When dining creates memories: Hentley Farm Restaurant

Nestled along the banks of Greenock Creek, a modern atrium style dining room extends into the landscape from elegantly rustic 1880s stables. This building is a beautiful visual indicator of what to expect from your Hentley Farm dining experience. Definitively of the Barossa Valley, connected to its place like no other, yet with a modern, progressive edge.

What stands out most about this undeniably impressive restaurant is the complete lack of pretension. From the moment you’re greeted at the Cellar Door for a pre-dinner tasting or drink, there’s a calming feeling of welcome, of joining the extended family. The us-vs-them divide between many a front and back of house restaurant team is simply non-existent here. Walk past the glass-walled kitchen and you’ll be met with a wave and beaming smile from the team of chefs. Many a course is delivered to your table by the chefs, Head Chef Lachlan Colwill going where few chefs have gone before - donning a suit to work the floor for entire services. Restaurant Booking Manager Alana Elix credits this unique service style as a key element of their success “The direct connection between guest and chef is a key driver to increased customer satisfaction. The chefs are personally invested in going above and beyond with a strong focus on the minor details which create memorable dining for our guests.”The floor staff too, are impeccably trained, able to discuss the dishes as well as any chef, and the wines as well as the winemaker.

Proudly local, Lachlan comments “Our food philosophy takes inspiration from farming and foraging around the site to create a unique dining experience…It’s an incredible privilege to head up a progressive kitchen in the very region I grew up. The produce we use often comes from people I went to school with that have taken over the family farms, old friends with orchards and home gardens and family supplying us with produce from the very trees I used to climb. Being at Hentley Farm provides an opportunity to also focus on our own farming practices and foraging around the site. All of this combined makes for a great source of inspiration as a chef, and is key to creating a dining experience that is truly unique to the region.”

With just 2 offerings; the 4 course ‘du jour’ and the 7 course + snacks ‘discovery’ menu, there is no published menu. Seasonality and quality rule here, with selections changing daily yet all dietary requirements are seamlessly catered for. The wine pairing option to Hentley Farm wines is, as predicted, executed with perfection. The subtleties of vintage variations and a growing portfolio from which to choose plays off nicely against an ever-changing scope of produce. You’ll never dine on the same menu twice here.

Hentley Farm embraces the local artisans to the fullest, the historic stone walls of the stables dining room and Cellar Door are sparingly hung with abstracts by local artist Stuart Hoerisch, pockets of life and colour in these intimate spaces. Ceramics by Susanna Brown of Really Useful Pots make the perfect hand-crafted frame for the intricate dishes. Perhaps most evidently is the contracting of Tanunda based JBG architects for the meticulous restoration of the stables, cellar door and recent glass extension.

Taking out the Wine Tourism Restaurant category in South Australia’s recent Best of Wine Tourism Awards is just one of a slew of accolades to Hentley Farm’s name, including:

  • Membership of the elite Relais et Chateaux Association - one of only 5 in Australia
  • South Australia’s Restaurant of the Year in the 2013 & 2016 Advertiser Food Awards.
  • Awarded four forks in The Advertiser Food Guide 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016.
  • Best Regional Restaurant in the 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 Advertiser Food Awards.
  • Consecutive Best Restaurant in a Winery category at the SA Restaurant & Catering Awards, 2014 & 2015.
  • Named Best New Restaurant at the SA Restaurant & Catering Awards 2013.

Determinedly guest-focused you get the sense that the restaurant and staff exist purely for your comfort and enjoyment. From the moment you venture beyond the hedge into this world where heritage and evolution harmonise, until you walk out the door holding your personalised copy of the menu, Hentley Farm Restaurant is about making memories. Lifelong memories of South Australia, the Barossa, its food and its people.

Hentley Farm Restaurant is open for lunches daily and Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner. Bookings are essential.

Hentley Farm Wines is the 2018 regional winner of the Best of Wine Tourism Award in the Wine Tourism Restaurants category.

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