Be prepared to fall in love with the most romantic restaurants in regional NSW.
1. Bendooley Estate, Berrima
When it comes to romantic locations, does it get much better than a book-filled barn nestled in the rolling, vine-clad hills of the stunning Southern Highlands? Welcome to Bendooley Estate, a recently refurbished space filled with dramatic pendant lights, a grand open fireplace, cathedral ceilings, and thousands of books.
With tables burrowed among the bookshelves, or in the breathtaking glasshouse-style wing, you can enjoy the best local produce the Southern Highlands have to offer (trust us, the gourmet wood-fired pizzas are divine), while tasting Bendooley’s array of world-class wines. Did we mention they host weddings as well? We guarantee you’ll leave Bendooley Estate thoroughly charmed and definitely in the mood for love.
2. Old Bank Restaurant, Dubbo
Date night in Dubbo is sorted thanks to the Old Bank Restaurant, a beautiful heritage building harbouring modern Australian fare and cracking live music acts. Built in 1876, and originally the site of Dubbo’s Westpac, it’s the heritage features found throughout that really add a special ambiance to the restaurant.
Six private dining spaces are available, including the courtyard and front veranda, and it’s these cosy nooks that are perfect for an intimate dinner with that someone special. For more relaxed vibes, head to the main dining area and enjoy a meal, perhaps a glass of wine (or two!), and some live music.
3. The Commercial Boutique Hotel, Tenterfield
A new lease on life has seen the Commercial Boutique Hotel go from run-down pub to the trendiest place in Tenterfield. The grand reopening in September 2014 saw the restoration of many of the hotel’s original Art Deco features, but also the addition of a few carefully chosen modern comforts.
A highlight is the newly-added craft beer bar, which showcases over 40 local Australian brewers and makes for a great place to start an evening of romance. A fusion of French and Australian cuisine from head chef Florian Boucereau is on the menu in the delightful dining room, and the cognac flambéed scallops are not to be missed. A surprisingly romantic must-visit when it comes to wining and dining in Tenterfield.
4. The Pig and Tinder Box, Tamworth
Cocktails are the order of business at The Pig and Tinder Box, which means your cheeky date night in Tamworth is officially sorted. The aesthetic is sleek and effortlessly cool, and the modern, contemporary interior is in stark contrast to the beautiful old bank building exterior that greets visitors.
Do yourself a favour and book one of the glamorous booths for the evening, which are the best places to enjoy the gallery of cocktails, craft beers, whiskey and impressive variety of wines. Share plates and pizza dominate the menu, and make sure to leave room for the desserts. Cool, casual and fun, The Pig is relaxed romance at its best.
5. Merilba Estate, Uralla
Looking for a romantic spot to enjoy a long and lazy weekend lunch? We’ve got just the place in mind: Merilba Estate, an enchanting establishment that ticks all the right boxes when it comes to the ultimate romantic restaurant.
The rich pastoral property has a history dating back to the mid-1800s, but it was in 1998, when wine production began, that the estate really began to flourish. Nowadays, the former stables have been beautifully restored as a cellar door and restaurant, and with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the stunning gardens and historic buildings, there really isn’t a better place in New England to enjoy a romantic meal.
Good food, wine and a stunning location, if that’s not a recipe for love we don’t know what is!