Monday, December 19, 2011

Baxter Hotel - Baxter, Mornington Peninsula

There are a number of quaint little towns down the Mornington peninsula. No wonder the area is such a tourist magnet. Being near the water on both sides is a double draw particularly during the warmer months. The whole of the peninsula is stunningly beautiful, easily accessible and comparatively inexpensive.

One of the small towns you may not pass through on your journey down the peninsula is Baxter. It is situated only about fifteen minutes drive from Frankston but well off any highways and main roads. Not a lot to see here but they do have a hotel and there is a motel associated with it. The Baxter hotel has been around for some time. Recently it has been extended substantially. It comprises a bar, huge bistro area, pokies and function rooms. Over the weekend the Baxter can be hard to get a seat being very popular and the only hotel in the area. Book in advance.

On a recent visit with family and friends we both ate and had a few drinks. We took up two large tables in the new and expansive bistro area. For such a busy and popular hotel they only have a single queue for taking meal orders. It is not unusual to line up for over thirty minutes to order your meal. I have seen the queue nearly out the door of this large hotel. Doubling the size of the bistro should have instigated the addition of another till allowing two shorter queues to order food. But strangely this has not happen.

You would think that after spending so much time in the queue and subsequent waiting for the meal to arrive you would be treated to some excellent food. Unfortunately this is not the case. My meal of veal parijiana and chips was tasteless and chips were soggy and floury. Asking some of the others about their meal brought similar comments. My wife’s salmon was uncooked and inedible. She waited far too long for it to be served well after others had finished theirs.

Don’t expect any unusual or exciting beers on tap because there are none, just the usuals. The live entertainment for the night was a single male singer singing 60s, 70s, and 80s hits to recorded backing tracks while he played guitar. As the night progressed he got louder and louder to point where we were yelling at each other at the table to be heard. We were well back from the “entertainment”. The Baxter, a few years back, was the place to go for good food and had a country and friendly feel about it. Not anymore. Check it out for yourself but there are better pubs on the peninsula. I wouldn’t waist my leisure time here.

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