The Watervale Hotel – Designed with ambience in mind.

This is not your average country pub. Step inside and be transported into a realm of award-winning food and wine, in an ambient setting.  Behind this culinary gem stands a dynamic duo – the husband and wife team of Chef Nicola Palmer and sommelier extraordinaire Warrick. Notably, Chef Nicola Palmer earned the esteemed title of 2022 Chef of the Year, one of her many accolades that is a testament to her culinary prowess. While Warrick curates an extensive wine list that promises to elevate every dining experience.


It’s no surprise that the Watervale Hotel has received numerous awards for its culinary excellence;

Most recently GLOBAL HOTEL RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2023 and Best Culinary Experience in a Hotel IN THE WORLD by LUXLifes Magazine’s 2023 Travel and Tourism award.

Best Restaurant in a pub or club in AUSTRALIA in 2022 by the Restaurant and Caterers Association.

Excellence in Food Tourism Award, 2022, by the Tourism Industry Council of South Australia.

Chef of the Year, Nicola Palmer, 2022, Restaurant and Caterers Association.


Even the wine list at the Watervale Hotel has been nominated for awards. With a staggering 25 pages of carefully curated selections by Warwick, a testament to their commitment to providing an exceptional dining experience. They have gone all out with an extensive range of local wines including some unusual and intriguing blends.


The menu is based on sourcing the freshest ingredients, so they often change their menus several times a week. There are small dishes and large, meat, fish, vegetarian options, as well as a good range of options for vegan and coeliac patrons. The food is incredible, high quality fine dining at its best. If you are after a pub schnitzel or salt & pepper squid then this is not the venue for you. This is fine dining, at pub prices, with a family owned small business atmosphere. They also have all day dining available from 11am to 9pm, and you can choose to eat in any space. Nicola did this so if time has gotten away from you while wine tasting, you can still have a full meal if you get there after 2pm. 


But wait, there’s more! Look at the décor in the ‘pub’. There are no pokies, no sports on the TV, just a place you can enjoy the local brews and good company in an ambient, and comfortable setting. It’s like a millionaires smoking room with its chaise lounge and leather chesterfield chairs. If you want to have your meal by the fireplace in the in the chesterfield, you can! It is incredibly homey and welcoming, yet classy and refined at the same time. 


We had the pleasure of spending time with Frankie, the maître d is a maitre dog. It was a delightful addition to the already charming atmosphere. And as you know, our family loves dogs!!!!!! So he spent a fair bit of time at our table getting lots of attention. 

Note: call ahead if you have a dog phobia. Although Frankie lives there, they can settle him in another area if you warn them).


Ambience wise, the dining room has been meticulously planned with ambience in mind. There is only one larger table by the bar, the other tables are for 2-3 people and are well spaced so other diners conversations won’t interfere with your own. 

For dining you can choose between the dining room, the beer garden, OR my favourite option if you want to ensure ambience; one of their three private dining rooms. These private dining rooms are perfect for group gatherings where everyone can engage in the conversation. Sonos speakers play gentle music throughout the Watervale, but in the three private rooms, they often turn off the music upon request for older or hearing impaired guests or simply those wanting quiet. If you have a group of 6 or more, please call ahead, and they can set aside a dining room for you at no extra charge. 

If you would like to book one of the private dining rooms, just call ahead, there is no extra charge.

The green room seats 6 people.

The purple room seats 8-10 people.


The ‘jail’ is where they host larger celebratory occasions. They have their own toilets and waiters, so they don’t need to come in the main building and interfere with the ambience inside.


Accessibility is a priority at the Watervale Hotel, with access-friendly entry, car parking, and toilets, catering to all guests’ needs. As any local pub you have your front bar, but you can also choose from the cocktail lounge or the beer garden.  

Mr Teen, is not usually that impressed, but after we left he said ‘it’s as if God created this place himself’. This was a gastronomical delight, a foodie’s paradise, but more importantly an ambient foodies’ paradise. 


In conclusion, the Watervale Hotel is a haven for food enthusiasts and serenity seekers. With its award winning cuisine, extensive wine list, inviting ambience, and impeccable service, it’s no wonder this establishment has garnered global recognition. Whether you’re a local or a traveller passing through, a visit to the Watervale Hotel is an absolute must for an unforgettable dining experience.

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