THORN PARK, Clare Valley

Macadamia shortbreads and coconut semi freddo with mango and toffee syrup

Macadamia shortbreads and coconut semi freddo with mango and toffee syrup


Not exactly a restaurant, but if you’re after a high quality accommodation/dining experience book in at Thorn Park by the Vines, where hosts David Hay and Michael Speers will make sure you want for nothing. Nestled in bushland at the edge of Sevenhill, this place is both private and quiet and takes up to 6 guests, having 3 luxury bedrooms. David has a background in interior design and Michael has spent some time as an art teacher so there is definitely attention to detail in every aspect.

What makes this place extra special is that if you choose, David will cook you up a magnificent dinner in the galley kitchen while Michael looks after your every need.  David is obviously passionate about his cooking and the food is beautifully presented and restaurant quality, and wines are carefully matched.

We chose to eat in both of the nights we stayed and we were glad we did! Each person gets a hand written menu and we started with canapés and sparkling wine in the living area before moving to the dining table.

The pictures below show what we had over the two nights.  The corn soup with zucchini sounds simple enough but it was so delicious it left me wanting more! This was followed by a very tasty bruschetta with tomatoes, broad beans and pecorino. The tomatoes were so sweet! Then came the slow cooked lamb shoulder. I was intrigued that the meat came out looking like an eye fillet of beef! David tells me he gets the shoulder boned then tightly rolls and ties it, cooks it in the oven for 2-3 hours before slicing it, chryovacing it and finishing it in a water bath.  David is equally good at his desserts and this night was the macadamia shortbreads and coconut semi freddo with mango and toffee syrup.

Breakfasts are also delicious and not too heavy – beautiful house made muesli with yoghurt and fruits, and savoury such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and avocado.

This place is the perfect getaway and close to the Clare Valley wineries. We will definitely be going back!


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