Launceston, Tasmania's Northern Elegant City

Tasmania's northern city of Launceston has evolved into an elegant, gentrified, grown-up country town, that happens to be a city.  In the many years since my last visit (dare I guess over 15 years), it's charm has remained, yet it's food and wine culture has boomed in a most serious, yet unpretentious style.  The glorious Federation buildings, lush generous parklands, antiques, lavender, berry and apple farms and the iconic Cataract Gorge Reserve remain, while the city streets have become dotted with seriously great coffee spots and bakeries that have vie even the most boutique French counterparts.

The beautiful Cataract Gorge, minutes from the city,
for a morning run, picnic hike or romantic stroll
before dinner at Stillwater.

It is a city of delightful contrasts of historic and ultra mod! A waterfront development Brimming with cafes, restaurants, winebars and spas, Seaport is pristine and relaxing and just a walk from the city centre.  I dined at the Mud Bar, its clean mod decor fitting in with the floor to ceiling windows revealing the wooden deck onto the river.

Somewhere to eat.....

Mudbar and Restaurant is a modern, fresh and vibrant eatery and lounge found at the Old Launceston Seaport. Featuring an elegantly designed bar, exclusively furnished restaurant and waterfront views, Mud is an exceptional venue for any occasion. The menu features an array of fresh local produce, with some authentic Italian produce to give original flavours. Flexibility is the key, enabling diners to grab a quick bite, or settle in for several courses. There is also a bar snack menu that runs from midday till 9pm featuring light snacks to accompany a quiet drink.

Sneak preview in the morning of Stillwater
Stillwater Restaurant (grey buidling)

Then explore the city streets and surrounding areas and you'll find gems such as Stillwater Restaurant, Cafe and Wine Bar.  Situated in the historic Ritchie's Mill at the mouth of the Cataract Gorge on the banks of the Tamar River in Launceston, the restaurant glows with the authentic warmth only an 1830s timber building can offer. The casually elegant ambiance ensures guests feel welcome and comfortable whether enjoying the 6 course evening degustation menu or casual breakfast, a corporate lunch or a coffee with friends... or just a glass of wine after work.

Somewhere to sip......

Jansz Winery
Wineries abound around Launceston, Piper's Brook and the Tamar Valley, all making a wonderful day trip. Visit the Jansz Tasmania Wine Room & Interpretive Centre in Pipers Brook and find out what makes Tasmanian sparkling wine among the best the world has to offer. Just an hour's drive from Launceston, through rolling green countryside, brings you to Jansz Tasmania where you'll make your way through the vineyard, past a picturesque lake complete with gaggle of geese.

The vivacious Jansz winemaker, Natalie Fryer-
as bubbly as her fine wines!
 Discover some of Jansz Tasmania's secrets in the Interpretive Centre, where winemaker Natalie Fryar offers talks about the sparkling winemaking process, and enjoy tastings in the Wine Room, perhaps with a selection of Tasmanian cheeses. Look out for the award-winning NV Cuvée & the fruity, complex Premium Vintage Rose. (read more at: 

Josef Chromey winery.
Even closer to Launceston, take a drive for lunch at Josef Chromy vineyards. A restaurant and cafe with an exquisite menu to pair with the wines and views.  Make sure you have someone tell you the marvellous story behind the Josef Chromy!

Winemaking at Josef Chromy follows the principles of minimal handling and respecting the characters if the fruit. The individual characters of the vineyard are allowed to show through in the wine by using the most delicate processes possible.  For their food, the philosophy at Josef Chromy Wines is to showcase the very best and freshest in locally sourced regional produce. Menu’s change seasonally throughout the year providing diners with the experience of tasting some of Tasmania’s finest produce at their premium.  They offer everything from a truly unique Tasmanian al-la-carte menu during the day to private cocktail parties, sit down dinners, gourmet bbq’s in the landscaped gardens over looking the lake and harvest brunches during vintage.

It may be worth checking out their calendar of events, as there is no better place in Tasmania to enjoy and outdoor concert of some world renowned entertainers - think Blondie, Tom Jones, for example.

Keep posted for more details about Jansz and Josef Chromy in my Tassie Wine Uncovered Blog to come.

Somewhere to sleep.....

 Hotel Charles, where I had the delight of staying, and was also built and owned by Josef Chromey, is modern luxury Launceston accommodation providing guests with a unique and memorable Tasmanian experience. Hotel Charles is Launceston's newest luxury hotel and is on the fringe of the Launceston CBD. Offering modern rooms (some with panoramic views of the Tamar Valley), the Hotel is in a newly developed complex. The building's art deco exterior has been enhanced by a sympathetic design approach making it an iconic Tasmanian location.

For more information on visiting Launceston and Northern Tasmania go to:



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