Turning off the busy, tourist laden main street of Tanunda, approaching the historical Tanunda Clubhouse is an impressive site, at the least. The large 1890s building stretches wide across the street, dominating all attention. Walking up the front steps, the surrounding bar stools and tables under the front veranda scream out for a hot summer day and a cold beer.
Two sets of double glass doors open into the main entrance corridor. Take a sharp right at the very start of the corridor and you'll find yourself walking into what was once commonly referred to as the 'front bar' but is known here as the 'Club Bar'. This is the spot to order a cappuccino and home-made sweet, at any time of the day.
Alternatively, continue down the carpeted corridor and you'll find yourself at the Clubhouse Restaurant; a spacious dining facility, recently renovated and providing plenty of seating. As part of the renovations, an enormous illuminated mural has been set up along the length of the back wall. The picture features a landscape of the local area, including vineyards and rolling green hills. I'm told the picture alternates with other local landscapes. The mural provides an ambience of warmth and a modern décor, without destroying the historical charm of the building.
The restaurant is family friendly with a dedicated 'children's zone' extended off of the main dining area. There are toys and a large chalk board for children to entertain themselves while waiting for the adults to finish their glasses of red.
The restaurant offers two dining menus, an A La Carte and a set menu starting from $14 - $25 per head (for larger bookings). For a pub menu, there's plenty to choose from including options for gluten free, vegetarian and limited vegan choices. The menu begins with several pages of wine and other select beverages. While the meal prices might appear a little pricey for a pub, they are proportionate to the substantial serving sizes. Come with a big appetite if you expect to finish just about any of the main meals on offer. Daily specials are also offered up on the 'specials board' by the bar.
The Clubhouse boasts award winning hospitality, proudly displaying their 2008 awards for Regional Club of the Year and Best Dining Facility. However, don't expect table service, in the traditional Clubhouse spirit, orders are made at the bar.
Along with welcoming tourists, the Clubhouse maintains a community spirit, dedicating a special area of the front bar as the 'Locals Bar', where the gaming facilities are located. There are also plenty of regular week night activities on offer, open to members and visitors alike. Take part in Wednesday night's complimentary trivia game from 7pm in the dining room, enjoy local musical talent from 8pm each Thursday night during Autumn and Winter, or grab a ticket for the Friday night lucky wheel and take a chance to snap up one of the twenty prizes on offer; including cash, alcohol and meat trays to boot.
Unfortunately happy hour is only available to members, occurring each Saturday and Sunday from 3 – 6pm (yep, that's a long happy hour) offering $3 schooners, wine and bubbly. Don't worry though, if you find yourself frequenting the area often during these hours, membership is open to anyone. There are a number of membership package options and benefits extend beyond happy hour, including door prizes, free corkage and cakeage, children's discounted meals, birthday bonuses and more.
Tip: Don't forget to try the crispy fries, they are deep golden and beautifully crunchy, a moreish snack. Could they be the best in SA?