After a hard week of #adulting, there’s nothing better than spending a Saturday afternoon catching up with your girls over a fancy lunch and pretty cocktails.
And luckily for us, we live in Sydney, which is teaming with Instagram-worthy restaurants, perfect for the ultimate gals’ day out.
Step forward The Botanica Vaucluse in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which isn’t just decorated to delight groups of friends on the hunt for an epic boomerang, but presents a paddock-to-plate style menu, delivering fresh and wholesome food straight from the shrubbery in the garden.
You know you’re about to have the freshest lunch of your life when you walk through the whimsical copper archway out front, entwined with cascading flowers and baby succulents, and you spot one of the chefs on his knees picking herbs from the garden.
Tiny fairy lights guide you towards the restaurant door, where you catch your first glimpse of the lush greenery tucked away from the road.
Hidden away in a secret backyard oasis, Botanica, which resembles the famous Sketch restaurant in London, packs a punch as soon as you walk in the door, with your eyes instantly darting to the decorative wallpaper lining the walls – which is speckled with images of peacocks, orange trees in full bloom and exotic plants.
The interiors are a massive part of the allure for customers coming to Botanica, with millennial pink chairs dotted around the room, heaps of chic nooks and crannies to get the perfect Instagram photo and plants hanging from every corner imaginable.
But of course, it’s not all about luxurious furniture, as head chef Perry Hill also serves up delicious, ethical and seasonal dishes, with produce like the veggies, herbs and citrus either plucked from the garden outside or delivered from Jamberoo Valley Farm, two hours south of Kiama in NSW.
The kingfish ceviche tostada, warm spanner crab salad, drizzled with lemon olive oil, and the wagyu beef bresaola, complemented with pickled beetroot and horseradish are just some of the highlights from the entrées.
Meanwhile, the mains are equally as sumptuous, with the grilled quail paired with late season figs, baby gem lettuce and almonds a stand-out dish, along with the roast duck breast, which comes served with radicchio, fennel and preserved orange salad.
While the mains are no doubt the hero plates, it’s the hidden delights along the way that we really relished, like the house-baked teff and quinoa gluten-free bread and the delicious hand-cut chips served with epic herb aioli.
And when you’re full to the brim, you can head out to the lush overgrown garden, where you’re lead on a trail of the senses, breathing in the smell of herbs like thyme and basil, as well as citrus pops from the lemon and limes.
For those looking to make a proper day out of it, the Botanica also offers up a range of spa treatments in Sol Spa, located just across the way from the restaurant.
I mean, where else can you go for a facial in the morning, have lunch in a farm-to-fork restaurant and chill out with a cocktail in serene gardens in the evening?
Check out the video above to see how our Be gals lunch went at The Botanica Vaucluse.
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