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. We’ve stayed at those places and had amazing degustation menus, but two nights is enough. After eight courses, your pallet is kind of numb, and you feel sorry for the poor dessert chef who spent all day preparing twelve flawless desserts for intoxicated guests in a food trance.
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. They expect fancy food, but also want something simple, tasty, fresh and healthy – “approachable food just a bit better than we cook at home” one guest said. Unless you can cook, we’d like to think that every meal is quite a bit better than what you’d have at home, even the poached eggs with herb hollandaise.
During a typical stay, guests will have fresh fruit, muesli and yoghurt for breakfast followed by something substantial. They’ll return at lunch for a selection of ‘one dish’ salads and chef specials, or if they venture further afield, they’ll have a wood-fired BBQ of local kingfish, salads and home-made bread (and maybe a bottle of wine). A bit later, they’ll converge on the Pinetrees verandah for an afternoon tea of scones, biscuits or cakes, and then drift to the boatshed deck for sunset drinks. Dinner is normally over four courses with a soup or starter, main, dessert, and a selection of cheese with all the trimmings. Our wine is all rated from 95 to 98 points by James Halliday, and is excellent value.
Guests normally make new friends and join other guests for dinner – it’s always been that way. It helps that your mobile phone doesn’t work and that you have to ride your bike to the Museum to connect to the internet (ironic, isn’t it?). Most people lead busy lives and haven’t made new friends for years, but, as we’re loading them onto the bus to the airport at the end of the stay, we often see them swapping phone numbers, email addresses and big hugs. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what job you do or who you know – on holidays, people just get on. Pinetrees is a great leveller.