The Danish term ‘hygge´ (pronounced “hue-guh”) has been often linked with Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

It is typically spoken about in the cooler months, but in essence, hygge is more than just getting cosy and rugging up. It is more than snuggly blissfulness. It is a feeling of comfortable conviviality, contentment and wellbeing.

Now, picture this: the spring sun rises over a hilly countryside, its amber rays flare through the trees, warming the day. You’re embracing spring’s re-emergence having explored a waterfall and hiked a trail. And now you feel the calling. The call of an inviting country public house. A place at the heart of conviviality and social connection.

Sitting in a historic country pub, sharing great food and a local drink with friends is my ultimate contentment. My hygge.

Here are ten classics.

The Farmers Arms, Daylesford. A quaint corner pub dating back to 1857. Its warm and welcoming vibe can be enjoyed as soon as you step foot inside. There’s history on the walls and a very delectable menu.

Best for: delicious pub grub. Try the roast pork belly with house-made apple and cranberry relish.

Radio Springs Hotel, Lyonville. Affectionately referred to as “the centre of the universe”, this popular country pub has developed a cult following, both near and far. Having recently reopened its kitchen, the Radio Springs offers classic lunch fare with a set menu in the evenings. Live music on weekends and a meandering country garden out back.

Best for: Where do I start? The unique, quirky furnishings. The substantial whisky menu. The books! Go check it out. Amazing pub.

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The Farmers Arms, Daylesford

The Daylesford Hotel. Standing tall, overlooking the town with its wrap-around verandahs and stained-glass windows is this traditional Australian pub. Grab a local wine by the fire or chill on the balcony and watch a sunset.

Best for: old school fun service and classic pub fare, swish cocktails and local tap beers.

The Cosmopolitan, Trentham. Another pub offspring from the 1860s (established 1866), “The Cosmo” is heart and soul of Trentham. Reopened in 2012 after a devastating fire, The Cosmo will channel your inner Michael J Fox and step you back in time. Delicious local produce and craft beers await.

Best for: Afternoon bevvies under the century-old elm in the expansive beer garden.

The Kyneton Hotel. A town well-recognised for its foodie credentials, Kyneton’s beloved corner pub has new owners and a new chef. An extensive wine list and five rotating craft beer taps complement the quality pub fare. The pet-friendly beer garden is paw-fect for a spring afternoon’s conviviality.

Best for: A chance to sleep in the same room a young Ned Kelly once did. Accommodation expected to open from November.

The Victoria Hotel, Woodend. Another classic public house built in the 1860s. What a decade for pubs! And gold! This pub is steeped in history, which you can actually read on the walls. From bushrangers to ghosts and mob warfare, if these walls could talk… well they kind of do.

Best for: A haven for dogs. Bring your pooch to the courtyard to meet other hounds. Try some tapas in the Rock and Wombat side bar.

Pig & Whistle Hotel, East Trentham

Pig and Whistle, Trentham East. The term “hidden gem” gets thrown around plenty, but the Pig and Whistle is the true definition. This classic, ivy-wrapped country pub stands in the pastures of a rural Trentham East and creeps up like an oasis in the desert. Established in 1887, the pub has undergone recent renovations and new ownership which delivers tasty pub fare and warm, friendly service.

Best for: Delicious free-range chicken parmas and their fancy new beer garden.

Red Hill Hotel, Chewton. Quite possibly the senior statesman of the group, this charming pub was established in 1854 and has been running continuously to this day. The vibes here are cool; an old-school pub that’s well-dressed and showcases local artists with gigs both in the front bar and out in the beer garden.

Best for: Possibly the biggest, most awesome outdoor fireplace in the region.

Swiss Mountain Hotel, Blampied. Another historic country pub, this weatherboarded beauty dates back to 1865, but has had a good facelift. Polished concrete floors, a huge, curved bar and a large contemporary dining area make for a spacious (and delicious) dining experience. The food is excellent and they even provide a courtesy bus into Daylesford.

Best for: The alpine ski chalet vibes.

Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend. A stalwart in regional brewing, Holgate has been producing some of the country’s best beers since 1999. That’s last century. The modern taproom provides education and merchandise and contrasts with the 1896 brick pub, where you’ll feel the warmth of a country pub serving great independent beer and grub.

Best for: Hand pumped ales. Try the Temptress Chocolate Porter or ESB (Extra Special Bitter).

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Holgate Brewhouse Taproom, Photo by David Hyde Photography 2020

Hero image: The Cosmopolitan Hotel Trentham. Photo by KGMG

About the author

CharlesDeuchrass photo
Charles Deuchrass
Group Manager, Marketing & Programs at | More Articles

Charles is an experienced marketer and a staunch advocate for Victoria, with a true affection for Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

When he’s not developing brand strategies and campaigns he likes to put pen to paper. He also loves a good local drop.