I was lucky enough to escape last weekend to stunning Berowra Waters. I was quite pleased with myself too, as I had positioned this little adventures as my husband’s surprise 40th birthday weekend. Who was I kidding? It was my fantasy come true, and I stacked up some serious brownie points in the process, so a win, win, wine I would say.
Wine, yes there was plenty of that, and not nearly enough of it Tulloch. (It is ridiculous how often I have to say to to people, “I’m actually out of wine, I just need to pop over to the bottle shop”.)
But, have I mentioned the relaxing, the eating, the sleeping in, the lack of children, the fact you can only get there by boat and the general feeling of being nowhere? And, the best part is it only takes a measly hour in travel time from central Sydney. That’s right, one hour from home and a million miles from …….. kids/work/stress, whatever takes your fancy.
It was one of those rare occasions where everything fell into place at the last minute and created the perfect pocket of adult life and luxury, bookended by the chaos of the working week. Last minute, because the house boat (not very luxurious and as it turns out, not safe either) fell through due to a failed safety inspection one week before said birthday weekend. So I hit Stayz and having once spent a night on the river and eaten at Berowra Waters Inn about 4 years ago, I realise this was a much more civilised option.
Friday afternoon we arrive at the Public Wharf and meet our friends and are ferried to the gorgeous Chez Nous on Neverfail Bay by boat. A labour of love for our exceptionally hospitable hosts, Liz and Alan, who have created a simple coastal warmth and ambience (the type where you know you can curl up with your feet on the couch). Alan already has the large log fire stoked, he offers the boys cold beers and we get down to relaxing pronto. The house has everything you need or want with plentiful thoughtful and generous touches of luxury, but with a relaxed home away from home feeling. (One tip, make sure you’re here with good mates as the second bedroom isn’t overly private).
We cooked in on the Friday night and enjoyed a few wines taking in the pretty special vista before retiring early and listening to the rain belting on the tin roof (literally, it poured… all weekend, but who cares when you don’t have to entertain toddlers and the couch is seriously comfy). After a rare sleep in on Saturday morning our gracious host Alan collected us in his boat (a little more weather proof than the tinny that comes with the house) before heading off to Berowra Waters Inn (BWI) for a long lazy Saturday lunch.
So to the serious stuff, the eating! Keep in mind if you are new to my blog, I really love food. Eating it, talking about it, watching it, it is fair to say I worship at its tasty altar, so I think I did very well to narrow it down to this many food shots.
I was pretty pleased with myself once again, as the week prior BWI had just been upgraded from one hat to two at the Good Food Guide Awards. It was like my foodie instincts were whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
And so we ate and drank and ate and drank and drank and ate some more. Food was spectacular, really fancy, but still very tasty with impeccable flavour combinations and interesting and thoughtful wines choices to match each course. Sometimes it looked too pretty to eat, but despite or because of the aesthetic effort on the plate, the balance of textures and flavours were more than proven course after course. All in all a highly recommended experience, I’m a 8.5/10 on that.
General vote was for the chicken as the best dish (how do they keep it so moist!), closely followed by the kipfler potato tortellini with French onion broth and black truffle. Not being big dessert eaters, two dessert courses were probably two too many…… A cheese option might be a good idea.
And, cudos to the sommelier for including two NSW wines in the wine matches, including the refined Hart & Hunter Oakey Creek Road Semillon. Although the German Pinot Noir was an eye opener and very good as was the last wine of the day (of course I can’t remember what it was, but it looked and tasted awfully like maple syrup, but a whole lot more complex). A listing of the wines at the end of the meal would have be nice.
The service was attentive, but not fussy and the room is suitably understated but sophisticated given every table has a spectacular view of the river framed by the stunning Aussie bush. My only real gripe …. and Alan this one is for you. BWI don’t pick up from Neverfail Bay, so had Alan not kindly agreed to ferry us back and forth, we would have chosen to eat in as there is breath testing on the river and no one was going to put their hand up to be the designated driver. It is such a unique location that access is probably going to be its biggest hurdle, so unfortunately they will need to go to more effort to accommodate requests for transfers. Perhaps a schedule of pick ups that can work for everyone?
All in all a fabulous weekend full of fun, friendship, food and frivolity and highly recommended for a couple, or couple of couples looking for a weekend escape. They call it ‘Rivertime’ and it is certainly my kind of pace.
Click here for info on Chez Nous at Neverfail Bay Berowra Waters
Clcik her for info on Berowra Waters Inn Restaurant