The great outdoors: There can be few more soul-enriching experiences than breaking city limits for a long, lazy lunch at Peats Bite on the Hawkesbury. Well, once you've got off the F3 anyway. A 15-minute putt-putt up river from Brooklyn - or a 15-minute seaplane trip from Rose Bay if you really want to push the boat - this family-run alfresco restaurant is only accessible by water and it's the most relaxed and sociable restaurant we've been to in Sydney. Dogs run about; kids chase the dogs or dangle a line off the jetty; adults laze on the lawns, or take their wine to the sofa in the sun in between courses. This truly is the way to live.
What to order: The menu changes seasonally but the winning formula remains the same. It's a set-price, four-hour, four-course affair, the first two of which are tasting plates - a truffled arancini ball here, a mushroom wonton there, followed by a seafood trio of tempura prawn, salmon and oysters. Main courses are served banquet style, three dishes between two, with salads on the side, so that it feels very much like a family lunch. After a triple whammy of Japanese style beef, whole baby snapper and duck, we took our wine for a turn around the grounds and chatted to other diners before returning for dessert: an assiette of chocolate and panacotta with poached plums, washed down with a bottle of botrytis semillon.
Inside knowledge: It's $120 per person without wine or water taxis. Don't fancy going home? Then book one of their holiday units on the water's edge for $280 per night. If you want to take your dog, just call in advance.
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