We love a little escape to Watsons Bay, but battling the crowds and the seagulls? Not so much. Fortunately, Dunbar House is just a few steps away.
Perched atop a lush green hill, this popular wedding destination has also quietly become one of Sydney’s best cafés, making it the perfect spot to relax next to the gentle lapping of the waves. Whether you go for breakfast or lunch (or you know… both), they’ll make you feel like a million dollars as you soak up the equally luxuriant views.
Take your time getting there, whether that’s by ferry, or your own private water taxi. Breakfast stays on the menu all day every day—because no one ever said luxury can’t also mean lazy. Start with a fresh juice or loose-leaf tea on your day off, then come back for bubbly by the beach for an epic Friday lunch, or a cheeky aperitif on the weekend. We’ll find plenty more excuses to head out to this eastern suburbs café, and so will you.
The real rockstars of the menu come out after noon (much like rockstars in real life). For something light, you can’t go past the tempura zucchini flowers. If you’re dining with friends, it’s also a perfect starter to share while pretending it’s actually summer. Once you dig into the crispy shell, the tangy feta, preserved lemon and olive filling will melt in your mouth.
Just as impressive for lunch is the Alaskan King Crab tortellini, which tastes as stunning as it looks. This Instagram celebrity of a dish is as fresh as the sea breeze, with handmade pasta that is wonderfully silky. And just in case you thought Dunbar House was only for dainty eaters, their hefty beef cheek and mushroom pie will set you straight.
Our only quibble is over what to pick for dessert, because everything from the frangipane tart cases to the dark chocolate fondant are made in house. To avoid this sticky quandary, the petit fours are your best bet.
Of course, we couldn’t tea-se you without mentioning the afternoon teas. Served on the finest china, Dunbar House spare no expense with their high teas. Live out that Downton Abbey fantasy in the toasty Missoni room, or on the deck with a steaming cuppa, all overlooking the ethereally blue Watsons Bay water. If tea doesn’t set your heart aflutter, take your pick from an Aussie or French sparkling.
Finally, if you fall for Dunbar House as much as we did, they also bring out the extravagance for private functions and weddings. Enjoy the whole top floor and balcony with the best views in the house, your own professional oyster shucker, or a charcuterie station sliced fresh.
Pack your sunnies and get ready to stick out your little pinkies, Listers!
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Image credit: Federica Portentoso