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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

The Convent & Circa 1876

Nestled at the epicentre of Hunter Valley Wine Country, The Convent is the essence of boutique retreat luxury.

With the ambience of an indulgent Baroque hotel and the distinctive character of an Australian country guesthouse, the heritage property offers grand comfort with timeless charm among the vines, where French doors open onto wide verandahs and sweeping views of the estate.

Once home to the Brigidine order of nuns in Coonamble about 600km from the Hunter Valley, the main building was meticulously reconstructed and carefully curated with lavish décor, ensuring the 19-room property has become highly sought after for weddings, conferences and holidays for couples, families and groups for those with an eye for detail and international culture. The Convent offers a range of leisure facilities, along with transport, babysitting and administrative services.

Escarpment Group operations manager Raphael Guillien encourages guests to explore the cellar doors, attractions and scenery of the surrounding area by car or in-house bicycle before retreating to Circa 1876 to savour true farm-to-table contemporary Australian cuisine.

“Our executive chef Trent Barrett creates delicious seasonal dishes from fresh regional produce, including what you see growing in our organic kitchen garden next to the restaurant,” said Guillien.

“Barrett combines traditional and new techniques while staying true to the produce. He has a passion for using seasonal produce, especially our amazing Australian natives that are widely underused.”

The ‘hatted’ restaurant recently added to its long list of awards with two prestigious Restaurants & Catering Industry Association Australia (R&CA) honours – the NSW Regional Contemporary Australian Restaurant (formal) and best NSW Regional Restaurant Caterer.

The Convent last year also took out the 2018 Regional Superior Hotel of the Year at the Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards for Excellence and was a finalist in the same category at the Australian Hotels Association for Excellence. Located in an 1800's slab cottage, Circa 1876 is open for lunch and dinner Friday to Tuesday.

Alternatively, Restaurant Eighty-Eight overlooks the charming wisteria garden in the main house and is open for breakfast seven days, afternoon high tea Saturday and Sunday and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.

Located next to Peppertree Wines, Circa 1876 and The Convent are part of the Escarpment Group luxury collection which also includes Lilianfels Resort & Spa, Echoes Boutique Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges and the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains.

You can find The Convent, Restaurant Eighty-Eight and Circa 1876 on Halls Road, Pokolbin. For more information, visit or phone 4998 4999.

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