Even when we are away on holiday, the combination of a great pub, great food, great beer and a quiz is unmissable! We had seen a nice looking pub, the Duke – actually The Duke of Wellington Hotel, on one of our tours, so one evening we toddled up the road from our hotel to have dinner. Unfortunately we hadn’t quite grasped at this point that Hobartians are early birds compared to us… we might go out for a meal at nine, or even ten, out to the pub at ten or ten-thirty, so when we walked into the restaurant part of the Duke just before nine, it was coming to the end of service, but the lovely waitress assured us we could just be squeezed in.
We had two enormous and delicious pizzas – two between us, not two each, obviously! We had a Jumbuck which has a topping of the most delicious slow braised lamb, roasted mushrooms, caramelised onion, feta cheese and kalamata olives, and a Woodcutters which has a topping of salami, chorizo, bacon, pancetta, spanish onion & crumbled mature cheddar on a barbecue base – they were so good! Combinations of ingredients we had never seen on a pizza before.
We got into conversation with the friendly people as we had a few drinks afterwards and found that not only is there regular live music, but there is also a weekly quiz! We felt a little out of practice having missed our weekly quiz at the Dolphin in our little village, so we resolved to come back to the Duke for another lovely meal and join in the quiz.
…which we did! We sat down for dinner, along with many others, potential quizzers we decided; I had salt and togarashi squid, followed by six-hour smoked ribs (the most yummy thing you can imagine!), my husband had Tasmanian Scotch fillet and I think he had that with red wine jus… followed by the self saucing pudding – which is a raspberry pudding with Chantilly cream , honeycomb, vanilla bean ice cream, dusted with beetroot and finished with vanilla floss – sounds extraordinary to our unadventurous minds but he assured me it was delicious and there wasn’t a splodgle or a splash or a smear of anything left on his plate!
Armed with our pens we left the dining area and were shown by a friendly lady to some seats, right near the bar – she obviously saw what sort of people we were! The quiz master was a great character, very comical, very quick and really welcoming to us. I think most of the other teams were locals and regulars because there was a lot of banter and jokes flying. There were three rounds, and although we didn’t win (hardly likely as there were only two of us and some of the teams were much bigger, also there were quite a few questions as you would expect which were about Tasmanian or Australian subjects which we didn’t know) we didn’t come last. However the main thing was we had a really wonderful time and felt most welcome.
One thing which surprised and amused us… as soon as the quiz finished all the contestants deserted the pub. So there was only us, the quiz-master and the staff there! In the Dolphin people keep sitting around chatting and having another odd pint until time is called and we almost have to be kicked out! However, we stayed for a while, had a nice chat, another drink, and then walked down the hill to our hotel. What a very splendid evening!
If you are in Hobart – even if you don’t go to the quiz, go to the Duke for its excellent beer, wine and food – and live music if you’re lucky!