The Deck Cafe Lovedale is located on Lovedale Road in Rothbury, a small town located in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is made up of a community of boutique wineries, unique galleries, quality guesthouses and homestay accommodation, and, of course, fine restaurants like The Deck! More specifically, The Deck is located at Gartelmann Wines, a medal-winning wine that was founded in 1995.
Can you tell me more about Gartelmann Wines & The Deck Cafe?
Founded in 1995 by Jan and Jorg Gartelmann, the latter of whom felt the need for a "tree change" (a phrase used to describe the move from city living to a more rural/country setting), Jorg shared with his wife the idea of buying a vineyard in the Hunter Valley, one of Australia's major wine regions. His philosophy had always been "if you don't know a computer language, then get a specialist to help", and as such, employed an expert to help him find the best vineyard and an expert winemaker. The vineyard that Jan and Jorg ended up purchasing was run down and needed a lot of tender loving care - Jan and Jorg even bought a tent and slept there on the weekend, because there wasn't a house or shed on the block. They continued doing so until a shed was built a year down the track.
Despite their hard work and dedication, progress was slow until the couple decided to buy an adjoining property and move up to the Hunter in January 1998 - a year later, by January 1999, Jan and Jorg had built a Cellar Door and this is when the business really started to take off. They have since expanded their business and are now winning gold medals, trophies and other recognitions for their wines, selecting and using only the best fruit from a range of regional growers.
Jan and Jorg Gartelmann - photo taken from Gartelmann Wines' website.
In July 2013, Gartelmann Wines added a thriving cafe to their extensive resume - and this is where The Deck comes into play. Operated by Chef Matt Dillow as his third hospitality venture in the Hunter following the Verandah Restaurant at Calais Estate and the Twine Restaurant at Wynwood estate, The Deck provides customers with some classic cafe favourites with a Hunter Valley fine-dining twist. In addition, of course, The Deck's diverse and delightful menu is complimented by Gartelmann wines in addition to Di Manfredi 'Audacia' coffee.
Chef Matt Dillow - photo taken from The Deck Cafe Lovedale's Facebook page.
True to its name, The Deck is situated on a large deck overlooking a beautiful dam in young forest bushland, providing for a peaceful and relaxing ambience. With ample seating available both indoors and outdoors, The Deck is a great place for a meal for both small and bigger groups. It's worth noting that if you're coming in a group of more than 8 people, bookings are much appreciated! This modern looking cafe and restaurant is the perfect complement to the property's scenic beauty. With a view like this, it'd be hard not to feel relaxed and far, far, far away from daily life stressors.
The Deck has a separate menu for breakfast and lunch items - breakfast is served until 11:30pm, whereas the lunch menu is served from 12pm to 3:30pm, which is when The Deck closes. The Deck has available all your classic brekkie favourites, including scones, Danish pastries, fruit platters, muesli, croquettas, omelettes, rolls, pancakes, eggs benedict, and of course, the Big Breakfast! There are also heaps of sides that you can add to your meal - 14 different ones to choose from, to be more exact. The Deck also has a Kids Breaky menu for the 12 and under. It's also worth noting that all of the eggs used in their food are free range!
The lunch menu involves an extensive range of food - it's hard to choose just one dish because they all sound delicious. For example, how good does The Decks Mezze (prosciutto, chorizo, salmon gravlax, roasted capsicum, labna, mixed marinated olives, grand marnier duck liver parfait with cornichons, charred eggplant, roasted butternut pumpkin and goats cheese frittata, haloumi, pesto roasted tomato, beetroot relish, and grilled ciabatta bread) sound?! Also, did someone just say Cheese Plates? Again, there is also a separate kids menu for the 12 and other.
There is also fresh baked goods and other sweet treats available at the counter. Although these goodies may vary on a day to day basis and may depend on availability, be prepared to expect delicious sweets like Mars Bar Cheesecakes and Chocolate Jaffa Tars - yum!
Here is the beer battered snapper with potato chips and house made tartare sauce that I ended up ordering. The fish was cooked to succulent perfection, as were the chips. Food was prepared fresh, as evident from how piping hot it was when it first arrived, although we did not have to wait long for our food at all!
Eddy pictured with the beer battered snapper with potato chips and house made tartare sauce.
What beverage options are available at The Deck Cafe Lovedale?
The Deck's beverages menu has two sides - one side for the alcoholic drinks and the other for the non-alcoholic. Located in the Hunter Valley, at Gartmann Wines no less, it's no wonder their alcoholic beverages list is so extensive, including a range of sparkling, white, red, and dessert wine from Gartelmann Wines (years range from 2007 to 2016), in addition to a range of beers, ciders, cocktails, and spirits. The non-alcoholic beverage list is equally impressive, with a range of Di Manfredi 'Audacia' coffee, Ceylon teas (including caffeine-free teas), shakes, frappes, smoothies, juices, and other standard drinks (coke, ginger beer, energy drinks, Powerade, sparkling water).
They definitely are, as long as you and your pooch opt to sit outside rather than inside - and with a view like that, who wouldn't want to anyway? The Deck also provides doggy patrons with a water bowl, which is the perfect remedy for hot summer days. Thank you!
Thanks for providing Eddy with a water bowl, The Deck!
Is there anything else worth noting about The Deck Cafe Lovedale?
In addition to managing several successful ventures, Chef Matt Dillow also has a gourmet produce business by the name of Matts Produce, bringing customers magnificent "chef-only" flavours - well, not anymore! Some of his products can be purchased at The Deck - it's worth checking out.
Some of the products from Matts Produce available at The Deck.
The Deck is open 7 days a week and can be made available for groups, weddings and private functions. All menus are guidelines and can be changed to suit your needs and create the ultimate night for your special event - with a view like this, it'd be the ultimate location for any special occasion.
The Deck can be made available for private functions.