Hunter Escape: Restaurant Cuvée at Peterson House

The Hunter Valley has a particular charm in winter. Or perhaps it’s just me being sentimental as it was during winter a good few years ago that Monsieur Poisson and I took our first ever trip away together, and it was a trip to the Hunter. I remember it was a particularly busy and stressful period at work and I was most grateful to be removing myself to somewhere still and quiet – literally, as we stayed at a resort in Wollombi which has almost no mobile phone reception bar one carrier and then only in a small spot at the end of the bed. The days were gloriously sunny and our little cabin had a real, wood log fireplace to provide crackly warmth during the evenings and nights. It also provided many hours of entertainment for the somewhat pyromaniacal Monsieur Poisson.

The trip was so relaxing that, fast forward a few years, we find ourselves visiting the region again and staying at the same resort at roughly the same time of year. Of course for the non-wine drinker that is Monsieur Poisson, there is still plenty of fun to be had indulging in the food of the region.

The last time we visited the Hunter Valley we only had time to stop in at Petersons House for scones at afternoon tea. And, as with a lot of places in the Hunter Valley, Petersons House is not open for dinner so we make a point of trying them out for lunch this time around. We are seated at one of tables on the covered deck overlooking the winter-bare grapevines – check out that blue, cloudless sky! Partnered with the country-quiet and only the occasional chirp of a bird, we felt so far removed from our usual daily city life.

We start the lunch with half a dozen ‘Sydney rock oysters with nuoc cham’. The oysters are small but plump, and their briny juices add some needed saltiness to the pulpy nuoc cham. Monsieur Poisson follows this with ‘Grilled kangaroo loin with steamed asparagus, parmesan polenta and baby spinach with Peterson's wine jus’. The kangaroo is tender and juicy but, surprisingly, it’s the smooth and creamy polenta (I’m so used to grilled polenta being too compressed and dry) which has my heart captured.

A side of potato chips with Maldon sea salt has a distinct aroma of chips bought from fish and chip shops as a child, and has me waxing lyrical about chips from days of yore. And in light of the amount of food we’ve ordered, I decide on an entrée dish to have as a main to achieve some semblance of “balance”. The ‘Deboned spatchcock stuffed with sourdough and pistachios on matchstick potatoes’ fits the bill nicely, arriving with the bird reclining seductively on vermicelli-thin potato threads and surrounded by a syrupy glaze.

We give dessert a miss as we’re happily full and have plans to stop for gelato later. We do, however, pop into the Petersons House cellar door afterwards to sample some sparkling wines and come away with cute piccolo bottles of their Pink Blush Rosé.

Corner of Broke Rd & Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin NSW
Tel: (02) 4998 7881

Opening Hours:  7 days  8:30am-11am (breakfast)
            12pm-3pm (lunch)

Restaurant Cuvee Petersons Champagne House on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. Aww I miss the Hunter! It's also a special place for us because it's our fave getaway and we love making regular trips there. The awesome wine and food keeps us coming back too :)

  2. Oh yes, natural oysters and Peterson's sparkling... the beautiful moments in life... :)

  3. its been a while since my last visit to hunter.... it is a gorgeous getaway place! the fresh oysters look excellent!

  4. sounds like the perfect getaway, beautiful pics dude!

  5. when i went to hunter valley for the first time 2 yrs ago, this was our first stop (after the info centre) and we had a lovely breakfast here :)

  6. looks like a perfect mini getaway. the food looks really nice too!

  7. I've never been to the Hunter Valley but it looks lovely! Need to convince Sir D to take me there hehe

  8. Beautiful pictures Rita!

    I have been meaning to make my way over to the Hunter Valley for a getaway, it seems such a nice place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. I think it's time to nag someone to take me pronto :p

  9. What a lovely get away for you two. Mac and I spent lots of time in the Hunter before Josh (and when Josh was young). Has been way too long since we have been up there.

  10. I love the Hunter Valley for that quiet getaway as well. Totally agree it's the perfect place for stress relief :)

  11. Oohh I am not a big wine person but a trip to HV is something I really need... or just any sort of holiday really hehe

  12. What a gorgeous looking weekend away!

  13. Was going to ask your advice on a hunter valley destination but I won't need to - looks like you had fun. P.s your photos are looking gorgeous- you are inspiring me!

  14. We've just hit our first really cold snap here, and this post has somewhat warmed my frozen cockles. Those matchstick spuds are pretty cool.. they're not looking intimidated by the chips at all :)

  15. wowzer, what a great escape from the grind. Everything looks splendid, especially the view of the vineyards.

  16. Now you have me dreaming of embarking on my own cozy winter escape! There's nothing better than a delicious lunch topped off with a glass or two of sparkling wine. The matchstick potatoes look delish (especially soaking up all that glaze).

  17. Hey Karen, I miss the Hunter too! We've always had such a nice time when we're there and feel a million miles away from everything.

    Hey Tina, so simple! And combined with peaceful surroundings, such bliss.

    Hey gastronomous anonymous, I love how the Hunter is so easy to get to from Sydney!

    Hey chocolatesuze, awww, thanks! I could do with another getaway now =D

    Hey Betty, I remember reading about it!

    Hey sugarpuffi, lovely food in a beautiful setting - people get married here!

    Hey Jacq, I highly recommend the Hunter for a short trip =D

    Hey Phuoc, nawww, thank you! It seriously is one of the most relaxing places I've been.

    Hey Sara, it's a beautiful area and even though you come across "tourists", it's just an entirely different atmosphere.

    Hey Dumpling Girl, I can't wait to get back there again =p

    Hey FFichiban, doesn't matter, neither is the husband! But there is so much good food to be enjoyed. And cheese. CHEEEEEEESE!

    Hey Reemski, we went midweek and avoided a lot of weekend crowds, I suspect.

    Hey Gastronomy Gal, thank you! Gorgeous weather when we were there, hence the nice photos =D

    Hey Conor, haha, no small potato syndrome happening there at all!

    Hey Adrian, it's so relaxing to be cut off from the rest of the world!

    Hey Keely, and if you stay somewhere like we did you get to retire to a warm, crackling fire as well!


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