The Tinamba Hotel has been standing since 1874. It was once a Dutch-run pub with red-brick walls, lino and burgundy carpet underfoot and knick-knacks everywhere – including a sizeable fish tank that lives on as an affectionate nod to the past.
Brad Neilson and Damien Gannon took over in 2009 and breathed new, elegant life into the ageing beauty. Gannon is a fifth-generation dairy farmer, whose family farm is the next block over. Neilson has an interior design side-hustle that he engaged in the hotel’s renovation. The pair own Neilsons Kitchen in Traralgon up until 2008.
These days, the interior has an elegant European feel, all bentwood chairs and grand paintings. There’s a light-filled outdoor area that’s perfect for drinks and canapes before dinner. The public bar draws a hefty crowd on Wednesdays (locals’ night) for the classic pot and parma feed. In the middle of the two, there’s a 120-seat restaurant plating up as much local produce as possible.
The pub employs a part-time gardener to keep the on-site market garden yielding fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. The tap water on tables comes from the natural spring that runs under the building. The wine list also nods to the region, and the pub also sells Maffra Cheese Company cheese to take home.
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