Bendooley Estate is a feast for the senses. Breathe the crisp, country air. Take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding pastures. Feel the rich ambience as you wander amongst the tomes of the Berkelouw Book Barn, the centrepiece of the estate and a southern highlands treasure in itself. Smell and sample the cool-climate wines, produced from grapes grown at the onsite vineyard. And savour the fresh, seasonal food, much of which Bendooley Bar & Grill's chef Jason Hughes has sourced from local suppliers.
It's best to make a booking if you're keen to eat at the restaurant, which attracts tourists and locals in droves, especially on weekends. The indoor tables are nestled amongst rows of books, but when the weather allows it's nice to dine alfresco.
The menu has a rustic vibe, with colourful salads and share plates featuring charcuterie and seafood. The wood fired pizzas will spice up your taste buds, with combinations like handmade sausage, soused grapes, radicchio and fresh oregano making things interesting.
For a main course, the ocean trout main is divine. The fish was cooked just-right and served with buttery, herby kipfler potatoes and a fresh fennel slaw. A glass of Bendooley Vineyard Riesling, rich and citrusy, and dry but not too dry, is the perfect liquid accompaniment.
The Ocean Trout is perfect with a glass of Bendooley Estate Riesling
Finish the meal with a plate of local cheeses, served with wood fired flat bread, or one of the fine-looking desserts. But if you need some time for lunch to settle, take a short drive to nearby Historic Berrima and stop in at the award-winning Gumnut Patisserie for a cappuccino and a banoffee pie.