There are lunches, then there are those special, next-level lunches… The unhurried ones, where you solve all the world’s problems, laugh until your belly hurts, and you come away having fallen in love with the chef? THIS is what holidays are made of, and we have rounded up our faves for a long lunch to remember.
If you love your food with a side of country scenery, then take the pretty hinterland drive to Byabarra, about 30 minutes from Port Mac. Get the camera ready for your arrival, as this charming cottage cafe is insta-worthy! Settle in for an afternoon on the deck with expansive views down the valley, and enjoy the country hospitality for which much-loved local owners Alan and Kerrin are famous.
This gem is currently popping up at Bill's Fishhouse on Sundays and Mondays pending their new restaurant location.
There’s a reason this is frequently the top rated restaurant on TripAdvisor. Head Chef Pete has a large and loyal following, thanks to his paddock to plate ethos. Front of House legend Darren really knows his food and wine, and the best meals we’ve had there are ones where he’s given a free rein (I believe our order was simply ‘bring us your favourites’)! Pretty much everything is made from scratch on site, using locally sourced produce, including incredible sourdough, pickles, and terrines.
This hatted restaurant opposite Town Beach is a destination in itself, so if you’re looking for a next-level long-lunch, they’ve got you covered! With a wine list as long as your arm, expert Sommeliers and a menu which sounds like it’s straight out of a story book (Patagonian Toothfish, anyone?), Owner Lou Perri is passionate about creating the consummate and memorable food and wine experience.
This iconic restaurant juts out over the mighty Hastings River and is super-popular so be sure to book in advance! Wrapped in tranquil water views, with chic, warm décor, the atmosphere and service here are sublime and the cocktail list impressive. Chowder lovers will be in heaven, the oysters creamy and fresh and you won’t find a more committed owner than Nathan, who restored the restaurant after the March ’21 floods almost carried the whole building down river.
Tucked away in a small vineyard is this pretty little slice of France. The vine-covered timber cottage with its extensive deck has played host to many long lunches. The French owner/chef provides a seasonal menu inspired by his homeland, much to the delight of diners, and the lush and romantic outlook over the vines make it a popular venue for weddings. Plus, Little Fish produce their own wines as well, so be sure to sample some before you leave!
Part of the Sails Resort, while away your afternoon on the deck, enjoying the views over the marina, an extensive bar selection and a modern, fresh menu. A recent multi-million dollar renovation of this Hamptons-inspired hotel has resulted in a beautifully decked out restaurant (see what we did there?), where even in winter you can enjoy the sun with additional warmth from the outdoor fire.
And a special mention to...
The experienced team at Hastings River Horseriding will lead the way along this 11km ride with lots of trotting, cantering and, well, music! Take in the stunning hinterland landscapes and finish the ride at the top-rated country pub, the Beechwood Hotel, just in time for lunch.