There’s no doubt we’re all guilty of spending far to many Sundays a year nursing whopping hangovers. Getting home in the wee hours, leaving the curtains drawn till late afternoon, no considerable effort to achieve much or anything at all. Well recently we were invited to spend a magnificent Sunday afternoon in the Hunter Valley courtesy of Robert’s Restaurant and Tower Lodge and it really dawned on me just how many weekends I’ve wasted with crippling hangovers.
As we walked through the pristinely manicured gardens of Robert’s Restaurant the concept ‘seize the day’ resonated with me like never before; I couldn’t recall the last time I had used a Sunday to it’s full potential. You know those weekends when you feel like you’ve actually achieved something? They don’t happen that often but when they do returning to work on Monday doesn’t feel like such a chore. I think it’s important to mix things up once a month, take a Friday and Saturday night off the booze and go for a leisurely Sunday drive with your significant other.
We arrived at Roberts Restaurant just after 12pm to meet a table of media for a set menu by Executive Chef George Francisco. Walking into the restaurant you are instantly overwhelmed by the quaint ‘country’ atmosphere the restaurant and its grounds offer. George is the man behind the iconic restaurant’s revival to the list of the Hunter Valley’s finest eating destinations. The contemporary Australian menu is scattered with vegetables grown by George and his team on site at the restaurant. On the day we ate a fabulous crabmeat linguine, a rolled duck breast and shared a selection of deserts including a fresh fruit pavlova and George’s famous panacotta with each course accompanied by a selection of Tower Estate wines.
Following the delightful lunch we toured the extensive garden tasting a range of edible flowers and honey also produced on the grounds, before walking up to Tower Lodge to spend the evening.
In short, Tower Lodge is fantastic. The decade old lodge and member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux Group was purpose built to showcase the height of luxury and it does so with ease. Tower Lodge boasts 12 unique rooms with their own special charm that border a picturesque central courtyard. It’s the type of place you could visit every year for the rest of your life, requesting your favourite room and feeling like it was your home away from home.
Somehow we lucked out with the Chairman’s Suite, which resides in a stand-alone building and was palatial to say the least. The entrance foyer features leather armchairs and an open fire, a huge bathroom and walk in wardrobe on each side of the hall, which opens into gigantic bedroom with a lounge suite and four-poster bed fit for a king (real Game of Thrones style living).
After the evening’s dinner we retreated to the Chairman’s Suite where our fire had been lit, donned robes and sat in the vintage armchairs listening to the crackle of the fire, whisky in hand.
Robert’s Restaurant and Tower Lodge offer a superb getaway for a night or a weekend. This is how the Hunter Valley was meant to be experienced; excellent food paired with unrivaled comfort and luxury.