This may be just the most idyllic spot to spend the afternoon over a long lunch. Housed in a charming 19th-century cottage, Robert’s Restaurant has long been celebrated in these parts (NSW’s Hunter Valley) for its top nosh.

But the pretty-as-a-picture organic garden is a fairly new addition to the property since George Francisco became head chef in 2011.

George, who made his mark at Sydney’s Relais & Châteaux property Jonah’s Whale Beach, has always had a strong belief in using local organic produce – and you can’t get any more local than this. With the expertise of a full-time horticulturalist, the fresh bounty includes strawberries, cucumbers, peas and lettuce, which are incorporated into the menu.

And what a divine menu it is. The tempura ricotta-filled zucchini flowers are dangerously moreish; as is George’s signature vanilla panna cotta served with fresh lavender honey, which is also produced onsite.

After a gastronomic feast (and the feast for your eyes), you can meander to the luxury Tuscan-style Tower Lodge next door – also a member of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux group and the perfect place to mull over perhaps the loveliest long lunch you’ve had.

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