Monday, February 06, 2012

Settlers Arm Inn, St Albans

About 20kms from Wisemans Ferry is the historic little pub, Settlers Arm Inn in the tiny township of St Albans. The drive is quite fun as you have to cross the Hawkesbury River by car-ferry, a bit of a novelty for these two city slickers. 

The Inn was built in 1836 and is built from convict hewn sandstone. Initially the inn was a stopover for Cobb and Co coaches travelling between Sydney and Newcastle. Amazing to think that what is now a 3 hour drive required an overnight back in 1836. 

The food served at the Settlers Arms is basic pub-fare. Nothing gourmet and nothing that you'd class as fine dining or Gastro-Pub food. It's simple Aussie pub food, and to be honest you're in St Albans more to soak up a bit of history, enjoy a country drive, have a beer and take in the surrounds.   The food hits the spot in an location that is as removed from 2012 (the year, and the postcode) as you can get.

The Boy and I both order to the T-Bone Steak ($27.00). They are ENORMOUS.

And...commence rant: I'd convinced myself that I was craving red meat and that eating a steak was OK as Mr Cow was probably grass-fed and thus lived a happy happy life in a paddock and met his maker whilst be stroked and sung lullaby's by caring abattoir workers.  This is basically a crock of shit I told myself to justify eating it as I had no idea about the provenance of the meat.  In short I didn't enjoy it - eating it made me feel really sad and my experiment with eating meat is over unless I buy it from a farmer's market or ethical butcher and know 100% that is free-range.  I want to support the free-range meat industry as I believe in what they do...just not horrible factory farming.  The boy really loved his steak though . End rant.

As with all good Aussie Pubs, this one is home to a fine pooch or two who will happily camp by your table hoping a chip or a stray piece of steak falls their way.

Settlers Arms Inn is at 1 Wharf Street, St Albans. Phone them on 4568 2111. You can reach the pub by taking either of the two Ferry's out of Wiseman's Ferry. Enjoy the drive!

Oh, and when you get back to Wiseman's Ferry you can duck back to the shopping arcade for more Kitty spotting. This is Rosie, daughter of Reg and Rita. She doesn't like people and this is her best "get the hell away from me" look.


  1. Aint nothing wrong with a little rant! Looks like a cool little pub in the bush and one where expectaions shouldn't be too high.

  2. Gotta love an Aussie pub! This place looks lovely :)

  3. Lovely looking country pub. Love the photos!

    When I was speaking to Tammy at the Eat Drink Blog conference about her new small holding, she told me that nearly all cows and sheep in Australia are outdoor reared and therefore free range. It are pigs and chickens that are often bred indoors. I've no idea if it is true or not, but sounds reasonable and she's a small holder so should know.

    I'm experimenting with a Food Connect veggie box as well over the next month (along with the free range meat I'm trying to buy).

    You impress me as I haven't taken my free range principles to restaurants yet.

    1. It is a lovely pub - such a pretty area. We really felt a million miles for Sydney.

      What Tammy said is mostly true about sheep + cattle, however the practice of "grain-fed" livestock usually sees the animal moved in to feedlots for 'fattening up'...these usually have a concrete floor and are sometimes in a shed. Me no likie this. And you're right, chicken and pork is a whole other kettle of fish...

      I've been doing some reading on practices overseas - and oh boy, what an ethical minefield - even dairy cows are spending their whole lives in doors in milking sheds never moving from their "spot". I'm glad I live in Australia where my choices are kinda easier.

      Let me know how the vegie box goes - that really interests me.

  4. Interesting! I'd love to experience a "car ferry" transit, always seen it on tv or in a movie, haha. The local cats and dogs are cute! I'd give them a chip or two..

  5. I love that menu. I do agree that I love knowing where the meat comes from. I trust one butcher but I don't eat a lot of meat. The husband does like meat on his plate along with whatever else I feel like making.

    You have access to so much more down there.

  6. I love historical places like this pub :) and I love reading about the history of a place ~

    The steak looks great and MASSIVE! I don't think I'd be able to finish it :D

  7. I love this place, we stumbled upon it a few years ago. Well Paul was well aware it was there as it was a regular on bike rides (motor not push). Was a lovely lunch stop

  8. Pub food can be totally amazing (as long as it's not the horrible stinky type pubs). Had loads of great gastro pub stuff in London and I think they can do it here too!

  9. Haha forget the food, those dogs are so adorable xD

  10. I'll have to come here just to go on the car ferry, I haven't been on one of those since I was a kid!

  11. Sorry to hear that the steak wasn't very enjoyable! Looks like a lovely place to go on a weekend though :)


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