Customs House Hotel, Newcastle
No extra points for working out how this building was used before it became the stylish restaurant of today. It is a beautiful and impressive building with two function rooms upstairs, making it a grand setting for a wedding. The restaurant is intimate but definitely not small. An impressive cedar staircase draws the eyes skyward to the ornate ceilings and the white linen tablecloths sit beautifully against the deep wood features of the room. The veranda, set with small tables, offers a vantage point to view the harbour and impressive courtyard. The furnishings are rich and the menu decadent but not too extravagantly priced. If you aren’t in the mood for a meal the Oyster Bar, within the hotel, is a beautiful setting for some whiskey from the top shelf or fine wine from around the world.
Bacchus Restaurant, Newcastle
On the recommendation of a good friend we booked our airfares to Newcastle and arrived at this beautiful building on the foreshore of Newcastle. We were completely unprepared for the beauty and exquisite detail we were about to be pleasured with. The history of the place initially draws you in, when you understand that it began life as a Methodist Mission and was in turn used to house disembarked soldiers, feed influenza patients in the style of a soup kitchen, as well as host theatrical events including movies and a concert by Dame Nellie Melba. From the street the building oozes character with it’s arched windows and beautiful brick facade. Step inside and the room opens up with high ceilings, chandeliers, walled draped with thick red curtains and a long heavy bar, behind which is a wall full of wine bottles. Dining in this restaurant is like experiencing a piece of theatre. The elegant tables host plates of food that are all amazing artworks in themselves. The smells and tastes are delicious and well schooled wait staff attend to the task of choosing suitable drinks from the international selection on offer.
Lizotte’s Live and Cookin’, Lambton
Another reincarnation of a splendid building, this time King’s Theatre, Newcastle, hosts an intimate restaurant and live music venue. Not so much to look at from the outside, although the outer blue walls are very striking, it is on entry to the restaurant that you realize why it works so well. The luxurious red theatre curtains still frame the stage and as our entree drinks are served we realize that the food and ambiance are preparing us for the main event, which is the music. As a restaurant though, the food is much more than complimentary to the gig. If you choose the dinner and show package you select an entree, main and dessert from the mouth watering selection and it is all gently served with time to spare before the first act. We were wined and dined magnificently and left completely in the right frame of mind to enjoy the music when the artist graced the stage.
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Analiese Long+ enjoys finding great restaurants in her travels all over Australia.