Harvest Halls Gap is shining a light on the best local produce the Grampians has to offer.

Story + Photos Nathan Dyer

Watching Richard Flecknoe make coffee in his Halls Gap cafe, you’d think he’d been a barista his whole life. But that’s not the case. “I was actually scared of the coffee machine when we first opened,” laughs the former finance and IT manager as he swirls milk into a flat white and places it on the wooden counter. 

Housed in an old weatherboard building beneath the towering sandstone ramparts of the Grampians, just back from the town’s main street, the cafe and provedore, 260 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, is a dream realised for Richard and wife Carly, who quit their corporate jobs and moved to Halls Gap four years ago. Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, Harvest and its attached provedore have an unyielding focus on the best local produce available. The minimalist cafe decor creates a simple, farmhouse feel, and large external windows, and front and back decks give customers a clear sense of the region’s natural beauty. Two adjoining villas provide accommodation in well-appointed, three-bedroom suites.

Carly says the menu aims to highlight fresh, seasonal produce at its peak. “We really focus on how to get the most flavour into our dishes,” she says. The spring breakfast menu includes a twist on traditional smashed avocado featuring Japanese white miso, tahini, chilli and crispy garlic. Lunch offerings include a spring vegetable salad with ribbons of zucchini, green soya beans, asparagus, fennel, butter lettuce and anchovy vinaigrette, and a ploughman’s lunch with local ham, vintage cheddar and house-made sweet mustard pickles.

Richard says menu ingredients are sourced as locally as possible.

This story excerpt is from Issue #124

Outback Magazine: April/May 2019