East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Discover a unique regional fine dining experience in Victoria

Drift House at Port Fairy, one of regional Victoria's best luxury guest houses, will host a pop-up restaurant once a month for the rest of the year. 

But this will be no ordinary pop-up with former fine diner Fen taking up residence at Drift House to create one of the most exclusive dining experiences in Australia.

Two-hatted Fen closed its doors in early 2018 with chef Ryan Sessions and partner Kirstyn now serving gourmet burgers at Randy's Burgers in Port Fairy. 

With the exception of a one-night pop-up at Drift House in late 2018, the Fen team has kept a low profile - but his Sessions is ready to provide a post-lockdown lift for gourmets.

‘Flipping burgers has provided us with a great break from the intensity of fine dining and we fully intend to keep Randy’s ticking along, but the opposite end of the dining spectrum is where our hearts lie, so we can’t wait to get started at Drift House’ says Sessions.

Drift House picked up the gong for best hotel design in the 2019 Eat, Drink Design Awards with the newly opened Salon being recognised as one of the most elegantly beautiful dining spaces in the country. 

This was a huge drawcard for the Sessions. 

"The Salon at Drift House is a beautifully designed space and we are so lucky to have access to it. If Ryan and I sat down to design the perfect space to complement his food we would end up with something a bit like the Salon, but the Drift House team has done all the hard work for us’ says Kirstyn.

Drift House co-owner John Watkinson views the arrival of Fen at Drift House as an obvious and natural evolution of the offering to guests. 

"We pride ourselves on offering one of Australia’s best boutique accommodation experiences and now we will be able to add exceptional dining to complete the package for our guests," he says."We think that this will redefine destination dining in Victoria."

The residency will see Fen taking over The Salon at Drift House for just one night per month. There will be just 12 seats and bookings are only available to Drift House guests. 

"At Drift House I think I will have a lot more time to create a truly special dining experience and the small scale will mean I will be able to maintain a very tight rein on all aspects of the operation to ensure exceptional quality," says Sessions.

Dates for the first five dinners were confirmed today: August 1, August 22, September 26, October 31, November 21. 

Bookings for the $195 per person degustation can be made online as part of an accommodation package at www.drifthouse.com.au or by calling (03) 55683309.

The package is priced from $1240 and includes two nights’ accommodation for two peopl, dinner for two people on the Saturday night and the signature Drift House breakfast on both mornings. I've stayed at Drift House and it is a gorgeous retreat. Highly recommended. 

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