A refined farm to table menu in a stunning Spanish-inspired space
A new dining experience has arrived at the iconic Tower Lodge in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country, with a menu starring the finest of the region’s local produce, set in one of the valley’s most spectacular restaurant spaces.
It’s all part of the relaunch of Tower Lodge, led by long-time family owners Michael and Karen Hope, signalling a new era for the estate. If you aren’t yet acquainted with Tower Lodge, consider this your sign.
As you step through the ornate doors into Tower Lodge’s central courtyard, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into a Spanish hacienda.
A fountain bubbles in the courtyard’s centre, terracotta tiles line the floors all the way through to the estate’s restaurant, and timber beams frame the soaring ceilings.
It’s a truly singular estate in the Hunter Valley, and such a unique property deserves an equally-as-unique dining offering.
Formerly known as Sebastian, Tower Lodge’s restaurant has been reinvigorated with the appointment of renowned chef Anthony Fullerton.
Anthony – who won AHA Chef of the Year in 2022 and whose steakhouse Bull & Bell was named number 92 in the world in 2023 – has held onto the restaurant’s fine dining ethos and focus on hyper-local produce.
In crafting the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus, he has taken advantage of the Hunter’s plentiful local growers and suppliers, including the Hope family’s own farm and Tower Lodge’s kitchen garden. The result? Modern European fare that is all about letting these premium ingredients speak for themselves.
Think Angus beef (from the Hope farm) skewered and cooked over a woodfire grill then dipped in sumac aioli; melt-in-your-mouth Margra lamb shoulder, slow-braised and served with kipfler potatoes, shallots, and buttered broccolini; and bitter chocolate tart, slightly salted and accompanied by housemade pistachio gelato.
Staying true to the restaurant’s emphasis on using local produce, Anthony plans to tweak the menu seasonally, so as to showcase the best of what the Hunter has to offer.
Sharing is the name of the game at lunchtime, with a selection of tapas dishes to choose from, plus charcuterie and cheese boards featuring housemade accompaniments.
At dinner, there’s no set menu to be found – instead, choose an entrée, main, and dessert, and linger over your meal while you soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
The wine list continues the restaurant’s love of all things local, with plenty of Hunter Valley drops to be found, including, of course, Tower Estate wines. The Spanish varieties on the list offer a nod to the inspiration for the lodge’s stunning interiors.
While the menu at Tower Lodge is certainly refined, an easy, convivial vibe continues in the restaurant, where good food and beverages, long lunches, lazy afternoons and decadent dinners are all on offer. Lunch and dinner is served seven days a week to both lodge guests and visitors.
The Hope family has big plans for the further transformation of the Hunter Valley’s leading luxury lodge, including personally guided in-house masterclasses and tastings of wine, whiskey, and gin, with Tower Whiskey Distillery set to open in late October.
It’s just another thing to get excited about at Tower Lodge – we think it’s time to indulge in a meal at this incredible Hunter Valley escape.