Today’s post comes from a relative newcomer to Sydney, English journalist Julie Cross. Julie writes about a gorgeous hideaway on the Hawkesbury. I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of Peats Bite before, but now that I’ve read about this restaurant with accom.odation, I can’t wait to visit.
Do you ever wish you could dine out at a fancy restaurant and actually take the kids?
It’s not always easy finding childcare and sometimes it’s nice to be able to take the children with you, especially if you want to mark a special occasion as a family.
Well, if you are looking for a memorable spot to host a family celebration or you just want to treat yourself, take a look at Peats Bite.
This celebrity-favoured restaurant on the Hawkesbury River never advertises, so it’s a real hidden gem. There’s a six course set menu and to add to the excitement, it’s only accessible by boat.
It’s not too far a trek either. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Sydney’s CBD and then a 25 minute boat trip from Kangaroo Point, near Brooklyn. The owner’s daughter Tanya or son-in-law Geoff can pick you up if you don’t have a boat of your own. Or, if you want to arrive in style you can take a seaplane from Rose Bay! There’s also accommodation if you wish to make a weekend of it.
All the tables are in a covered outdoor area and have a great view of the Hawkesbury River. The restaurant overlooks a lush lawn, dotted with palm trees, where there are several comfy sofas and even a divine looking day bed, so diners can relax after their food. Beyond that is the Hawkesbury River and while working your way through the courses, you can watch the boats bob up and down and the resident pelican swooping over the pontoon.
It’s a family-run business and the young grandchildren are very much part of the furniture which is why it feels so comfortable bringing your own offspring.
Owner Tammy Miljoen bought the property in the early 1980s with her late husband. Now her daughter Tanya and her partner Geoff help run the restaurant, while Tammy provides the entertainment by belting out a few classic songs.
But, what makes it perfect for families is the easy going vibe and did I forget to mention, a swimming pool, a giant outdoor chess set and a small lawn area for the kids to run around.
The food is delicious. For adults there is a $130 six-course tasting menu and the children can order chicken, fish or steak, with salad and chips. Ours chose steak and in my opinion it was an adult sized portion, for around $16. They finished with a scoop of ice-cream.
We started with a whiskey and iced-green tea cocktail, which was refreshing and frankly, damn delicious. The first course was a selection of tasty nibbles including barramundi topped with avocado; scallops with cauliflower puree, green apple and pancetta; and oysters with frozen cucumber.
There was also hot, freshly cooked, chargrilled flatbread served with labna, a dip made with Greek yoghurt and a bowl of dukkah, lightly toasted crushed nuts and seeds.
The children helped with the first course and then their food arrived as we tucked into course two, a perfectly cooked barramundi steak, which fell apart when the fork touched, on a bed of giant cous cous.
While we continued our food extravaganza, the boys changed into their boardies and jumped in the pool. Now, while the pool is not particularly big or deep, it can’t be seen from the dining area. But it was perfect for our two boys aged eight and 12 who are confident swimmers. While they had a ball playing with the owner’s grandchildren and other kids whose parents were dining, we had a relaxing meal. Can you believe it?
A chicken and a steak course followed the fish, each with a twist. A beautiful vanilla cheesecake, with poached rhubarb and black pepper roasted strawberries was the dessert and it truly looked too good to eat, although we managed it.
Throughout the meal the boys would pop back now and then, dripping wet of course, to nibble on something we were eating and no-one batted an eyelid. It’s like we had been invited round to someone’s house for dinner – a very extravagant one I might add.
Eating at Peats Bite is not something you’d do every weekend (sadly), but if you want a meal you’ll never forget, book yourselves on the next boat.
Menu: It is a set menu only and costs $130pp.
Changing facilities: No, but there are plenty of places where you can change a baby.
Accommodation: There are six waterfront split level units, which all include a king bed and ensuite, with a living area, kitchenette and two single convertible beds downstairs. Each have a balcony with uninterrupted river views. There is also a pool and an undercover BBQ area.
Room rates start at $280 per couple, per night, which includes breakfast. Children are $15 extra per night.
Sunny Corner, Hawkesbury River, NSW
Peats Bite is open from the first weekend in September every Saturday and Sunday and week days in Summer by request. The last weekend of each season is the June long weekend.
Phone: 02 9985 9040
Thanks so much Julie, I’m noting Peats Bite for a special occasion treat one day.
You can read more from Julie on her blog Mrs Pom In Oz.
Do you know the Hawkesbury well?
Have you had a treat lunch out recently?