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Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch

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by Colleen P Moyne (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in South Australia dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full-time.
Published March 23rd 2016
Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch - Fine Wine, Finger Food and Fascinating Stories

An invitation from Ashleigh Maia of Barossa Exposed Photography to attend a 'High Tea' at the Barossa Chateau in Lyndoch turned out to be much more, and led us on an interesting and eye-opening adventure.

Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch
Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch

The Chateau is a part of the Lyndoch Hill Estate situated on Hermann Thumm Drive which, of course, is named after the man who founded the original estate way back in 1947. You can find out more here.

Ashleigh and I are both Barossa locals so it was a short journey for us, but for those in Adelaide it still only takes just a little over an hour to get there and the scenery alone is well worth the trip.

We had heard about the high tea experience from others and thought we knew what to expect, but those expectations were far exceeded from the moment we walked through the front door. We entered a large reception area, which also serves as a gift shop with an impressive display of goods for sale, from stationery, clothing and toiletries to homewares, preserves and, of course, wines. The highlight of this area is a large lion sculpted from junk metal. We found out that this beast was created by a young local artist, Joel Zimmermann.

Lion Sculpture, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch
Lion Sculpture, Barossa Chateau. Photo courtesy of Ashleigh Maia Johnson, Barossa Exposed.

We were warmly greeted by staff member Belinda who offered us a tasting of several wines while we browsed and waited for our high tea to be freshly prepared. We soon discovered that there is much more to see and experience at the Barossa Chateau.

Gift Shop, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch
Gift Shop, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch

Chateau Barossa is part of an impressive estate that offers something for everyone. It encompasses Lyndoch Hill motel and restaurant, boasts twenty-two acres of rose gardens, thirty-four rooms of accommodation and one of the most impressive private collections of antiques in the world.

Barrel Room, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch
Barrel Room, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch

If you're planning a winery tour in the Barossa Valley, make sure you allow at least a few hours to explore the Barossa Chateau. In fact, why not plan to spend a whole day there? It's an experience you won't soon forget.

Barossa Chateau High Tea

For one of the best morning or afternoon tea experiences you will encounter, I recommend the Barossa Chateau 'High Tea.' I had the pleasure of experiencing this tasty treat on a recent visit.The tea is available for individuals, couples or groups and would be a perfect outing for a special birthday, anniversary or Mother's Day gift. There are two menus to choose from; the regular High Tea at a cost of $25 per person or the 'Glorious High Tea' at a cost of $49 per person.

Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch, High Tea
High Tea at the Barossa Chateau. Image courtesy of Ashleigh Maia Johnson, Barossa Exposed

Ashleigh and I chose the Glorious High Tea which included a glass of bubbly, a tour and a free gift as a memento of our visit.

We booked our spot for noon and as luck would have it, we were the only ones in the café at that time, so we had personalised service from Front-of-House staff member, Rebecca. The attention to detail was impressive, down to the beautifully dressed table and the fine crockery. The tea was freshly prepared and the selection of finger foods was to die for.

We began with samplings of frittata, caramelised onion tart, and little sandwich fingers followed by Devonshire scones, caramel tart, citrus tart with meringue, a viennese biscuit and a bright pink macaroon. This was all accompanied by a glass of bubbly and unlimited tea and coffee. Despite such delicate little samples, we left the table feeling quite satisfied and were even offered a 'doggy bag' for the pieces we couldn't finish.

Scarves, Gift Shop, Barossa Chateau, Lyndoch
Selection of scarves, Gift Shop, Barossa Chateau

From there we were invited to choose our free gift from a nearby display that included scarves, jewellery, hair barrettes and even some toiletry samples. I came away with a beautiful orange bangle and Ashleigh chose earrings. And if that wasn't enough of a treat, we also received complimentary discount vouchers for dinner at the Lyndoch Hill restaurant.

Barossa Chateau Rose Garden - More Than Wine-tasting

When you think about taking the family somewhere for a picnic or walking adventure, what comes to mind first? The Botanic Gardens? The local park? What about a Barossa Winery? The Barossa Chateau in Lyndoch is set in twenty-five acres of impressive garden, twenty-two of those being dedicated to roses of every variety and colour you can imagine - over thirty thousand in all! This garden is of major significance in Australia and was officially opened by Her Majesty, the Queen, in 2002.

Barossa Chateau Rose Garden
Barossa Chateau Rose Garden

My companion, Ashleigh and I had a quick stroll while waiting to join a tour, but you can easily spend several hours wandering almost five kilometres of winding paths, over bridges, up the steps, past rotundas, fountains and statues, stopping to rest on one of the many benches to admire the tranquil surrounds and the nearby hills. The garden is clearly sign-posted which makes it easy to keep your bearings and map out exactly where you want to go.

Rose Arch, Barossa Chateau
Rose arch, Barossa Chateau

These gardens have seen countless weddings and celebrations, all impeccably catered for by the friendly and professional Chateau staff, but you will also find picnic areas and little spots just perfect for a quiet rendezvous or to simply sit and contemplate life.

Rose Garden, Barossa Chateau
Roses of all colours and varieties, Barossa Chateau Rose Garden

The bonus of visiting the Chateau gardens is that you can bring your own picnic or visit the Chateau for lunch or high tea to round out your day.

Barossa Chateau Art and Antiques Gallery - A Collection of Rare Treasures

One of the highlights of a visit to the Barossa Chateau at Lyndoch is a guided tour through the Hermann Thumm Art and Antiques Gallery and museum.

This beautiful and rare collection of furniture and porcelain pieces is one of the largest in Australia and is housed in the Barossa Chateau grand ballroom, which in itself is a delight to the senses with its high ceilings, chandeliers and glossy porcelain floor.

Even if you're not generally excited by museums or antiques, you will be drawn into the stories told by tour guides, Belinda and Rebecca about the extraordinary Hermann Thumm and the history behind this magnificent chateau and its treasures. Even Her Majesty the Queen was astounded to see a particular piece on display during her visit in 2002. She remarked that it was one of only two like it in the world - and she knew this because she owned the other piece!

Hermann Thumm was born and raised in the small country of Georgia in Eastern Europe, but ended up being transported to Australia in 1941 as a prisoner of war. While incarcerated he studied his greatest passion - winemaking - and upon his release four years later was offered a job at a winery in the Barossa Valley. It was while he was working here that he discovered the nearby Yaldara property, which at the time was an old ruin of a building with no roof. He managed to secure it for a good price and the rest - as the old adage goes - is history.

The success of Yaldara allowed Hermann and his wife, Inge, to live a comfortable life and indulge in their passion for rare porcelain. The collection we see today was amassed over thirty-five years and much of it was obtained on their travels overseas. Before his death in 2009, Hermann wrote an autobiography called, 'The Road to Yaldara.' This book tells the story of this amazing man and the evolution of the Chateau into the thriving tourist attraction it is today.
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Phone: 08 8524 4268
Where: 35 Hermann Thumm Drive, Lyndoch SA 5351
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