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Published September 15th 2019
Each year, restaurants around Nelson Bay open their doors to celebrate Christmas with fresh local seafood, traditional roasts and decadent dessert bars. It is a good opportunity for people who don't want to cook, or maybe here on holidays, to celebrate the day with loved ones and the local community. But which venue is the best?
As our family is new to the area, we asked several of our friends which one(s) they thought were the best - see their top local picks, below. If you have had Christmas Day lunch at any of these venues, or somewhere else in the region, please leave a comment at the top of this article and let us know which one you think is the best (your comment will appear at the bottom of the article). Often, it is more than just the food that makes the day, it can be the friendliness of staff, the music or the general ambience that can make it a Christmas Day to remember, for years to come.
Which one is your favourite Christmas Day lunch venue around Nelson Bay?
Fresh seafood at Shoal Bay Country Club. Image: SBCC website
Shoal Bay Country Club host a Christmas Day lunch each year, which focusses on fresh local seafood, caught from the waters of Port Stephens. This popular venue has a holiday vibe each summer, with cold cocktails, delicious food and stunning views over to Shoal Bay. Enjoy a seafood buffet in style! See here for this year's event details, under "What's On".
Bannisters hotel is located at Soldiers Point and has a range of fine dining and casual dining options. It is also the home of the Rick Stein Port Stephens restaurant, which specialises in fresh, local seafood cooked by fine-dining chefs. This new, attractive venue is popular with hotel guests and locals, and exudes 5 Star luxury. See here for details.
Bannisters hotel, located on the water at Soldiers Point Jetty
Wests Nelson Bay club is located in between Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay, along Shoal Bay Road. It is a handy location for visitors who are staying at Little Beach or Nelson Bay to walk to the club for Christmas Day lunch. This large club hosts their annual Christmas Day Lunch up in the auditorium, with a visit from Santa, as well as more options downstairs in the spacious Bay Brasserie bistro. Entry to the club is for members, guests and visitors from outside the area. See here for details.
The Anchorage hotel in Corlette hosts a sumptuous Christmas Day lunch every year at their waterfront, 5 Star resort. When you walk into The Anchorage, you instantly feel like you are somewhere special, with sweeping views over their own marina and sea breezes which waft through the doors. Enjoy fresh local seafood, cracking roasts, salads, Christmas pudding, Pavlova and more. See here for details.
The Point restaurant is located upstairs at Soldiers Point Marina and each year they host a seafood Christmas Day lunch, with views over the water. This restaurant is popular with those staying at Thou Walla Sunset Retreat nearby, as well as locals who enjoy the view. This is another restaurant that specialises in seafood, so ensure you arrive with a good appetite! See here for details.
It doesn't matter where you go in the Nelson Bay region, the menu for Christmas day is sure to involve plenty of local, delicious seafood! Alternatively, you can also pick up your own seafood from local outlets and enjoy them on the beach, at local parks or BBQ's along the Nelson Bay Foreshore. Please leave a comment at the top of this article with your favourite venue to enjoy Christmas Day lunch around the bay - whether it be down at the beach or at one of the most popular restaurants in town. Merry Christmas!
DIY your own Christmas Day Lunch and enjoy it on the Nelson Bay Foreshore!