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The Halfway Inn is located half way between Kimberley and neighbouring suburb of Beaconsfield, and legend has it that Cecil John Rhodes used to stop here for a beer on his way home. Being a man who didn't believe in wasting time (and who habitually enjoyed looking down on other people), he apparently insisted on being served his beer on horseback - hence the pub's logo, which features an uncharacteristically jolly Cecil swinging his tankard!
'The Half' has a very pleasant ambience and is a popular fixture on the Kimberley tourist route, as it offers pub grub as well as liquid refreshment. .
Favorite Dish: Being an adventurous eater who was, by now, well into the Rhodes spirit, I opted for the Rhodes special: perhaps my only mistake of an otherwise perfect day. I should have looked at the eclectic list of ingredients - a deep fried fillet steak stuffed with cream cheese and salami, served with a peppadew sauce - and asked myself how that lot could ever have come together in a happy union. More to the point, Rhodes seems to have been a very conventional soul, and I wouldn't have thought that he would have countenanced lending his name to any dish that flamboyant!!!
The resulting dish was a large, squat sausage-shaped offering that bore more than a passing resemblance to something that had passed through the intestine of a very large animal. When I stabbed it with my fork, it released a seemingly endless fountain of cream cheese, and I could feel my cholesterol levels soar at the mere spectacle!
In the pub's defence, the beer was delicious and icy cold!
Updated Jun 17, 2011
The Star of the West is the oldest pub in Kimberley and is a veritable institution!
Located just by the Big Hole, the Star of the West is almost a caricature of an Empire frontier pub - the sort of establishment that wouldn't look out of place in Kalgoorlie, Bendigo or Ballarat. It is a monument to the drinking classes, and it takes precious little imagination to imagine the miners piling in after a hard day's digging, either to drown their sorrows or celebrate their good fortune!
Most pubs of this type were granted liquor licences on the condition that they offered some sort of accommodation (and therefore qualified as hotels). So far as I can make out, the Star has certainly offered upstairs bedrooms for the majority of its history, but the fee payable was for services rendered rather than overnight accommodation! (Please note that these additional services have been suspended!)
Updated Jun 17, 2011