There’s no need for showy excess here at Bannisters in Mollymook, just a homely seaside affluence reflected in the lodge’s thirty-four refurbished rooms. The feel throughout is fresh and updated without a hint of stuffiness. Each accommodation is furnished with light and crisp linen, comfy sofas and creature comforts: a well stocked mini bar, plenty of good reading material and dvds, fluffy robes, even fresh lemon for your early morning hot water.
Airy rooms open up to private balconies and superb ocean views. You can opt for a room with a jacuzzi, or one with a fireplace and a soaking bath tub fit for two. Whichever room you fancy, you’re really here for a coastal dining getaway – achievable within a 3hrs drive from Sydney – with a great meal at well-loved and respected British chef Rick Bannister’s namesake restaurant. Here you’ll find unpretentious and comforting seafood dishes prepared super fresh and simply.
Start with a risotto of Wild pine mushrooms, parmesan and persillade, a small ‘Fruits De Mer’ platter or Oysters Charentaise – an odd duo of freshly opened oysters with some spicy sausages (don’t forget a chilled glass of white wine). Rick’s Indonesian seafood curry (which has been a constant on the menu since opening in 2009) served with green bean and fresh coconut salad and steamed rice or hot and sour Madras fish curry (found in his India cookbook) delivers in a sensual, spicy and aromatic way. Get your fingers messy with Singapore Chilli King Prawns stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander or try the Escalopes of Tasmanian salmon marinated in soy and miso dressing. As for the sweet stuff, a classic Roulade of soft meringue, creme fraiche and passionfruit and strawberries has our vote.
Visit in September and you’ll be able to get up close and personal with Rick himself – dining on his fabulous three course a la carte dinner and brushing up on cooking skills at Rick’s private beach house nearby.
For a more casual dining affair, head downstairs to the pool bar for pizza, cocktails and beers infinity pool-side. Now that you’re fed, and in such peaceful surrounds, it seems only natural to be treated to a massage or facial at Bannister’s Day Spa. Noteworthy is the couple-friendly treatments in the spa cabana and the new pregnancy massages to help ease discomfort and restore well-earnt bliss.
Rick Stein at Bannisters
191 Mitchell Parade, Mollymook NSW 2539
02 4455 3044
Ocean Deluxe room rates start at $250
Day Spa pregnancy treatments start at $80
Day Spa couple treatments start at $300 per couple