82b Vincent St, Daylesford
03 5348 2088
If you were to journey back to the Victorian gold rush era, you’d find people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy a great meal under one roof, The Belvedere Hotel. Fast-forward 150 years and although many things have changed, there’s one element that keeps bringing people together: the food. Today, the Belvedere Social is not just a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey that starts at the farm and ends on your table.
After meeting in Italy, Bess Mucke and Bernard Claude spent time living abroad before eventually deciding to move back to Bess’ hometown of Daylesford. It was here that the idea of Belvedere Social was born.
Bernard studied at the University of Gastronomic Sciences and Bess had worked for Slow Food, an organisation that encourages the preservation of local food cultures and traditions. Their combined knowledge, together with their passion to represent quality producers, was the perfect recipe for a restaurant and bar in the country town of Daylesford, known for its outstanding food, wine and produce.
Bernard and Bess are joined by Head Chef, Matthew Carnell, who gained invaluable experience working in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris before returning to Australia to find somewhere he could establish close relationships with local producers.
Belvedere Social is a place doing just that. Ingredients found on the menu are thoughtfully selected and locally sourced, providing customers with a dining experience like no other. Ethical meats come from Jonai Farms, The Farmers Larder and Sher Wagyu, while Real Eggs provide free-range eggs for the kitchen. Organic vegetables come from a range of producers and fruits are often provided in small batches by friends and family, while the team also grows a bunch of herbs themselves.
The small but balanced menu perfectly showcases these ingredients with produce-driven, French-inspired dishes such as the duck breast with oranges, spice, red lentils and beetroot; and the bouillabaisse infused with locally grown saffron. The roasted cauliflower with textures of chickpea and a red wine vinaigrette can be enjoyed by herbivores and carnivores alike. If you prefer to let the chef decide, there is a five-course ‘feed me’ option and an eight-course producer’s menu, designed to showcase the best produce of the season.
No meal is complete without matched beverages to complement, and the local ethos extends to the drinks list and the bar’s signature seasonal cocktails. Unique local ingredients are used for house-made syrups, complementing the ever-changing selection of craft spirits, wines and beers. For something non-alcoholic, the specialty hot chocolate and teas are sure to satisfy.
Adding to its charm, the restaurant is decorated with locally made bespoke furniture, complete with concrete and steel tables in the dining room and a solid wood communal table in the spacious bar that immediately catches your eye.
Belvedere Social attracts locals and tourists all year round, for an intimate meal or a larger function. Come to enjoy the experiences on offer: from watching the autumnal leaves dropping on the vine-covered courtyard to roasting chestnuts over an open fire, or enjoying a cool beer in the afternoon sun. This stunning property pairs a unique setting with beautiful food and warm, engaging service for a refined yet approachable experience.