Wayne Brown is a French-trained chef with Japanese influences whose credentials include stints at Sake, Quay, Tetsuya’s and Stokehouse. He will take up the role of head chef at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant and the Arthur Waterhouse Bar and Lounge at Mt Lofty House next month, working alongside current executive chef Girard Ramsay.
The new restaurant and bar is part of a development being undertaken by owners David Horbelt and Malcolm Bean which is designed to position the historic property at the peak of the state’s most luxurious food, wine and accommodation offerings. The restaurant and bar are named after previous owners Arthur Hardy (politician, lawyer and pastoralist) and Arthur Waterhouse (banker).
More than 50 tradespeople are currently working at Mt Lofty House in an effort to complete the facilities, which will be located at the front and centre of the property’s original building, making full use of the famous verandah overlooking the Piccadilly Valley.
Adelaide architect Mark Folland has been charged with the task of redesigning the heritage space to include a new $250,000 kitchen custom-built to chef Brown’s requirements, a 120-seat restaurant with an exclusive cellar and valley views, and a sophisticated bar which will be open to the public.
Once this is complete, construction will begin on stage two of the development: 15 new semi-detached villas designed by architect David Frazer which will be located on the escarpment overlooking the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens.
“The villas will offer six-star accommodation in the style of Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge,” says Mt Lofty House general manager Tony Barradale, who is overseeing the development.
Barradale came to the position at Mt Lofty House just over 15 months ago after running Orpheus Island Resort, Lindenderry at Red Hill Country Estate, Freycinet Lodge and Kingfisher Bay Resort.
“The development has been driven by the strong demand for higher-end accommodation in Adelaide, and Mt Lofty House has never had its own dedicated bar and lounge.
“The owners have amazing vision for Mt Lofty House and are totally passionate about meeting market needs.”
A new driveway, which will bring hotel, restaurant and bar guests back to the property’s original front entrance, is also under construction; conference guests will continue to use the rear entrance.
“The Arthur Waterhouse Bar and Lounge will also act as the hotel reception area, where guests will be welcomed personally,” says Barradale.
“It will be open to the public every day from 7am till stumps for drinks and bar snacks.”
The Arthur Waterhouse Bar and Lounge provides access to Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, taking up two adjoining rooms with tables and chairs including the newly glassed-in verandah area with Mt Lofty valley views. The cellar area beneath is being further excavated to provide wine storage and a space for private dinners and wine tastings.
“The verandah area is all climate-controlled and will be the prime place to sit,” says Barradale.
“There will also be LED lighting installed throughout the garden for night-time ambience – we can’t light up the valley, unfortunately.”
Despite all the building works, it’s business as usual for Mt Lofty House, which in recent years has become a major conference and events venue, and will continue to host its upcoming Adelaide Hills Wine Winter Reds Weekend events.
“On the Saturday night at Mt Lofty House is the Shaw + Smith Winemakers degustation dinner in the Piccadilly Restaurant and on the Sunday is the Winter Reds cluster event featuring Henschke, Mordrelle, Landsdowne Vineyard and Karrawatta wines with a pig on the spit and braziers on the Piccadilly Terrace,” Barradale says,
More information about the Mt Lofty House redevelopment and its Winter Reds events can be found here.
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