You know that feeling when you walk past a place and think …’I really need to visit’ but never do? I first noticed Herd Bar and Grill a couple of years ago. My walk from the car park to the main strip took me past the distinctive panelled frontage and I found myself instinctively looking in the small windows to see what was hidden beneath street level. As a mother of two young children it’s not easy to find child-free time to drop into the funky bar but one day I took a day trip through the Yarra Valley with some well known foodies from Melbourne. Herd was a meeting point and became a slight obsession after that.
Take the LIVE TOUR of Herd with me.
THE STORY OF THE WALLS
Imagine the class and sophistication of a city bar right in the heart of Healesville. The moody interior is intriguing and you quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the main street behind you. Relax in an environment created by re-purposing many materials from the Yarra Ranges itself.
The forest adorning the back wall is a photograph from John and Sean’s (bar owners) backyard.
The wall of wood was acquired from the surrounding area.
The glass wall showcases local winery offerings.
The ‘party town’ history of Healesville is hard to miss with ‘Mr and Mrs 1920’s gangster’ wallpaper throughout the venue. You almost want to dress in flapper attire and drink gin with them as you take in the live entertainment (or is that just me?). Check out what’s on at Herd if you are interested in knowing more about their around the globe dining experience, open mic nights or even speed dating.
SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE
The menu leans towards sharing plates but there’s something for everyone, with larger dishes to suit those who prefer a plate to themselves. The fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines works amazingly well and leaves you wanting to try one of everything on the menu. But on this particular occasion we were happy with the eggplant chips, braised beef cheek with humus and pita topped off with a pork belly roll and glass of local wine.
ALWAYS ASK THE LOCALS
The staff are always willing to help explain the menu, suggest wine pairings or mixing up your favourite cocktail/mocktail. You can easily tap into local knowledge of the area by chatting to John and Sean who still call the Yarra Ranges home. It is common for patrons to leave Herd Bar and Grill with a smile on their face, taste buds dancing and recommendations of ‘must do’s’ in their hands.
JOHN’S TOP TRAIL:
If John is working you can pick his brain about his favourite tracks and trails. His top tip is to go and experience the Wirra Willa Rainforest Walk.