Wine tasting and lunch at a local winery
My friends and I who live in Canberra had not seen a dear Sydney friend for about ten years so I arranged a luncheon date for us all one Sunday. I wanted to book a restaurant that was easy for my Sydney friend, Paul and his partner Fay, who I had not yet met, to come to without having to drive all the way into the centre of Canberra from Sydney.
So, years ago, I had been to this lovely restaurant which is just under a thirty-minute drive from Canberra centre on-route to Sydney. It’s a small boutique winery on Lake George and not surprisingly called ‘Lake George Winery’. It’s one of the oldest vineyards in the region and has a cellar door to taste and buy wines and a lovely restaurant which is open for breakfast and lunch with wine tasting which we enjoyed before we ordered and ate.
The restaurant has an open fire in the middle of the restaurant and a large balcony that overlooks the vineyards. We sat on a lovely table with the doors open with a light breeze flowing through.
Before I tell you what we all ate, I thought I would tell you a little bit about Lake George – it’s an interesting lake because it completely dries out on occasions!! It does not have any outflow of water to a river or ocean and is believed to be more than a million years old.
Between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, the lake lapped the highway but was completely dried out in 2002 and remained so until 2010 when it started filling. When the lake is empty it is used by farmers to graze sheep and cattle. At the moment it’s empty.
(full lake – sources: http://www.smh.com.au/www.the-riotact.com.au)
(empty lake – source: http://www.wierdaustralia.com)
It was a lovely day with us Canberra friends meeting our Sydney friend and his lovely partner – it’s lovely to know if you are good friends that even though you don’t see each other for years you still can take up from where you left…this is how our day went.
Now onto what we ate…my friends had three courses and I just had the one as whilst there were two lovely vegetarian dishes on the menu; both had cheese containing animal rennet which I don’t eat. But as soon as I explained my dietary requirements to the waitress she said the chef would be more than happy to make me a potato gnocchi dish – which I ordered and loved. My friends started off with local oysters with lemon granita and the smoked duck breast salad with watercress and vissino cherries.
As I mentioned my gnocchi was delicious; fresh gnocchi with vegetables and tomatoes in a light cream sauce and of course a bowl of chips with garlic aioli to share.
For main course my friends had the eye fillet of beef wrapped in prosciutto served on a garlic gallette with steamed greens and Lake George winery Shiraz jus. They told me this was really good.
Dessert that my friends ordered was the smashed meringue with fresh berries and passionfruit double cream and also the vanilla bean brûlée with chocolate ganache with lavender tuilles. I think the brûlée looked better than the meringue but my friends enjoyed both.
A lovely few hours out of Canberra enjoying time with a friend of over thirty-three years.