The Governor’s Cafe
Old Castlemaine Gaol, 36-48 Bowden St, Castlemaine
(03) 5472 3749
For a building with a dark past, The Governor’s Cafe at the Old Castlemaine Goal is filled with positive vibes, friendly service, great food and excellent coffee.
Although slightly off the main drive, the Old Castlemaine Goal has been a feature in the Goldfields city since it was first built in 1861. It operated as a prison for 129 years before finally closing its doors in 1990. It was another 22 years before Calum and Gayle McClure first took over the historic site, transforming the area below the old gantry into a one-of-a-kind music and theatre venue. Calum’s sister Abby suggested that the old governor’s cottage would be the perfect spot for a cafe, complete with stunning views across the whole of Castlemaine and beyond.
And she was right. Once you’ve had time to absorb the incredible scenery, take a seat at one of the rustic picnic tables. Lattes, flat whites and other espresso-based coffees are always a favourite, while on hot days a cold drip is the perfect option to leave you feeling both caffeinated and refreshed.
Whatever your order, you’ll see barista Gen Perrie preparing your order with ease. The Governor’s Cafe works closely with the Moto Bean Roasters from nearby Malmsbury, where Head Roaster, Lachy Evans, helps to select the month’s range of beans for the cafe.
While the single origin offerings may change, there are some things that won’t. The house Seasonal Blend brings together three unique, specialty beans: a washed single origin from Project 121, a microlot in Honduras, as well as two natural processed beans, one from Ethiopia and another from Brazil. The result is a coffee with tropical fruits up front, and a sweet caramel and sticky toffee finish.
While specialty coffee is a large drawcard for The Governor’s Cafe, it’s hard to not be tempted by the delicious offerings from the kitchen. The menu has been created with dietary requirements in mind, so there are tempting options no matter your needs.
Crumpets with maple ricotta, walnuts, macerated figs and lemon balm are a favourite, as is the raw bowl with toasted quinoa, chickpeas, red cabbage, kimchi, pumpkin and spinach with turmeric dressing. Visit later in the week for a range of mouth-watering dinner options including chargrilled Inglewood steak from further north in the Goldfields.
In addition to offering specialty coffee and delicious all-day fare, The Governor’s Cafe also hosts live music gigs in the outdoor courtyard, Mess Hall & The Cellblock, depending on the season.
You won’t need to be sentenced to enter The Governor’s Cafe; with quality coffee, fabulous fare, live music and more, this is one prison you’ll never want to leave.