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Dunbar House

Home > Sydney > Historic Houses | Escape the City | Cafes | Afternoon Tea
by Caroleann (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer living in Manly. I enjoy writing reviews for Weekend Notes. I live in Manly and enjoy the outdoors. My interests are travel,Live Theatre,The Ballet,and restaurants that serve delicious innovative food. Enjoy my articles.
Published April 12th 2017
Bayside Beauty Dunbar House Wonderful food, water views wow
Dunbar House is a beautiful restaurant, set in lovely parkland near the water at Watsons Bay. This bayside beauty has recently opened a chic daytime cafe serving breakfast, lunch and English-style afternoon teas.

Dunbar House was built in 1837 by Mortimer Lewis, a colonial architect. It was later taken over by Pieter Laurentz Campbell, a colonial treasurer, who called it Zandoliet. The house was named Dunbar House in the 1950's, following a resolution of Woollahra Council.

Dunbar House ,restaurant , Watson bay
Dunbar House restaurant


The most famous owner was Henry Billing, who created an exotic zoo there. He had a Bengal tiger called Hercules, leopards, Egyptian sheep, golden pheasants and English ferrets.
There is a mystery as to what happened to all those animals.

I have been to Dunbar House a few times this summer. There is a fast ferry that goes from Manly ,straight across our beautiful harbour in 17 minutes to Watsons bay. You will notice the ferry in the second photo.

This is a great way to travel. You step out onto the wharf of picturesque Watson Bay. Right there is the famous Doyle's restaurant. Also sitting in the middle of the park is the lovely historical Dunbar House.

Dunbar House restaurant, breakfast and Lunch
The view of the fast ferry through the trees


Once there, you can enjoy a fabulous breakfast, lovey lunch or an afternoon tea with all the trimmings. The meals I have had there this summer have been delightful. It is a superb venue to take visitors too from overseas. As well as good food and service, they get to enjoy Sydney's magnificent harbour.

Breakfast Dunbar House Watson bay Great food fabulous views
Spanish omelette breakfast


The Spanish omelette I had for brunch was full of flavour. Filled with tomato, ham, potato and onion. It was served with toast and rocket.

High Tea Dunbar House Watson Bay
High tea


The High Teas are fantastic a treat for taste buds and very easy on the eyes. The variety and display of wonderful sweet treats is very special. Dunbar House has a lovely balcony, which is used for dinning. On a nice day, it is wonderful to sit there and enjoy the food and spectacular water views.

Lunch on the terrace Dunbar house
Lunch on the terrace


Views from the terrace Dunbar House
Views over lunch from the terrace


A delicious seafood dish I enjoyed on a visit for lunch was Risotto of the Sea. This was made with prawns, salmon, clams and served with a Mediterranean broth. The seafood was fresh and the flavour enhanced by the unique flavour of the broth.

Risotto of the sea Lunch Dunbar House.
Risotto of the Sea with clams, salmon, prawns with Mediterranean broth $32


My friend on that occasion had the Crisp Skin Pork Belly. This was served with fig, fennel and baby turnip salad. It came with a white anchovy dressing.

Dunbar House Watsons bay. Crisp Skin Pork belly Restaurant a Watsons bay
Crisp Skin Pork Belly With Fig


This dish looked amazing and my friend said it was delicious.

Dunbar House is situated in parkland which is perfect for other activities. After a nice brunch or lunch. you can throw down a blanket on the grass and relax. Or you can have a walk along the foreshore past the famous Doyle's Restaurant. Then on a nice day, you could walk further to a lovely beach called Camp Cove.

The whole area is a joy to explore with so much natural beauty surrounding you.

Parkland watsons Bay Dunbar House restaurant watsons bay
Parkland that surrounds Dunbar House Watsons Bay


This beautiful dessert is a Seasonal Fruit and Passionfruit Pavlova with vanilla and lemon cream. My friend and I shared dessert. The pavlova was so rich with flavour and the fresh fruit just set it off with a tang from the passionfruit.

Dessert Dunbar House Restaurant Watsons bay
Seasonal Fruit and Passionfruit Pavlova with vanilla and lemon cream


Camp Cove which is situated at Watsons Bay. It takes about twenty minutes to walk there from Dunbar House. Make a day of it and you will have a magical experience.

Camp Cove Watsons Bay Beach walks
A lovely scenic view of Camp Cove beach


An important event to mention is a High Tea for Mother's Day. This will be held on Sunday 14th of May. The food and service are fabulous, so if you need an excuse to celebrate at Dunbar House, here is the perfect one. Get in early as they will book out quickly.

Mothers Day Dunbar House Watsons Bay
Mother's Day Menu at Dunbar House
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Why? Lovely restaurant, harbour views,Great food and service. They are hosting a special Mothers day luncheon. Perfect place for this event
When: Open Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea, 7 days
Phone: 02 9337 1226
Where: 9 Marine Parade, Sydney NSW 2030
Cost: Reasonable
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