What a sensational day we had in Ballarat yesterday!! I was thrilled to be invited to attend the "Ballarat in Bloom" luncheon and take my wonderful readers on a journey to some of Ballarat's key venues, beautiful food and brilliant attractions.
The day saw us hear from key speakers and visit some amazing places. The day commenced at Jackson and Co. for a delicious fruit cocktail punch and some light refreshments. This Hotel sits on the site of the first major intersection in Ballarat, Lydiard and Mair Streets. It has recently experienced a sympathetic restoration including the original verandah.
Life is all about having balance. I enjoyed both the scones with fresh cream and jam, along with a plate full of fresh fruit. Everything is made fresh, daily.
Funny, funny historian Barry Ryan runs us through the history of Jackson and Co. in the rooftop terrace.
Did you know there were 466 pubs in the Ballarat region during the 1800's and now only 46 exist. Amazing how times and lifestyles have changed!
I love fruit especially with a rooftop view. Overlooking our beautiful city
Our day then saw us walk to Doveton Street towards The Forge Pizzeria and past some amazing vintage cars.
To arrive at a beautifully styled table filled with lunch specials including their most popular pumpkin vegetarian and Shearer's lamb pizza's. The Forge Pizzeria is a great casual dining restaurant and I highly recommend to any visitors (if you can get a seat). This place caters for everyone and has an awesome industrial feel to it.
I then struck gold when some special guests arrived....
What an awesome tourist attraction Sovereign Hill is. Our kids absolutely love that place and personally, I love it too. I remember visiting when I was younger so it's great to share this same experience with our kids today. My tip is to take advantage of the multi-day pass as there is not enough time to see and do everything in one day. If you are a local, I recommend a yearly pass allowing you to come and go as you please 365 days of the year. Sovereign Hill hosts so many events throughout the year you will get value for money.
We then arrived at The Golden City Hotel, named after our glorious city which earned it's nickname in the 1850's during the gold rush. We had some more super tasting canapés and refreshments. Check out these little miniature hamburgers over looking Sturt Street.
What a view right? We have such a picturesque regional city and we are super lucky to have these historic buildings surround us. Ballarat is steeped in history and is within reach of Melbourne. Only a little over an hour from the CBD it is well worth the trip to see what I am talking about.
Hang on!!! Who's this???
Pickles the wombat from the Wildlife Park popped in. He couldn't miss out on this luncheon. He's even changed his eating habits and eating more healthier "green" meals too.
Such a beautiful variety of canapés. Hats off to the chef at The Golden City Hotel!
It was then time to head around Lake Wendouree and visit the Botanical Gardens, at which point I had to bid farewell to my amazing group. I waved everyone goodbye as they rode off on a vintage bus.
This following picture is courtesy of The Couriers IG page. A Knight in shining armour pictured with some beautiful flowers from The Botanical Gardens
This amazing knight can be found at another awesome theme park in Ballarat, Kryal Castle. Another one our favourite family things to do. See more on our experience at Kryal Castle here.
Happy Saturday everyone!