Mark Briggs is the owner of Sardine restaurant in Paynesville, East Gippsland. He shares some of his favourite spots in this part of the region.

1. Tinamba Hotel

Mark and his wife Victoria love to head to the historic Tinamba Hotel for a long Sunday lunch. Innovative style meets good-old country classics here, and it's beloved by visiting gourmands and farmers alike.

2. Ninety Mile Beach

This long stretch of sand is one of the most unspoilt beaches in the world. Mark and Victoria recommend it for a refreshing swim or a lazy afternoon stroll – with their pet pooch in tow.

3. Metung Hotel

Top tip: duck in to the Metung Hotel for a sneaky beverage after a day on the water. Like Mark's restaurant Sardine, the bistro sources fresh, locally caught seafood for its dishes and overlooks picturesque Bancroft Bay.

4. Den of Nargun

Nature is a huge source of inspiration in Mark's cooking. This 5-kilometre loop trail in the Mitchell River National Park is one of his favourite spots for contemplation. Follow in his footsteps on a wander through pockets of rainforest and past Woolshed Creek.

5. Badger and Hare 

Mark and Victoria like to stop in at this award-winning Central Gippsland cafe when travelling between Paynesville and Melbourne. Badger and Hare brews some of the best coffee in Gippsland and takes its influence from Melbourne's own laneway culture. 

6. Northern Ground

One of the pair's favourite spots for lunch is Northern Ground in Bairnsdale. This wonderful cafe brings together the best of Gippsland's local producers, showcasing the best of the region's goods in fresh and delicious dishes.


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