Top Table: Casaurina, Hunter Valley, Australia

Location

Hermitage Road, 2320 Pokolbin, NSW (00 61 2 4998 7888)

View

The view through the picture window was a maze of vineyards; the blue hills on the horizon were grooved with vines.

Service

"Would you like cocktails, champagne, a glass of wine, can I take your jacket, a drink in the lounge before dinner, some canapes?" Our waitress was attentive, and more cheerful than she would have been in, say, Bordeaux.

Clientele

At dinner there was a plethora of little black dresses with pearls. There aren't many places you can wear diamonds and high-heels in Aussie farming country.

Design

Casaurina is a farmhouse, dining room which is simple and small, with plenty of space between tables.

Romance factor

We walked to the door amid a sea of vineyards. After dinner we walked back to our car, watching shooting stars above us surrounded by vines painted pale by the moonlight.

Menu

Casaurina's specialities are flambes, prepared at your table by the chef. The carte offers you steak ("made with Hunter beef") and seafood from the Pacific.

Wine list

We drank gruff, leathery Lindeman's Steven Shiraz, though we were tempted to sneak a bottle of Tamburlaine Cabernet in under the table.

Oh yeah, and the food

Inside my steak was milky, outside a hint of seared grape flavour combined beautifully with coriander and zest. Sam's jambalaya had lobster and giant prawns. It tasted like an alcoholic seaside barbecue, all supple white flesh laced with lime, plus a dash of char-grilled spice.

Darius Sanai

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Account Executive

    £18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

    Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Healthcare expertise

    Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

    Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Management, Communications and Fundraising

    Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

    Day In a Page

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf