The picturesque stroll to this restaurant took me by surprise. As Sydneysiders, it seems we often leave the best bits of our city to tourists. This July, why not make it your mission to take this one back? Learn from my mistake though, and leave your car at home. Greedy meters and zealous park rangers make parking on Mrs Macquaries Point an expensive affair.
Somewhat soothed by strolling through the gardens, I found the restaurant perched over the duck ponds (just follow the signs to Palm Grove).
Behind the 19th Century façade lies a bright, modern room.
The open sides blur the distinction between outside and in.
Local birdlife use winding vines to peer at what you’re eating – bound to be a highlight with the youngsters (who are warmly welcomed too).
For the adults, Christmas in July ($50/head) crowns a plate of baked ham and well-cooked vegetables, with an airy Yorkshire pudding.
Braised red cabbage helps you digest the richness, and ensures you can fit in their light, golden revision of the traditional Xmas pud.
Their parting hand-warmer is a steaming serviette-wrapped glass of glühwein, garnished with an orange so juicy it’ll have to be devoured too.
Value and cooking won’t win any awards, but the iconic location makes it worthwhile.
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9241 2419