The Oriental Hotel, Springwood

By the time Carl returned from his excursion with the in-laws, we had well and truly over-stayed our welcome at Lilianfels, plus it was time to return to Sydney in time to become organised for the working week.  We started heading back down the mountains (because I’m of Kiwi extraction I’m going to have to say they are not like mountains; they’re more like hills), and we wondered where we might stop for a late lunch.

Someone had told Carl that you can get a great lunch at the main pub in Springwood.  We drove down the main street and it wasn’t hard to find the main pub.  It is a grand old building filled with charm and original period features.  It’s named The Oriental Hotel which is quite confusing seeing there is nothing oriental about it.  One good thing about these country towns is that there’s always plenty of parking and we were able to pull up right across the road from the hotel.  As we walked through the little gate we could see the tables were nearly all full of families and small adult groups which is always a good sign.

The Oriental Hotel, Springwood

The Oriental Hotel, Springwood

Lunch is available from 10am until 5pm seven days a week so the fact we were arriving at 3pm was of no issue.  The menu has all the usual suspects like a club sandwich for $14.00 which seemed very good value after noticing that Lilianfels charges $28 for its club sandwich.

The outdoor courtyard

The outdoor courtyard

You order at the counter and the food is brought to your table.  There were tables available inside but we saw a table out in the courtyard that was in the sunshine and even though it wasn’t a hot day, it was still warm enough to enjoy lunch outside.

A pre-lunch drink out in the sunshine

A pre-lunch drink out in the sunshine

We started with a drink.  There are two bars and one has an extensive wine list and a few on-tap beers and the other bar has a lot of on-tap beers and a minimal wine list.  You can guess where I found the blokes!  I ended up ordering a drink from each bar.  Carl had a Reschs for around $4.00 and I had a glass of Jim Barry Riesling for $8.50.

Club sandwiches aside, I ordered the chilli chicken burger with cheese, tomato, sweet chilli mayo and chips for $14.50 and I paid $2.00 extra for a gluten-free bun.  For the price it was a great burger and gluten-free bread can be dire at the best of times but this bun was soft and not crumbly with a pleasant flavour.  The chips were okay.  I just would have liked them to have been a little more cooked and served with something to dip them in as on their own they were just a bit dry.  And the presentation of them was a bit ho-hum.

Gluten-free chicken burger

Gluten-free chicken burger

Carl had the beef burger for $14.50 and he had no complaints.

Carl's beef burger

Carl’s beef burger

You’re not going to find anything out of the ordinary on this menu but when traveling it’s a lovely place to stop and relax for a short while.  The hotel has plenty of character.  It used to provide accommodation on the second storey however the rooms are currently in a state of disrepair and so you can no longer stay overnight.  It’s such a shame really as these old pubs were always good at providing well-priced rooms with that great country-escape feel.

This shop sells ice creams and sweets and also hosts children's parties

This shop sells ice creams and sweets and also hosts children’s parties

Across the road from the pub we found, The Sweetest Thing, an ice creamery and lolly shoppe.  Well Carl just felt we needed to call in there and I knew he wouldn’t leave without ordering an ice cream so he had a double scoop of Rosha which is Ferrero Rocher chocolate made into ice cream.

Carl's little snack

Carl’s little snack for around $4.00

He sat up at the counter to enjoy it and had no complaints about this either.  Meanwhile, I was looking at all the lollies I remember from my childhood yet hadn’t seen for quite a while.  I ordered some aniseed balls and some double salted licorice to help me survive the journey back to Sydney.

So much choice!

So much choice!

I’ve always thought rushing back home after a weekend away is not the right thing to do; it’s far better to return home gradually and I’m very glad we stopped in Springwood for a relaxing and peaceful lunch where the main street was filled with olde world charm, and there wasn’t a fast food outlet in sight – long may it last.


The counter where Carl enjoyed his ice cream

The counter where Carl enjoyed his ice cream

The Oriental Hotel, Springwood.  112 Macquarie Road, Springwood.  Ph:  4751 7788

The Sweetest Thing, Springwood.  1B Raymond Road, Springwood.  Ph:  0401 227 193

Gorgeous scales to weigh out the sweets

Gorgeous weighing scales


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  1. All these posts about the Blue Mountains (hills) is making me want to take a trip up there. And you are right about the rooms in the pub. I hope they do them up.


  2. Would be fun to learn why the place is called The Oriental Hotel if there is nothing oriental about it. I am having breakfast while reading your post and would not mind having a Ferrero Rocher chocolate ice cream with my breakfast. Yes, I am a chocoholic.

  3. Well even if the restaurant was nothing extra exciting, it sounds dependable which I think is sometimes just as good when traveling!

  4. Towns like these are rare to come by nowadays. I hope it survives. There is nothing more pleasant than little towns free of big commercialism. Looks like you and Carl had a nice break in the journey and seeing Carl’s ice cream, it was so worth it!

    Nazneen xx

  5. What a great day to spend the day in a cozy little town with a sweet little icecream shop. Love those stools and all that retro candy in the jars. I bet it felt a little like time a step back into time.

  6. Sounds like you had a great mini-vacation! I agree that rushing back home is a mistake – you have to ease back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. 😉 And I’d have stopped for ice cream, too! Fun post – thanks.

  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful little adventure between Lilianfels and lunch at the Oriental.

  8. Oh, my gosh, I love those counter stools. The color. The shape. Worth the stop just to see those.

  9. What a lovely place to stop for a bite, and you’re quite right about stretching out the drive home. Sometimes we just rush too much and it doesn’t really matter because what ever needs doing (usually laundry, in my case) will wait! We stayed at several of these country pubs when we did a tour of English several years back, and they were just wonderful. Not to mention pub food was about the only edible food around (it was a long time ago). It’s nice to have lunch al fresco even on the fringe seasons, in Switzerland they eat outside all the time, even in the winter; they provide a nice warm blanket on every chair to keep your legs warm.

  10. Sounds like a great weekend get away.
    I love places like this, calm and cozy, just the perfect place to relax!

  11. On my limited budget, it’s a bit much to ask for a regular beef burger with lackluster fries … for that price, I’d get the half pound buffalo burger for $14.99 or the ostrich for a bit more ($16.99) at the local non-chain burger place down the street. Which reminds me … I’ve never tried ostrich. I’d join Carl in the beer as I’m not much of a wine drinker. 🙂

    Love the stools in the ice cream shop.

  12. Sounds like such a lovely week-end getaway–and a nice way to end it. I am still reeling, though, that Lilianfels charges $28 for a club sandwich. Is it just me, do I not understand prices in Australia, or is it a bit over-the-top, even for a nice place? I think I have been Mexico too long…;)

  13. A perfect mini vacation, this looks so delicious 😀
    It looks so cozy and perfect 🙂
    And that ice cream picture has me drooling!


  14. Drinks, burgers, and ice cream …. I’m in!!!

  15. So nice that you could get a decent GF burger Charlie. We went to a really trendy burger place last week that has super hipster style meals, but they still made me eat my meal without a bun or alternative 🙁

  16. What an adorable little lolly shop. I love all the individual jars. I hope the fast food ‘joints’ stay away too!

  17. What a gorgeous hotel…I’d be tempted to stop, too 🙂

  18. That little ice creamery is so cute I could pinch its pink cheeks! Such a fun getaway, thanks for sharing!

  19. Agree, rushing back is not the best way to amble back home! And good that you found some decent food too. I love going through those old fashioned lolly shops 🙂

  20. The best thing about travel around (country towns in) Australia is old fashioned lolly shops. And yeah yeah chips and sandwiches… 😉

  21. Sounds like that made up for the long wait for Carl – love country towns and what a cute shop – who could resist an ice cream called Rosha.

  22. I can’t wait to go back to the Blue Mountains again. It’s such a peaceful place.

    I love that ice cream

  23. Sounds like a good stopover and just what you needed. The lollies in their jars look so pretty.

  24. I’m more taken by The Sweetest Thing than the hotel but that is probably predicable 😉 I do like the idea of two bars though – what a funny system and I’m sure the gender balance is quite marked!

  25. Oh I do love a stay at an old-fashioned country pub. Had a marvellous stay at Broken Hill years ago at a classic. Lovely. It’s my turn to go to the Blue Mountains, driving up there tomorrow just for one night to do a talk, staying at The Carrington in Katoomba which I am HUGELY looking forward to. Will report back.

  26. What a lovely pit stop en route home.
    Have a fabulous weekend Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  27. Glad you found a decent place to have lunch on your way back to Sydney and OMG I would LOVE to go to The Sweetest Thing!! It would be my heaven!! 🙂 Would love the chance to go!!! xox

  28. Its ever so much better to come back to the real world gradually after a trip….. looks so sunny and lovely. x

  29. I thought I was the only one left who enjoyed salted licorice!! Seems I now have a partner in crime 😉

  30. I just love the quaint little Lolly Shop and Ice Creamery…those stools are the best! Your chips did look like they left a bit to be desired, I must say. Looked like they just threw them on the plate on their way out of the kitchen! Your chicken burger looked quite lovely, though…I have to agree about taking your time on getting home…it makes it much nicer and sort of romantic, no? xo

  31. A gradual return sounds good to me, too, Charlie. What a great place to stop — I loved that there were no fast food restaurants, and those cone-shaped bar stools in the ice cream shop were adorable! Didn’t know you could order a gluten free bun, but sorry to hear you had to pay extra for it. With all the gluten intolerant folks coming to the fore, maybe that will change.

  32. Andrea Butler says:

    I love the Blue Mountains, so much to see and do and explore! Often we stop for a meal and a vino at the Gardners Inn at Blackheath, reasonable prices and I guess it’s the atmosphere I love. Has a great wood fire and Chesterfield Couchs that used to be in the pool room, but are now out in the dining room. I often have the urge to push innocent bystanders off the Couchs to that I can indulge my urge to sit and relax and soak up the fire. My most favourite thing is to try country pubs, and there is always some thing to enjoy..the pub at Trundle in Central NSW if fun, as is the Peeramon Pub on the Atherton Tablelands Far North Queensland!!! Anyway, love reading your blog, was introduced to it by another food blog Absolutelyjas!

  33. —Ooooohh, I enjoyed this post, the photos, the burgers, the sweeeeets. Xx

  34. ooh cute scales! and i love a nice cheap feed at local pubs and hotels every now and then!

  35. I love those lolly shops where you can find all those kinds of lollies. What a delicious stop you had!

  36. What a nice way to re-enter after such a lovely time away. I couldn’t help but salivate over that ice cream! Ferrero Rocher chocolate made into ice cream! To die for! 🙂 Lovely!

  37. Your vacation place looks so serene…but why oriental? I mean, why is the restaurant called Oriental…..the burger looks great though.

  38. It’s sad that no-one ever puts enough love into making the chips (or fries). It’s the same in this steak place I like here. Of course, the steak is the “main thing”, but that doesn’t mean to say the sides should just be bashed out carelessly. They’re still part of the dish, right?!

  39. It looks like the terrace was beautiful at the Oriental and I’m in love with those pretty pink scales…and that ice cream, wow!

  40. Ah yes Jim Barry…very familiar with good old Jim. Which reminds me I’ve got to send you an email with some question about you and Australian wine.

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