Wandering around the streets of this former bustling gold mining town, historic Hill End’s lack of in-your-face attractions is its greatest charm. Stop by the visitors centre for a look through the museum and watch the DVD collaboration of the Holterman photo collection at the former Great Western Store to get a feel of the town’s heyday back in the 1870s. Hunting down history is hungry work, so a stop at the Hill End General Store is inevitable. It’s open daily unlike other businesses in town and forms the heart of the village, sitting opposite the only surviving pub. Recently taken over by a new lessee, the store has been spruced up and many goodies added to the menu that has breathed a new lease of life into a once ordinary offering. A little local birdie tells me that scones are now a firm favourite on the menu, but its best to check just in case the owner is having a day off. This particular afternoon, only date scones are available, but I am told there are usually plain scones as well. There is no ‘Devonshire Tea’ set up, so you need to but scones and tea separately. I opt for just one, but am a little surprised when it arrives already cut in half, leaving me no pleasure in splitting my own scone. It hasn’t been warmed either, and is quite dry and salty and has an aftertaste (I know they are fresh today as there were no scones available the day before). Brilliantly thick cream and not bad jam are its saving grace. I’m a bit annoyed at the $4.00 for a cup of tea, nothing more than a teabag and hot water. A pot would be a nice touch.
Tea: A few random choices of teabags served in a cup – expensive at $4.00.
Overall: A friendly place to grab a bite to eat in the heart of Hill End.
Location: Lot 14, Beyers Ave Hill End NSW 2850 Ph: 02 6337 8111
Reviewed in September, 2013