Set in the heart of the Eastern Suburbs, but hidden from the street by lush green foliage, The Botanica Vaucluse serves up locally sourced, sustainable fare in utterly exquisite surroundings, making it one of the best restaurants in Vaucluse. And the only one located in a retirement village.
Set in the grounds of the exclusive $115 million Mark Moran Retirement Village, entering The Botanica Vaucluse is like walking into the world’s most luxurious garden tea party. Outside, there are tables surrounded by an array of greenery. While inside, hanging plants adorn the walls, giant palms are doHed throughout, there’s forest-themed wallpaper and pastel pink seating.
But this restaurant is much more than just good looks. Once you’ve finished taking pictures of the interior and start to browse the menu, you’ll realise there’s much more to the restaurant than you may have first thought.
100% Farm to fork
The Botanica Vaucluse takes its farm-to-fork philosophy seriously. The majority of their ingredients are sourced from their on-site garden and their 65-acre farm in the Jamberoo Valley near Kiama. The few ingredients that aren’t home-grown are sourced from small Australian businesses like the Cooks Co-Op in Sackville and Victoria’s O’Connor beef, which provides the free-range and hormone-free meat for the grilled Angus beef skirt steak with chimichurri and watercress.
Executive chef Perry Hill grew up in the 1970s in the NSW Northern Rivers and came of age during Australia’s food revolution. One of his main priorities is conveying to customers that the ingredients, as well as the dishes, are created from the heart, by people that really care.
Hill has designed a menu focussed on local growers and sustainable, seasonal ingredients. His simple, wholesome and healthy approach means that each dish has just three or four ingredients. Our favourites include the seared ocean trout with dill, broccolini and Aleppo pepper and the potato gnocchi with pumpkin, goats’ cheese and pesto. For dessert, it’s hard to resist a classic like apple and cinnamon crumble.
For a special occasion or a group get together, The Botanica Vaucluse’s boHomless brunch includes a luxe four course tasting menu with free flowing Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label or Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial Champagne.
Sustainability and seasonality are also evident throughout the drink’s menu. Cocktails feature mint, lemon myrtle, and butterfly pea flower grown in the garden. The gin is made in-house, beers are sourced from local breweries and the Australian wine list focuses on organic, natural and biodynamic vineyards.
The best day spa you’ve never heard of
The Botanica might be one of the best restaurants in Vaucluse for healthy and sustainable eating, but the wellness experience doesn’t end when your meal does. Wander through the garden, following the scent of herbs, strawberry bushes and lemon trees and you’ll find yourself at The Botanica Spa.
A well-kept local secret, The Botanica is one of Sydney’s most peaceful day spas. As with the restaurant, the décor of the spa is also inspired by nature.
Whether you’re looking for a quick rejuvenating facial or you want to escape for hours and treat yourself to a full-body experience, The Botanica Spa therapies use aromatic oils infused with locally-grown herbs and spices leaving you feeling refreshed and restored.
Address: 2 Laguna St, Vaucluse NSW 2030
Friday: Lunch 12PM – 3PM
Saturday: Breakfast 9AM | Lunch 12PM | Dinner 6PM
Sunday: Breakfast 9AM | Lunch 12PM