Autumn flavours abound
With the cooler weather and shorter days approaching, The Oaks of Darfield offers a cosy place to sit back and relax over a delicious meal full of autumn flavours.
Co-owner Tom Donaldson says the large, open fire in the dining room will soon be roaring again, along with the original Victorian fire place in the bar where predinner drinks or tapas can be enjoyed.
While the restaurant will be making a few changes to its menu for autumn, diners can still find the most popular signature dishes on the bill of fare.
‘‘The new autumn menu will include an entree of rabbit and bacon terrine, with an apple and grape chutney and pickled vegetables,’’ Donaldson says.
‘‘A new addition to the mains is a roast rump of Canterbury lamb, with pumpkin and pan-fried sweetbreads, and finished with a rosemary and garlic sauce.’’
On the dessert menu, diners can find the new rich chocolate and hazelnut delice, with cointreau savayon and orange and mint syrup.
The Oaks of Darfield is a historic homestead that was built in the mid 1800s, and is one of Canterbury’s oldest remaining homesteads post quake.
The restaurant is set among a stand of mature oak trees, with french doors in the light-filled dining room that look out to a sheltered, private courtyard on one side and the Canterbury countryside on the other.
Donaldson says tables are set in a traditional style, with crisp, white linen tablecloths and napkins, and comfortable, high-back chairs to create an atmosphere of relaxed and elegant fine dining.
‘‘This style of dining seems increasingly hard to find with the loss of recent fine dining restaurants either through earthquake closures or rebranding to a more bistro/cafe style,’’ he says.
The restaurant’s fine dining atmosphere is complemented by service that Donaldson describes as attentive yet unobtrusive.
As well as fine country dining, The Oaks of Darfield offers a bed and breakfast, with three double bedrooms. A Country Escape package including a three-course dinner for two, bed and breakfast plus a bottle of Duetz champagne, is now on special for $350.
From next month, a three-course roast lunch for $45 per person will be a good reason to dine at the restaurant on Sundays.
Starting April 30, diners up for a bit of autumn entertainment can waltz into The Oaks of Darfield for jazz night on the last Wednesday of every month.
There’ll also be a mid-winter Christmas menu for group bookings starting in June.
With its top service and idyllic country views, the restaurant is a fine choice for functions.
‘‘For bookings over 25, we offer exclusive use of the dining room and bar, free of charge. A private dining room that seats up to eight is also available,’’ Donaldson says.
‘‘We’ve recently catered for small weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, corporate functions, cocktail parties and seminars, with different menu options available, including a la carte, set menus and canapes.’’
The Oaks of Darfield, 4km west of Darfield on State Highway 73 (Main West Coast Rd), is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from midday to 3pm, and for dinner from 6pm. To make a booking or for more information call 03 318 7686 or go to theoaksofdarfield.co.nz
Country comforts: Diners can relax and feel at homeat The Oaks of Darfield.