BEROWRA WATERS INN | Beautiful Setting
THE UPSIDE: beautiful setting on the Hawksbury River, nestled in nature.
THE DOWNSIDE: hard to get to and we left unsatisfied.
I wasn’t sure whether to write this review, as I didn’t want to be down on a place so many others seem to love and that rates so well elsewhere, including having two hats. There are some things it would be worth considering, however, if Berowra Waters Inn is on your list, as it was ours.
We went for a birthday lunch and had decided not to stay on the river overnight or get there by seaplane. Accommodation is offered mostly for a 2 night minimum, though a few places will do 1 night for around $400-600 on a Saturday night. Or if you choose the seaplane option, it’s over $500 per person. Both options making it a considerable expense, which wouldn’t be for everyone.
In hindsight, I think one of these options is probably essential to add to the experience and to minimize the stress of getting to a remote location or driving. From the North Shore where we live, it seemed doable by train and a short taxi ride, but in reality taxis were hard to come by and made us late. So that wasn’t a great start and we had allowed ample time. My advice, if you can’t hang the expense on accommodation or the seaplane, and don't want to drive, and you still want to dine here – get an Uber all the way, or at least from Hornsby where there will be more options. The train ride is quite leafy and pleasant, if you don't mind that mode of transport for a special occasion.
Getting there is a significant factor given the remoteness of the location, and it does have the potential to make or break the experience.
Once there, it was nice to be met at the wharf and travelled across the river to the restaurant. The position, décor and setting is a real standout. Tranquil, absolute waterfront and fresh feeling. Unfortunately, it was quite empty when we visited so lacked a little vibe, and we found the staff pleasant but a bit standoffish, only giving us just enough information and nothing more.
The 6 courses were elegant and delicate, and quite refined, though they were missing the wow factor for us, and the portion sizes really were ‘tasting’ only which meant we left unsatisfied and hungry.
What you gain on exclusivity you lose on value. At $165 per person for the degustation, which is all they do, and an extra $85 for matching wines, you really want to love the area, the natural environment and be prepared to eat lightly.
My main tip would be to consider going all out and staying on the river or adding in the seaplane journey, as those added touches might bring the magic that I felt the restaurant alone lacked. Expectations were high and unfortunately, on this occasion, not met.
Date visited: Oct 8, 2016 // Type of visit: birthday lunch // With: partner // TripAdvisor link here