The heritage listed Magpie and Stump Hotel in the heart of Mintaro dates back to 1851, making it one of South Australia’s oldest pubs. Owners Amanda and Paul, the most recent custodians of this captivating country pub, have lovingly renovated and restored the soulful character building, providing guests with a unique Mintaro experience.
The ten minute drive from the main highway to Mintaro’s Magpie and Stump Hotel takes you past the most enchanting scenery. Rolling hills and valleys with glistening colours of green and gold are enchanting. As I pass by wineries, farms, and fields with sheep and cattle grazing, I’m drawn to the serene beauty of this idyllic part of the Clare Valley.
Mintaro is an elegant, character filled state heritage town with a real community feel. It’s no wonder Amanda and Paul were drawn to its charm, and when the opportunity arose to purchase the tired, old heritage pub five years’ ago, they jumped at it. As Amanda describes, one of her friends stated, ‘I think I’ve found your next project.’ Spurred by a strong vision and a love for restoring old buildings, they set to work. Amanda and Paul lived in a caravan out the back for the first two years while managing the hotel’s renovation.
The renovation of the Magpie and Stump was huge – floors and supports needed to be restructured, the kitchen moved for functionality, and a brand new roof installed. Paul tells me they managed to keep the old eyelash verandah, a traditional style of verandah used in 19th century homes. Paul adds, ‘We’ve done well in keeping the old girl and modernising her’.
Infusing the building with energy and passion, Amanda and Paul’s labour of love has certainly paid off. The Magpie and Stump feels grand yet also warm and homely – its historic integrity intact. Original stone and brickwork, elegant timber and unique Mintaro slate all add to its charm. Amanda has a keen and creative eye for detail, adding gorgeous and fitting furniture pieces to the Magpie and Stump, as well as artwork by South Australian artist Gail Kellett.
Embracing the Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb, Amanda and Paul’s chefs have enjoyed incorporating several new lamb dishes on the specials menu to showcase fresh, local Collinsville Farm Lamb. Deconstructed Mintaro lamb yiros, Mintaro lamb burgers, Mintaro lamb cutlets with Greek salad and Mintaro lamb belly medallions with sweet potato mash and seasonal vegetables have all been flying out the door. The ever popular lamb shanks are a menu staple, and without a doubt they are sensational, some of the best I have experienced. Paul kindly shares that the addition of Mr. Mick port and a long baking time are the keys to their tenderness and depth of flavour.
Amanda and Paul use as much local produce as possible, and all their wines come from within a twenty minute drive. They also have on offer their own M & S wine, with gorgeous labels designed by artist Gail Kellett. Building genuine relationships with suppliers, community and visitors is important to Amanda and Paul, and it’s working well for them. The town of Mintaro has a population of less than 200, so it’s no surprise that locals account for only five per cent of trade. Amanda informs me, ‘It’s all about family. People come and spend the whole day in Mintaro, do some wine tasting, come to the pub for lunch and have a walk around.”
The hotel has a large lawn area with beautiful gardens cared for by Amanda. It’s a popular space to relax and enjoy a drink or outdoor dining, with local musician Kent Williams entertaining guests with live music and jazz tunes each Saturday. This year’s Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb finale is being held at the Magpie and Stump, and will be a cracker celebration with musicians John O’Dea and Dave Prior, who lives locally in Mintaro, playing for the finale.
The hotel also has a cellar door and events room open on weekends for wine tastings. Paul excitedly shares news of their upcoming plans to open a Gin Bar at the end of November. The new Gin Bar will be part of their cellar door, with plans for the following year to include whisky and sake. The new venture, Moonshine Distilling producing 3Valley Gin, will be the first in this region, and they plan to dry all of their own oranges, limes and botanicals.
The Magpie and Stump Hotel is a truly wonderful part of the Mintaro experience. With a fun and relaxed vibe, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy part of your day. Thank you to the Magpie and Stump and Clare Valley Festival of the Lamb for your hospitality. The hotel has a fascinating history and Amanda and Paul are the perfect hosts to share it with you. Magpie and Stump accommodation at ‘The Nest’ is also available, see their website for further details.
Where: Magpie and Stump Hotel Burra Street, Mintaro, South Australia
When: Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 9.30 pm | Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm
Cellar Door: Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
Contact: Bookings: Phone 08 8843 9185 or via Website