Found in the heart of the New South Wales’ Southern Highlands, the beautiful Briars Historic Inn is a contemporary yet country-style restaurant that offers delectable dishes and boutique brews in a remarkably restored building.
As its name suggests, the inn has been a constant in the area for years. Although it’s been a while since the building was brand new – 1845 to be exact. It served the local community as an inn for many years before being converted into a private property for almost a century and more recently, as a school.
By 1940 the Georgian-style building was dilapidated and in desperate need of repair. The first step was to remove the verandahs that had been added in the late 1800s and return the magnificent façade to its original glory.
The late 1970s brought another development, with a resurgence in historic inns that dotted the countryside. With help from the Historic Inns Act, the original licence was renewed and Briars reopened as an inn once more.
Today Briars Historic Inn is renowned for its true country atmosphere, providing locals and tourists alike with the perfect spot to relax while enjoying a high quality meal. Here, you’ll find modern cuisine inspired by the idea of pub fare, as well as a curated list of boutique beers and wines.
Start with a charcuterie plate, filled with cured meats, potted duck, country pork terrine and pickles. Gourmet arancini are another popular option – try the blue cheese version, served with black pudding, pear and salted candy walnuts.
Move onto mains where meats reign supreme. If you’re more of a cook than a diner, the Briars Chargrill allows you to cook your own steak. However, with a number of spectacular cuts on offer, including the dry-aged rib eye on the bone, you may want to let the experts do it for you. Come those cold Highland nights, tuck into a delicious slow-cooked dish, like the eight-hour braised lamb shoulder with lentils, cauliflower and salsa verde.
Proud of its region, Briars stocks a range of local wines, and with plenty of options sold by the glass you’ll be spoiled for choice. Along with standard beer offerings, try a pot of an English ale made from recipes that are even older than the inn itself.
During the summer there’s no better place to be than on the terrace or deck, enjoying a crispy glass of pinot gris alongside a selection of local cheese. As the days become shorter, cold nights are the perfect excuse to embrace the warmth of the inn and settle in with a glass of shiraz next to one of the many open fires.
Larger groups can easily be accommodated at Briars with private dining rooms available for up to 30 guests, while 200 guests can easily be accommodated in the Garden Conservatory. If you can’t bear to brave the cold night air after a big night with friends, you can always stay a night or two at the Lodge. The suites offer picturesque views across the lake and countryside.
Contemporary cuisine and a historical setting are the perfect match at Briars Historic Inn. It’s an idyllic spot for a quick meal, or a weekend away exploring the Southern Highlands.