“It was 1890 that it was built and formerly known as the Royal Hotel,” says manager Alison Stutchbury.
The name was later changed to the Royal Mail Hotel.
“It’s a colonial-style building so it’s got beautiful characteristics from that, and it was a staging point for coaches in the gold rush and early settlements,” Alison adds.
It has also appeared in cinematography. For example, nearly 50 years ago it was used for some scenes of the Ned Kelly film that starred Mick Jagger.
Being colonial style also means “it’s a large pub with rooms everywhere”.
For instance, “There’s a traveller’s rest bar area, then the top bar where locals go and hang out in the afternoon.”
If the Bushranger Bistro gets busy, or you want to make a group booking for a party or function, “there’s a smaller dining room we can can open as well.”
On the walls of the dining and bar areas you’ll find a collection of historic paintings, and in terms of atmosphere they’re going for a family-friendly feel where you “can experience more of a country, simple life.”
They even have a games room for kids.
Owner Jamie Reynolds – who turns 70 next month, lives upstairs, and can be found in the hotel having a yarn with some patrons nearly every day – is originally from just up the road in a town called Araluen.
“His father owned the Commercial when he was a younger guy,” says Alison. “He’s a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who loves chatting to people.”
Alison herself has been in Braidwood her whole life so she definitely qualifies as a local too.
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They also like to support local wineries and local food producers. “We use the local butcher for all our meat products. We try to keep it as local as we can. We have craft beers, and ciders, and ginger beers,” as well as popular brands of beer and other beverages.
For a good night out “we have live entertainment nearly every second weekend on the Friday or Saturday night,” notes Alison. A lot of the performers are booked via Country Rocks.
Coming up they have Chalkie White on September 14 and Tori Dark on September 21.
“We also do Sunday sessions for local [musicians] here once a month.”
There’s a drum kit, speakers, and the like so the band or group can just bring their guitars and other small instruments to hone their craft in front of an audience.
You can stay the night at the Royal Mail Hotel too.
They have 16 rooms in various sizes ranging from the convenient twin size right up to family rooms.