In the centre of Mudgee, you’ll have ample options for a cosy pub meal. But one haunt you shouldn’t overlook is the Oriental Hotel. After all, the last time I dined here I claimed it was the “best schnitty I’ve ever had”.

As a beloved local establishment, The Oriental (also known as ‘The Ori’ to locals) transcends a pub and hotel; it's a home away from home for many visiting the region. Imbued with historic charm and exuding a boutique atmosphere, The Oriental Hotel is a one-stop shop for friendly hospitality. Dine at the restaurant, work your way through an exhaustive list of gins at the gin bar, sip on local wines to your heart’s content, and at the end of the evening, rest your head upstairs in the hotel.

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Owned and run by Des and Carol since 2003, their passion for Mudgee and the hotel industry shines through in every aspect of The Oriental. You can find a great pub and wine menu anywhere, but the Ori’s warming atmosphere and loving details are much harder to find.

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The Ori Kitchen

If you’re after a laid-back hearty pub meal, you can’t go wrong at the Ori Kitchen.

Renowned for its mouthwatering dishes, The Ori Kitchen lists a mighty collection of meals to savour with friends and family. From juicy Aussie grass-fed steaks and classic burgers to no-fuss pizzas and homemade desserts, there's something for every palate.

Start with a classic cob loaf before indulging in a crispy pork belly or a rich and creamy vegetarian ravioli. There are even a couple of authentic Bangladesh curries, including lamb rogan josh and butter chicken, and $15 express lunches to line your belly in between wine tastings. For a real showstopper, order the favourite: slow-cooked lamb, infused with lemon, garlic, and rosemary, served on roasted herb potatoes and steamed broccolini.

This popular restaurant draws in locals and travellers every night of the week, with tables packed up quickly. The good news is, the Ori has bountiful space, with various seating options spread across its venue. Each space brings its own character and charm, though my favourite has to be the balcony on a warm summer’s night.

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The Ori Bar

All top-notch food menus need a wine list to match, and the Ori has gone above and beyond in this department.

The Ori Hotel is proud to showcase and celebrate local Mudgee producers and winemakers, with its extensive list of wines highlighting the unique flavours of the Mudgee region. Glance over the Ori Bar’s curated drinks menu and you may recognise Logan Wines, a winery inspired by the character of rich fruity Australian wines and the balance and structure of old-world wines, the family-run Robert Stein Wines and Lowe Family Wine Co, known for their biodynamic and organic approach, among many others including Oatley Wines, Black Wines, Gilbert’s Wines, Burnbrae wines, 791 Estate and Hop & Clover. As you can see, there’s more than one perfect pairing here. Carly from the Oriental says, “We work with and showcase a lot of local wines and wineries. They all support us and we support them.”

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Wine lover or not, the Ori Bar’s drinks menu doesn’t stop there. Grab a beer or if gin is your thing, head upstairs to the Gin Bar. Here, you’ll discover a selection of 13 varieties of gin, each with its distinctive botanical profile. Be sure to try Baker Williams Distillery, a local Mudgee-based distillery that specialises in small-batch spirits and liqueurs.

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The Ori Cottage and Hotel

Located just next door to the hotel and only one block from the main street of town, The Ori Cottage is the ideal base for exploring all that Mudgee has to offer. Fitted with three bedrooms, this quaint cottage is often occupied by families or groups of friends. Enjoy comforting modern amenities and thoughtful touches, including a daily breakfast basket.

In the main building are seven rooms, all with verandah access, cycle air-conditioning and for those winter nights, electric blankets. Guests can make use of a shared kitchen area, where complimentary tea, coffee, cereal and condiments are available; perfect for a quick breakfast before exploring the region.

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Make the most of your stay

While staying at The Oriental, be sure to explore the region’s range of experiences, from culture, history and art to wineries, breweries and walks. The Ori team’s favourite things to do include hiking to The Drip during the summer, sampling fresh produce at the Farmers’ Markets and joining a guided wine tour to discover the region's award-winning vineyards and wineries. Start your Mudgee adventure at The Oriental Hotel.

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