Charmed by a pig? Better yet, out-guzzled by a pig called Priscilla? Only in Tasmania. And only at the Pub in the Paddock.
As we drove through northeast Tasmania, I perused a guidebook between glances at the hilly, verdant countryside – a very unpopulated landscape, with the occasional farm tucked into small valleys. A short sidebar caught my eye, headlined “Pub in the Paddock.”
“There’s a pig called Priscilla up ahead that drinks beer,” I announced. “It’s at a place called ‘The Pub in the Paddock.’ We should stop and take a look.”
“Okay,” said my husband. “Sounds kind of interesting. Different at least.”
A few detours and missed turns – as well as stymied and thoroughly blocked by a recalcitrant herd of bovines in the roadway – we indeed found the pub, also known as St. Colomba Falls Hotel, smack in the middle of a paddock, as promised, in a large farm valley in Pyengana, Tasmania.
And, indeed, the premises boasted a large pig, Priscilla II, in residence along with her companion and guzzler-in-training, Pinky:
Priscilla the First had gone to the great mud hole in the sky, the pub’s barkeep informed us. (I refrained from asking if she’d died of cirrhosis and whether she’d ended up on the menu or under a gravestone. But I held my curiosity and tongue in check.) In short order, we’d plunked down our $2 for the specially-brewed, low alcohol pig ale and were off to the pigsty in search of Priscilla.
Priscilla, it turned out, not only loves beer, she’s unwilling to give up the bottle. A “swill” is no exaggeration when it comes to this lady. Priscilla gripped that sucker with her teeth and would have made off with the bottle or pulled me into the pigsty with her to gulp down that beer. To say she savored her brew is so much of an understatement it should be deep in the muck of the pigsty. Nervous about losing the bottle down Priscilla’s gullet and possibly killing off the biggest tourist attraction in northeast Tasmania, I passed the bottle on to Michael:
Having taken her fill (leaving nary a drop) Priscilla ambled off, content to wait for the next sucker tourist to come her way, bottle in hand. But despite her somewhat piggy manners, Priscilla was worth the detour, the $2 watered-down beer and the fun of seeing a master tippler guzzle her brew. And in her own way, Priscilla was, well, charming. And didn’t smell too bad either.
Note on The Pub in the Paddock: The pub is both a full service pub and restaurant and also has a few hotel rooms. The interior is quite charming, with a decent looking menu; unfortunately, we’d already eaten lunch and simply settled for mid-afternoon coffee. And, of course, the pub is chock-full of porcine memorabilia.
And to quote another famous pig: