We are serious about food. It’s one of the features of a Pinetrees holiday. The quality of our food is exceptional, and you won’t go hungry. Our five chefs have worked in some of Australia’s best restaurants and can prepare meals for all dietary requirements. All you need to do is eat and enjoy – we’ll do the shopping, cooking and cleaning.
Holidays are about that second course of brioche and poached eggs at breakfast, and the marinated lamb at lunch, and the flourless chocolate cake at afternoon tea, and the confit duck with duck-fat roasted potatoes at dinner, and the lemon tart followed by a soft smelly cheese with quince paste
Pinetrees has been around for a long time. Our ancestors arrived on Lord Howe in 1842 and we have guest records from the 1890s. This means we’ve been serving food for at least 125 years. We’re not entirely sure, but this probably makes us one of the oldest hotels in Australia.
Our niche in the food world is aromatic and authentic food, with an emphasis on quality, and we’ve built a repertoire of relatively simple dishes that come from somewhere. It doesn’t matter where – so long as the dish’s origin can be marked on a map, we’re happy.
We were once told that if our Executive Chef was just an alcoholic, then we had a keeper. Most have gambling habits, drug addictions, sex addictions, personal problems and anger issues. NOT these guys!
We’re not a fine-dining restaurant where you go for a special occasion, and we’re not a luxury lodge where you go for a long weekend. Most of our guests stay for six to ten days, and eat three meals a day – four if they make it back to Pinetrees for afternoon tea.
When guests appear on the verandah, they’re greeted with a table of fresh fruit, cereal, yoghurt, Persian dried fruits and fresh bread. The sun is filtering through the Kentia palms, and the air is cool and smells of freshly ground Mecca coffee.
Our lunchtime “grazing table” has a few one-dish salads, like our spice-roasted cauliflower salad with mint, and more substantial options such as our house paella or spanner-crab bhajis with green-mango chutney.
Our favourite guests, by far, are the ones who don’t come back for lunch. We’ve even talked about shouting guests a bottle of wine if they stay away until afternoon tea. We’re not callous or inhospitable. We just know what people like, normally before they do.
There are always a few choices at afternoon tea. You may get some honey, yoghurt and chocolate cake (our best, by far), some brown butter and cardamom biscuits, or any one of the other 20 options in our repertoire.
Every week, we serve sunset canapés at the boatshed as an appetiser for our five-course dinner. You see, the boatshed deck is one of the best places in Australia to watch the sunset, and our duck summer rolls go beautifully with a glass of bubbles.
After dark, guests wander back along the sand track and boardwalk to our verandah. It’s changed since afternoon tea. Instead of the casual sugar-laced swapping of stories, guests are greeted by fancy cutlery, candlelight and the smell of freshly baked bread.
Lord Howe Island is surrounded by a Marine Park and is completely free of pollution, sediments, big tourist boats and cruise ships. From these surrounding waters come our table fish – kingfish, trevally, tuna, and other seasonal species.
As much as we’d like to serve Christine Manfield’s desserts at Pinetrees, we know our strengths, and keep our desserts relatively simple. You might try the chocolate tart, poached apricots, coconut panna cotta, or blood orange sorbet. Our repertoire is long, diverse and very tasty.
All of our wines have a James Halliday Rating of 94 to 98, and nearly all are trophy winners at major wine shows in Australia and New Zealand. We also serve lovely boutique beers, spirits, mocktails and cocktails.
The Lord Howe Island Cookbook is a large full colour book of exceptional quality. It’s equally at home on your kitchen bench or coffee table. It’s also a wonderful gift from one of Australia’s iconic places.
The experience of the traditional guesthouse was a very pleasant one and one which could only be achieved by some extremely capable, efficient and friendly staff. Congratulations on your choices! We were very impressed with the food. Amazing dinners, picnics, our own personal BBQ dropped off for us. We felt very spoilt!
I am going to bring my children and grandchildren to experience this extraordinary Island. The coral snorkelling, turtles and walks were the highlight of my stay. The food and service of Pinetrees Lodge was excellent.
The perfect location of Pinetrees Lodge and the beautiful grounds and excellent food made a great holiday. I loved the drinks and canapés at the boatshed. I enjoyed the glass bottom boat experience, bus trip, swimming and good weather.
Keep up the good work at Pinetrees Lodge! The staff are really helpful and friendly and really make your stay special. I love the pristine, well-maintained, immaculate Island with snorkelling, swimming, turtles and crystal clear water.
I have already recommended Pinetrees Lodge too many people. It is a wonderful place to wind down and relax. The Island is such a beautiful place, the people are so friendly and so many things to do. It is paradise.
Staying at Pinetrees Lodge was a pleasurable experience for our daughter’s wedding. The whole Island has a welcoming atmosphere where push bikes help to keep us fit and ward off the extra kilos from the wonderful food!
We always enjoy staying at Pinetrees Lodge. The food is excellent – congratulations. And all the staff are most helpful, courteous and friendly. An excellent service provided by all. We love it!
Lord Howe Island is a real paradise! So many walks and interesting places to view the magnificent scenery. Pinetrees Lodge is a great place to stay. The rooms are very comfortable and the dining experiences are incredible, what a wonderful chef. The food and service was exceptional and watching the sunset at the boatshed with wine and canapés was the highlight of my stay. Don’t think about holidaying there – JUST DO IT!