comes to cosy winter restaurants, a fireplace is top of the list. Layer on fine wines and a French-inspired menu created by a chef who mastered her craft working alongside Michelin-starred chefs in London and Sydney and you’ve got yourself a must-visit winter dining destination. Head north this chill season to Jones Winery in Rutherglen for some seriously cracking dishes served in the cosiest of settings. Don’t miss this season’s slow-cooked leg of lamb with red cabbage, grapes and dark chocolate or the salted-baked beetroot with persimmon, goat’s cheese and dill.

Cosmopolitan Hotel, Trentham

There’s something incredibly romantic about a country escape in winter. And, if you’re looking for charm, local produce and the perfect winter ambience, Trentham’s Cosmopolitan Hotel has it in spades. Pull up a spot in front of the roaring fire and settle in for a relaxed afternoon indulging in deliciously hearty pub fare that highlights the best of the region’s produce. Think Trentham potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms, caramelised onion, kale and Grana padano, Western Plains pork rib eye with spiced apple relish, or half roast Bannockburn free-range chicken with bourbon jus, South American beans and charred corn.

Harding’s Lounge, Torquay

Heading down to the Great Ocean Road this winter? Settle into comfy couches next to the crackling fire at Harding’s Lounge at RACV Torquay Resort. Sip on a glass of Brown Magpie pinot noir or crisp riesling from nearby Austins Wines, while taking in views over the golf course, washed down a semolina-fried soft-shelled crab with chilli herb salad and quince aoili, a Kennedy’s Creek beef burger or, if you fancy something on the sweet side, a slice of warm banana bread.

Wine barrels in restaurant

Brown Brothers

Moo’s at Meeniyan

There’s a lot to be said for a laidback local cafe by day, cosy winter escape by night. Moo’s at Meeniyan in South Gippsland (30 minutes from RACV Inverloch Resort) is just that. Have your eggs benny for breakfast or sit by the fire on a Friday or Saturday evening and choose from a weekly-changing menu that champions local produce.

Moon & Mountain, Ballarat

Missing your annual escape to Thailand or Vietnam? Spice up your winter foodie wanderings by heading down the highway to Ballarat’s trendy Moon & Mountain. The modern Asian eatery is dishing up street-style eats inspired by the hawker-style bars of South-East Asia, but with a contemporary Aussie twist. We’re talking crispy sriracha chicken wings with honey, sesame and miso mayo, katsu lamb cutlets with pickled cabbage, and beef brisket bao with sticky caramel, cucumber and puffed rice. And at $45 per person, it’s hard to go past the Eat Up lunch banquet. Make a weekend of it by staying the night at RACV Goldfields Resort.

Brown Brothers winery, King Valley

What do you get when you combine prosecco, cellar doors and brunch? The ultimate winter-morning treat, of course. Head to Brown Brothers winery in Victoria’s high country for a belly-warming feast of freshly baked pastries, local Milawa cheeses, terrines and other housemade delicacies, all served with the finest Brown Brothers bubbles in the comfort of your own private prosecco lounge.

Yarra Valley Grand Hotel, Yarra Glen

It might be cold outside, but you can warm your belly at the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel. Old-world charm meets modern amenity at this historic National Trust classified hotel, which has been standing proudly on Yarra Glen’s bustling main street since 1888. Inside, the building’s period details, including Florence Broadhurst wallpapers, are accentuated by oversized lampshades and retro furnishings, while comfy lounges and original open fireplaces set a cosy scene. Kick back with a glass of local wine while tucking into pub classics (hello, beef burgers and chicken parmas) or more contemporary gastro-pub offerings, such as the lip-smackingly delicious spaghetti with confit garlic, chilli parsley, olive oil and toasted breadcrumbs, and finish off with the sticky date pudding.