Au­tumn flavours abound

The Press - Zest - - From The Menu -

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 theoak­sof­

Coun­try com­forts: Din­ers can re­lax and feel at homeat The Oaks of Darfield.

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