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Thursday 6 June 2024

Star chefs to host gourmet winter retreat in the hills

Here's a great-sounding gourmet getaway for winter if you have some cash to splash.

Three Blue Ducks and The Lodge Bellingen have announced the launch of Bellingen Food & Wine Escape; a blend of culinary experiences, nature, and relaxation in the picturesque setting of Bellingen in the mid-north New South Wales hinterland.

The inaugural event will take place from July 12-14, including a long lunch hosted by Ducks chefs Andy Allen and Darren Robertson,

Set on 16 acres of gardens, The Lodge Bellingen is a boutique countryside retreat with valley views over the Bellinger River towards the Dorrigo National Park.

At the heart of the property is Three Blue Ducks’ restaurant where Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay head chef Sam Morton has been collaborating with Bello’s lead local chef Dannielle Farrugia to create a menu that is a balance of the original Asian-inspired dishes and several Ducks classic dishes from their other restaurants.

“With the menu undergoing a bit of a refresh recently to take it back to our roots," says chef and co-owner Darren Robertson.

"We’re excited to get people back in to not only showcase that, but also the incredible local wine and produce available across NSW. We’re spoiled for choice in Bello when it comes to both, so Bellingen Food & Wine Escape is the perfect opportunity to kick things up a notch and highlight that."

Local suppliers including Plateau Farm; The Bellingen Smokehouse; New Life Farm; Bello Beef; Klang Farm Organics; and M&J Becker wines from the Hunter Valley

A two-night winter escape package includes accommodation at luxury boutique hotel The Lodge Bellingen; daily breakfast for two at Three Blue Ducks, a wine masterclass on Friday night, where guests can expand their wine knowledge and enjoy choices from M&J Becker; paired with a Ducks' grazing table; long lunch for two on Saturday hosted by Three Blue Ducks chefs Andy Allen and Darren Robertson (below).

 The menu will include snacks, a welcome drink and three-course shared feast with beverage pairings. Menu highlights will include: smoked trout donuts; bone marrow flat bread; mushroom custard with ginger and garlic; fermented chilli-glazed chicken and whole roasted pig.

“Anyone that’s stopped in Bello on the way along the east coast knows what a special place it is, particularly in winter," says Allen, "The view is incredible, there’s a great food and drink culture, it’s a haven for fishing and the nearby surf is pretty epic too.”

Bookings are available via at $1,400 per couple. 

For those unable to commit to the full weekend escape, a limited number of tickets will be made available for the Saturday long lunch with welcome drink ($140pp) and Friday night wine masterclass ($80pp) only. Bookings can be made via this link.

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