At the start of our Day 2 Tasmania trip, we checked out early from Hadleys Hotel and then went to grab breakfast at one of the most popular cafes in Hobart, before hitting the road for a 1.5 hour drive to Port Arthur.
Early in the morning, this place was already busy with customers having breakfast (and doing their laundry)! We had to sit outside for a bit to wait for a table inside, but the staff were very helpful and gave us menus to peruse in the meantime. There are also tables outside, but this was Hobart in May and it is freezing already.
We only have to wait like 5-10 minutes before being seated inside.
This is a relatively small cafe, with one half fitting the kitchen and the other half fitted with laundry machines. Yes – there’s a bit of novelty to eating breakfast while watching a row of tumbling washers behind you.
On the wall, they have some cool posters (which are also on their business cards). On the far left (the green/white shirt), it’s labelled herbal tea. The next one (black panties) is labelled short black. And the middle (white bra) is called flat white. Hehehe…
I ordered the Old New Egg dish, which is basically scrambled eggs with feta on garlic sourdough with beetroot relish and wild rocket! I’m not too sure what that green liquid-y circle is, but it tasted ok too.
And, well, you can’t really go wrong with FETA – yum!
To be honest, I’ve kind of forgotten what D2D ordered, but it looks like haloumi (a lot of it) on top of avocado smash and spinach and sourdough! Maybe there’s some salmon in there…
MLC is a pretty popular place, so we were lucky to duck in early to grab our breakfast. By the time we left, the tables outside were all filled up!
Something else I also noticed after Day 1 of Hobart is that most places seem to accept credit card! This was a nice surprise as we were a bit worried about running out of cash and struggling to find an ATM for our particular bank. This also made it easier for us to track out expenses and later work out how much our entire trip cost.
Ok, so after breakfast, we headed off to Port Arthur as the main feature of Day 2!
Day 2 itinerary:
Breakfast at Machine Laundry Cafe and check out a few of the shops in Salamanca which opened early
1.5 hour drive to Port Arthur, which is the best preserved convict settlement in Australia. To visit, the Bronze Pass is $35 pp and includes an intro walking tour and cruise ride.
2.5 hour drive to Redcliffe House, Swansea where we stayed for our Day 2 accommodation. The Redcliffe House is a historic BNB with farm/vineyard.
Dinner at the Bark Mill Tavern, which was surprisingly good because of the hearty portions, fireplace and people.
Here is the first of our posts about our adventure in Tasmania! The down “Down Under” as it is sometimes referred to.
On Day 1, we arrived in Hobart, Tasmania where we drove straight to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for an afternoon visit. After that, we checked into Hadleys Hotel, which is the OLDEST hotel in the whole of Tasmania! (Much to D2D’s dismay…)
By then, we hadn’t eaten anything since we’d left Sydney (at like 10am), but we were a bit starved, so we headed to the Salamanca area. This area is a bit akin to the Rocks in Sydney in that there are beautiful historic houses, cobblestone paths and alleyways which harken back to the colonial days.
Prior to our trip, we’d looked up and kind of planned where we wanted to eat. Out of Hobart CBD, I had trimmed it down to a few places and we ended up choosing:
Open: daily from 8.30am for breakfast, lunch, dinner
We’d arrived a bit early at 5.30pm on a Sunday night, because we were hungry and also because there wasn’t much else to see at this time in Hobart (after sundown on a Sun night…).
Although the full dinner menu wasn’t quite available yet, by the time we finished looking at the menu and choosing a few things to share, it was well and truly dinner time.
When we went in, most of the tables appeared to be already pre-booked! This was surprisingly given it was a Sunday night… but luckily they have a big communal table in the center so we got to snag a corner. In the middle was a big bowl of fruits – yum.
Advice? Book ahead to get a private table – even on a Sun night!
The decor of Smolt is interesting, because the private tables make it a bit fancier, but then the communal table makes it quite casual. There’s definitely a European feel to the furniture.
But what is surprising is that we get FREE bread! Yay. Onto the food we actually ordered:
These are the croquettes – hot, crunchy and tasty. But perhaps rather expensive at $18! That’s like $4-5 each! But easy to forget when you’re gobbling it down…
Here is the bar counter. The service here was quite polite, though they did seem a bit distracted/understaffed at times. D2D was very thirsty and it was a bit of a struggle to wave down someone to get our water refilled.
This was the dish I was most impressed with at Smolt.
The photo kind of shortens the dish, but trust me, it was a pretty big portion size (very long plate) and there was just so many different elements! The pumpkin puree spread over everything was delicious. We polished it off, except for the nuts, which were a bit too plentiful…
We also didn’t finish the nuts, because we had ordered quite a bit:
Since we are here, some TASMANIAN octopus. It tastes like normal octopus, lol. This is served kind of like a ‘tapas’ style. But they gave us quite a bit of octopus, and with bread too! Yes, MORE bread we can’t possibly fit in, since we stuffed ourselves on the free stuff…
Lastly, and the biggest was pizza! This was a pretty good pizza, but we definitely struggled to finish.
All in all, Smolt is a good restaurant which surprised us with its hearty portions and popularity on a Sunday night. Some of the menu seems rather overpriced and in hindsight, I think the croquettes were not really special. The highlights would be the pizza and salad.
To work off our dinner, we wandered around the wharf to:
The Henry Jones Art Hotel is a former IXL jam factory reinvented into an art hotel. Surprisingly, the IXL Long Bar was quite empty of people when we wandered in after dinner. It seemed that most restaurants were still busy with diners, or perhaps it was Sunday night and nobody was up for a drink before the start of the working week.
Regardless we decided to try some drinks and THIS is when we met a super bartender!
D2D orders his usual Old Fashioned. Bartender asks us what kind of whiskey we want, listing off a whole catalogue of whiskeys to choose from and gesturing at the wall of bottles behind him. We’re a bit clueless (the cheapest whiskey please?) and the bartender runs off to find a detailed menu of whiskeys to look at. He disappears out the back for a bit. When he comes back, we go with his recommendation: Monkey Shoulder Whiskey. He then proceeds to spend the next 10 minutes making what appears to be a super complicated version of Old Fashioned while we watch and admire.
This guy is like a magician! Everything is done with a flourish and he is determined (as he is examining the box of “special ice cubes”) to accept only the best. He tosses a “bad” one into the sink. He then take two of these ice cubes and using a kitchen knife, proceeds to chisel the ice into two perfect spheres! Seriously, his concentration is as if he is creating an ice sculpture and I worry his knife will slip and take off the skin on his fingers.
I’m undoubtedly gawking during this whole time.
I order a non-alcoholic Apple & Pomegranate Sour ($10), which is created with the same sense of magic and dramatic flourishes.
Perhaps, it’s the fact that the bar was pretty empty, but this bartender was amazing in the time/dedication that he put into our drinks. Bravo! We really enjoyed the show (and drink)! 🙂
This concluded our Day 1 in Tasmania – Hobart.
Day 1 itinerary:
12:45pm: land in Hobart Tasmania and collect hire car.
2:00pm: visit and explore MONA at 655 Main Road, Berriedale ($20 pp), giving the infamous ferry ride a miss as there was no time
4pm: Check into Hadleys Hotel then walked around the Salamanca Square area and Battery Point (though the sun was fading fast)
5:30pm: dinner at Smolt followed by drinks at Henry Jones IXL Long Bar