PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Chateau Yering is a wonderfully glamorous country house hotel, originally built as a house by one of the early families in the area. Apparently it was the place to be seen in the 19th century. These days, as a hotel, it has function rooms and two restaurants of which Sweetwater is the more informal cafe open only for breakfast and lunch. The name Sweetwater tells a bit of the Chateau's history: it was one of the first varieties of grape planted on the property. The cafe is set in a kind of conservatory, so that it's filled with light and seems to be in the middle of the great gardens. This is a good place to bring anyone interested in gardens, plants, flowers or food.
The lunch menu is small but well designed, with a mixture of classics and lesser known dishes. The dips are a great way to start lunch. When we ordered them, three different mounds of colour and flavour were presented on a white rectangular plate - tzatziki, eggplant, and pumpkin - all freshly made. The Caesar salad is a reminder of how good it can be, the changing tasting plate is always a cleverly thought-out combination of flavours, and there might also be slow-cooked chicken on the cards, served with baked polenta and the intense Mediterranean flavours of tomato, capsicum and olives. Ask the waiters what cut the char-grilled steak of the day is. For morning or afternoon tea, there is a delicious range of pastries and unusually good selection of teas and infusions. Be aware that bookings are essential for breakfast, and strongly recommended at other times.