The sleepy village of St Albans, tucked away in the beautiful Macdonald Valley, is somewhere between the Hawkesbury River and the Lower Hunter Valley. Surrounded by Yengo National Park, on weekends the village explodes with day-trippers and most descends on the Settlers Arms Inn. Built from convict-hewn sandstones, the Settlers Arms was established in 1836 and became a stopover for Cobb and Co. stagecoaches travelling between Sydney and Newcastle. It’s simple Georgian design and friendly staff makes the Settlers Arms a huge success, not to mention their superior pub food. The village is also close to the convict built Old Great North Road, which originally spanned 264 kilometres, and is open to hikers and cyclists – in case you’re up for an adventure. What the Devonshire Tea lacks in presentation, it makes up for in bucket loads of quality and taste. Creamy and fluffy scones, slightly better than average jam and rich thickly whipped cream – superb! Make a note that scones are not served between 11am and 3pm as the kitchen is too inundated with lunch orders, especially on weekends. A black mark also for the $6.00 pot of tea. I think it’s a bit steep considering it’s just a teabag and hot water. Loose-leaf tea, I can understand, but for a tea bag?
Tea: Choice of a cup or pot of tea. Not much variety, just standard tea bags.
Overall: Simple and friendly slapped in history.
Location: 1 Wharf St, St Albans NSW 2775 Ph: 02 4568 2111 www.settlersarms.com.au
Reviewed in October, 2013