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12 August 2010

Best ‘foodie’ wedding venues in Canberra (and nearby)

Note added March 2012

3seeds is now located at Fyshwick Markets. The food is still fantastic and if you're looking for a caterer, this is my Number One recommendation. I was celebrant at a wedding recently in the gallery at Pialligo Plant Farm. The venue was lovely for this small family wedding, in the building beside podfood, who did the catering. I recommend podfood on one condition - make sure that you have an exclusive booking so it's peaceful for your ceremony.

Note added July 2011

Andrew and Catherine Haskins have moved to Three Seeds in Majura Park where they've set up a superb eatery, but it's not a wedding venue. I haven't had a wedding at podfood since the new owner took over. I'm sure this wedding venue in the grounds of Pialligo Plant Farm (owned and run by my good friends Rhondda and Geoff Cleary) is just as beautiful as ever. I can't personally recommend the food yet.

The wonderful Country Guesthouse Shoenegg still has luxurious accommodation so it would be perfect for your wedding night or short local away-from-it-all honeymoon but. as far as I know, there's no longer a restaurant there.

Hello, and welcome.
     Of course this list is very subjective. I have no commercial arrangements with any wedding providers and I'm simply telling you my own personal preferences.
     At the top of my list would have to be podfood in Pialligo. Andrew and Catherine Haskins will be your hosts, and Andrew is surely Canberra's top chef. And not only is the food the best, the setting is so lovely for a springtime, summer or autumn wedding. (Catherine sent me the photo)
     The restaurant is set in the grounds of Pialligo Plant Farm that is just chock-full of glorious roses from November through to April. Couldn’t think of anywhere lovelier!  (Except my own beautiful Heart Garden in Weston maybe.)
     Next I’ll put First Floor in Kingston. This has always been my daughter’s favourite restaurant and when she married her beloved a couple of years ago, we all enjoyed superb lunch and great service at First Floor. 
     For unusual and delicious food in an Australian bush setting (or traditional food if you prefer it) I recommend Poacher’s Pantry, just past Hall. I’ve noticed that couples who marry there often charter a bus from Civic for their guests. I've also noticed as a celebrant that the way they look after wedding guests is very thoughtful and thorough. Eating at Poacher’s Pantry is a gourmet experience. They smoke their own foods and sell them in their Smokehouse Cafe.
     This one’s not a Canberra wedding venue, but I can’t leave it off the ‘foodie’ list. Weddings at Crisp Lavender Gardens and Galleries are always wonderful. The country garden setting has a unique (and magical?) wildness about it and there are lots of stunning places that food can be served. 
     The Crisp family know excellent caterers. My friend Jeannine the wedding co-ordinator is just delightful. She'll give you all the help you need to organise your wedding. 
     Canapes may be served with after-ceremony drinks in the Lavender Knot garden (see photo), or on the lawns near the stunning ‘sheet-glass’ waterfall, or near the poplar woods, or perhaps in The Rill Garden, or on the lawn near the cairn water-feature and Peter Crisp mosaics. Sit-down dinner is in the ‘performance space’, a generous gallery area, complete with large stage and grand piano. (The 2-metre peacock candelabras are sensational.)
     Oh, and that reminds me – another venue that is also outside Canberra. Country Guesthouse Schonegg. at Murrumbateman. This would be my recommendation for a small intimate wedding, especially on a quiet weekday. 
     I have just visited their site and noticed that, come September, Richard and Evelyn will be making some big changes. Dinner will be gourmet platters or you'll have the option of limo transfers to other excellent local restaurants. Champagne Breakfast will be even more a feature. There are six suites as I recall and they’re all total luxury. A small wedding, a magnificent meal, then waking the next morning to a delicious country breakfast. What more could you want?
     In February this year, my husband David and I chose Schonegg as the venue to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We enjoyed our stay there immensely.
     Just thought of one more! Again, this one is outside ACT. ‘Grazing’ at Gundaroo has absolutely superb food. Last time I was there I noticed that their garden is now a big veggie and herb patch so I'm not sure where you would have your ceremony, but what a great place to celebrate. 
     Here's another option I just worked out if you're dedicated 'foodies' and you're planning to be wed: As from September, you could have your wedding at Schonegg, then travel to Gundaroo by limo for dinner, then champagne breakfast at Schonegg.  How memorable would that be?!
     It’s quite likely I will think of other places now I'm finishing this blog post  (like Wendy Hudson's very good food at the National Botanic Gardens) but the ones I’ve mentioned came to mind easily as my personal recommendations for wedding venues in Canberra and surrounds where the emphasis is on excellent food for you and your very lucky guests.
     What's your favourite wedding venue for 'foodies' in the ACT and nearby? 
Like to leave a comment?
     Here's a link to a post about Grazing at Gundaroo on The RiotACT blog. Click here
      Here are a couple of other links you may find helpful:
       Please feel free to phone on 02 6161 0718, mob 0406 376 375 with any wedding questions you may have. (Don't always have my mobile with me, sorry, but I work beside my landline phone and if I'm not there, you can always leave a message, thanks.) Or email me - especially late at night, since I'm a nightowl.
     Till next time



Kristina - New Haven CT Wedding DJ said...

Wow! That wedding venue is awesome and unique. I like it! Thanks for sharing this post to us.

Michele Bolitho said...

Thanks Kristina
I see that you are in the US but the advice you give couples on choosing a DJ for their wedding reception is very helpful to Australian couples as well. As we say in Oz - 'good on you'. :)