Ruffy Produce Store, Ruffy, North East Victoria. Winter 2013

Australia

High in the Strathbogie Ranges of north east Victoria and miles from absolutely anywhere lies Ruffy, a quaint cold climate location with a warm heart beat at it’s core. The Ruffy Produce Store is the centre of ‘town’, a town with not an awful lot else around it except a much-loved weatherboard local hall, a picturesque recreation reserve, one road in and one road out which meanders through some truly spectacular countryside. Elite thoroughbred farms share fences with merino flocks, wineries abound, granite boulders mark the landscape everywhere and magnificent stands of ancient gum trees lie as far as the eye can see.

The rustic Produce Store is warm and cosy in winter, serving hearty food for lunch four days a week, three breakfasts and one dinner. Local area wines, jams, breads and cakes can be enjoyed in house or take away. In summer the treed garden offers shady tables set amongst wine barrels and sculptures, and the cooler climate due to the elevated location means a welcome relief from the insects so despised in the great Australian outdoors.