The Court House Hotel 44 Errol Street North Melbourne

Every year for the past 30 or so years, a group of men have met up at The Court House on the eve of the grand final. They don’t have much to do with each other the rest of the year, but their annual catch up has been sacred through toddlers, mortgages, receding hairlines and retirement.

The Court House is that kind of place – a cosy, convivial local boozer where the friendly barmen chat to you as they pour your pint, the sort of pub where everyone knows your name. In addition, they serve wholesome, no-frills pub grub in the flocked-carpet bar and a Mod-Oz menu in the more austere and elegant dining room.

On the barman’s recommendations, we opted for bangers and mash ($19) and a steak pie ($19). They were simple, hearty meals – the pork sausages were cooked to perfection, juicy and bursting with flavour, while the flaky pie pastry was obviously house-made with loads of butter. There were a lot of other tempting items on the menu and RM and I loved the atmosphere of the buzzing pub, so we’ll definitely be back.

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