Is there a more magical time to visit the Blue Mountains than in Winter? We think not. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, an active weekend of hiking and views, or a day trip from Sydney, you still have to eat. So here are our picks of Blue Mountains dining.
Set in a heritage-listed converted workshop, the industrial charm of Leura Garage is a perfect backdrop for vibrant modern Australian cuisine. With a strong ethos around sustainability, Leura Garage has earned its place as a staple amongst visitors and locals. The well-priced menu features pizza and share plates along with a wine list boasting local and international drops. The 12-hour braised lamb shoulder with pomegranate glaze, confit garlic and rosemary serves as the perfect winter dish. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Part of the original Lilianfels House and built more than 100 years ago, the multi-award winning Darley’s Restaurant is rich with history. Featuring two open fireplaces, crystal chandeliers and stunning leadlight windows, the ornate dining room is the perfect setting for a show-stopping degustation menu by executive chef Roy McVeigh with dishes such as Fremantle octopus with mushroom, cabbage puree and chili dill and Quail and rabbit tortellini with pumpkin, pepita and jus gras.
Located in Katoomba, with a panoramic outlook over Jamison Valley, Echoes Restaurant & Bar serves delectable modern Australian cuisine with an Asian influence. Enjoy dishes such as pan-seared scallops with XO sauce, pea puree and grapefruit gel, followed by a cashew nut crust grass-fed Riverina lamb rack served with mashed potatoes, crushed minted green peas, parsnip crisps and thyme jus. Pre-dinner, sip a cocktail, from the classic to the creative, as you admire one of the finest views in the Blue Mountains National Park.
The Lounge at Lilianfels is the ideal place to sink into a plush comfy armchair or sofa and settle in beside one of two roaring fires. The all-day dining menu ranges from tasty snacks such as Duck spring rolls with plum dipping sauce to heartier mains such as Lamb osso buco with creamy polenta and gremolata or Wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil and parmesan. The famous Lilianfels High Tea draws the crowds with pretty mignon cakes, dainty finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and house made jam. Turn it into an occasion with a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne. Or head to the mahogany bar for seasonal cocktails and a glass of wine from the extensive list.
Headed by executive chef John Slaughter (ex-The Sebel and Pier One), Eucalypt Restaurant is an elegant, intimate fine diner at the Fairmont Resort & Spa. Two menu options are available – four courses a la carte or a seven-course degustation – both of which focus on showcasing the finest produce and providing a perfect balance of texture and flavour.
One of three dining options at the historic Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath, the Boiler House Restaurant and Cafe combines sweeping views over Megalong Valley with an eye-catching contemporary design. Open for lunch and dinner daily, the contemporary a la carte menu showcases modern Australian cuisine with dishes such as Potato gnocchi, served with butternut pumpkin, garlic, radicchio and sage, the signature Seafood hotpot with house-made flatbread, and a range of pizzas.
Constructed in 1903, the Salon du Thé Bar & Lounge at the Hydro Majestic incorporates the historic Billiards Room and the Cat’s Alley, and originally functioned as a gallery and ladies lounge. Meticulously renovated, the Salon du Thé features Shanghai-chic décor, with rich Oriental reds, Asian-inspired murals and luxurious furniture throughout. The short menu offers Asian-inspired dishes including Salt and pepper calamari with sambal aioli, Prawn parcels with paprika mayo and Crispy duck and shiitake spring rolls. The NSW-centric wine list focuses on regions including Hilltops, Mudgee and Orange. It’s open on weekends from 3pm to 8 pm.
Take a step back in time at the elegant Wintergarden at the Hydro Majestic. Afternoon high tea treats, served on a three-tiered silver stand, consist of tiny cakes and pastries, finger sandwiches, and freshly-baked scones with homemade jam and fresh clotted cream. Freshly brewed speciality teas and coffees and a glass of sparkling wine round out the experience. For dinner, enjoy locally sourced dishes such as Asparagus and pickled heirloom carrots with olive soil and roast carrot purée and Twice cooked corn fed chicken roulade with prosciutto, goat’s cheese, duck fat potatoes, pencil leek and smoked ancho chilli pepper sauce.
Set in the dress circle of the historic Savoy picture theatre in Katoomba, and full of art deco charm, Avalon Restaurant and Cocktail Bar has been a Blue Mountains institution for three decades. It offers a diverse menu of hearty meals, combining influences from around the globe, from Europe to Asia and modern Australia. The drinks list showcases more than 80 Australian wines, spirits and craft beers, with a focus on local producers. Local musicians perform each week at the popular Friday supper club.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Bon Ton Bistro & Wine Bar in Leura has you covered. Start the day with a breakfast panino and organic coffee or poached eggs on a bed of ancient grains and seeds. At lunch choose from sandwiches, pasta or mains such as Steak Frites or Szechwan peppered kangaroo loin. Dinner offerings range from Grilled octopus with white bean hummus, roasted olives and preserved lemon to Eggplant alla parmigiana. The $40 two-course dinner special (available Monday, Tuesday and Friday) is a bargain.