Not only is the Hunter Valley the birthplace of homegrown Australian wines, it’s also an amazing place for an extra-special, flavour-loaded lunch among the vines. Just two hours drive from Sydney CBD, the region is home to some of the best vineyards, wineries, distilleries and restaurants, ideal for a relaxing weekend away.

With a climate not too dissimilar to the Mediterranean, spring and summer are warm and balmy, while autumn and winter tend to be crisper in the morning and evening. Whether you want to enjoy an alfresco lunch with stunning views or a sit down meal where you get dressed up to the nines – here are our top tips for what to wear and where to go for lunch in the Hunter Valley.

The Best Lunch in the Hunter Valley

There’s no denying that the Hunter Valley is home to some of the most amazing restaurants in NSW, serving up award-winning meals prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and paired with exquisite local wines. If you’re serious about flavour, freshness and quality, then you’ll definitely want to add Lovedale Bar + Grill to the top of your list.

Nestled within the manicured grounds of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Lovedale Bar + Grill is one of the most popular places where both visitors and locals can enjoy a spot of lunch. Dig into freshly prepared meals from the lunch menu, including sharing plates, mouthwatering grills, tender sangas, hearty pasta, cheesy pizza and generous grazes. Sample craft beers from the on-site Sydney Brewery, sip on local Shiraz, enjoy a signature cocktail or two, or try a tasting paddle – the choice is yours.

Soak up the Hunter Valley sun and relaxing rural atmosphere in the outdoor beer garden during the warm spring, summer and autumn months or get cosy indoors during the winter. Kick back and relax every Friday and Saturday with live music and entertainment, or enjoy a pre-lunch brewery tour. No matter the season, you’re always guaranteed a warm welcome at Lovedale Bar + Grill with fantastic food, great entertainment and a friendly atmosphere to be had.

gourmet burgers pizza and pasta love dale

What to Wear in the Spring

As the vines start to unfurl their sleepy stems and the first budbursts arrive, spring is a magical time to be in the Hunter Valley. The vineyards are springing back into life, the hills and pastureland play host to the first spring flowers, and the browns and bronzes of autumn and winter are replaced with a rainbow of colour and fragrance.

  • Comfortable shoes or boots
  • Blazer or light jacket
  • Maxi dress for the ladies with a cardi
  • Jeans, trousers or capri pants
  • Small Handbag or clutch

What to Wear in the Summer

Summers in the Hunter Valley are typically hot. With average temperatures of between 28°-30°C, single layers and chic accessories are very much en vogue. However, thanks to the subtropical climate, proximity to the ocean and nearby mountain ranges, intermittent rolling thunderstorms and rainstorms are a common occurrence. Usually short-lived and filling the air with that warm, fresh ‘rain shower’ fragrance, they offer welcome respite from the heat of the day.

Make the most of wine tasting, country walks and exploring the Hunter Valley with a pair of comfortable shoes and natural fabrics. If you like to get dressed up for lunch, carry a pair of heels in your bag so you can explore in comfort before sitting down to lunch. The sun can get strong during the day, so a hat and sunglasses will keep you looking and feeling cool.

  • Comfortable open shoes or sandals
  • Summer dress / linen shirt and shorts
  • Natural, breathable fabrics
  • Oversized hat and sunglasses
  • Large tote or clutch

Group of friends at winery in summer

What to Wear in the Autumn

Still warm enough to leave the jacket in your room, yet cool enough to dig out your favourite sweater or cardi in the evening, Autumn paints the Hunter Valley landscape in burnt ambers, bronzes and golds. Local farmland and vineyards are harvesting a bounty of homegrown produce, the sun sits lower in the sky and the days begin to get shorter. 

Wake up to early morning mist and dew, wander around during the warm afternoons and make the most of the mild evenings, with clothing reflecting the cooler climate. Smart casual always goes down well in the Hunter region, and the chill in the air will be more noticeable in the late afternoon and early evening. A light knit top and thin jacket is usually more than enough – especially for a Hunter Valley restaurant lunch.

  • Comfortable shoes or sandals
  • Long skirt / top combo or summer dress
  • light scarf or cardi
  • Jeans & shirt combo
  • Light Knit sweater or jacket
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Bag or tote

What to Wear in Winter

When it comes to mild daytime temperatures, clear blue skies and evenings next to a roaring log fire, there’s nothing and nowhere quite like a wine country winter. With daily temperatures averaging between 16-18°C and evening lows of between 2-4°C, explore the rolling countryside and vineyards while nature’s in a deep slumber, with reduced rainfall and perfect pub lunch weather.

While there’s not much in the way of rain during the winter, grass can get wet overnight and a pair of boots will keep your feet toasty and dry. Heavy knit fabrics such as denim and wool are perfect for a winter lunch in the Hunter Valley, while a warm coat or jacket, scarf and beanie is a must for the evening. 

  • Comfortable closed shoes, boots or sneakers
  • Jeans / linen pants
  • Sweater / Jumper / Cardigan
  • Warm jacket or coat
  • Scarf, gloves and hat
  • Bag, tote or backpack

winter attire in the Hunter Valley

The Ultimate Destination

Dine on menus created using fresh, flavour-loaded ingredients designed to satisfy the hungriest travellers. Relax with a glass or two of local Hunter Valley wine, a craft beer or cheeky cocktail. And explore the many wineries, cellar doors and vineyards in the region, sampling local produce that the region is famous for.

Lovedale Bar + Grill welcomes all visitors to dine and drink with us including our hotel guests and the general public. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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