Forest Hill Vineyard, just outside Denmark, is a gem. We found it on a rainy day after a long bike ride, when wet and hungry we were in need of good food and a log fire. In the restaurant we found both, after a quick tasting of some Forest Hill wines donwstairs at the impressive cellar door.
The approach to the wine estate is just off the South Coast Highway, (another place to visit along here is the meadery) up a winding driveway past well-tended vineyards. As you enter the restaurant you’re confronted with big picture windows, that well and truly bring the outside in, and an emerald green view to die for.
Although the restaurant exudes classiness, it’s not at the expense of intimacy or friendliness. The staff are friendly, funny and inclusive. Silas, the executive chef explained the menu and had a merry quip or two to share with everyone. “If anyone is caught using a cellphone,” he warned us as he poured our wine, “they will have to fold 100 napkins.” As if on cue my phone began bleating from the bottom of my handbag and one hundred linen-white napkins magically appeared on our table, “And for that, you, by the way, can help with the washing up too,” he continued.
Forest Hill is like a retreat, an escape from the world at large. (So after that I switched my cellphone off).
They warn that on blog posts you shouldn’t talk about what you had for lunch. But this time, I can’t help it because the food exceeded our expectations, with the chef’s tasting platter (which changes daily) coming out tops. Here goes, this is what was included: Duck breast in fennel and orange salad; smoked trout in shiraz onion jam; prawn and squid salad; pumpkin arancini in aioli; wood fired olives; red pepper and walnut dip; crumbed sand whiting.
Did I fold the napkins? Did I wash up? You’ll have to go visit, and find out for yourself.