Everything about Pialligo Farmhouse is picture perfect - that view of the mountains across the gardens, the cosy fireplaces, the luxurious furnishings. Walking in to the restaurant, tucked into the far end of Pialligo, and opening those gleaming double doors, takes you far away from the hubbub of Canberra. It's all very luxe rustic, like a very high end country lodge.
There's a laudable commitment to locality in the food, so much of it sourced from the estate's vegetable gardens and orchards, and of course using the smallgoods that have become a byword in the capital. Spanner crab flakes are served with creamy avocado and a ribbon of green apple with a good, earthy harissa paste to anchor the dish.
Tender pieces of chicken (the Bessie from Holmbrae) are clean and flavoursome with boudin noir while desserts are colourful, lush and pretty quickly scooped up off the plate. The attention to detail continues even into the post-dessert petits four, packaged into pretty little Pialligo box if you're in a hurry.
The recent opening of the Garden Pavilions - a separate semi-outdoor eatery run by the estate's culinary director Jan Gundlach - is another reason to look forward to summer this year. The pavilions will serve up more relaxed, seasonal dishes in a family friendly setting and we're keen to see more of owners John Russell and Rowan Brennan's vision unfold.
18 Kallaroo Road, Pialligo, 6247 6060, thepialligoestate.com.au