The rustic restaurant and bakehouse in the heart of the bushland

Originally published by Delicious, 10 January 2019

Saddle up everyone, a luxe new bakehouse and restaurant has just launched at Mount White, on 10 hectares of sprawling bushland.

At the reins of the new dining venture is property mogul John Singleton and husband and wife team Cameron and Hayley Cansdell, from Bombini and Fish Dining.

Called Saddles, the name was inspired by the craftsmanship of Heath Harris, an artisan saddler who worked with John crafting saddles for his nearby Strawberry Hills Stud. Heath has also designed the unique saddle chairs for the dining room’s brass-scalloped bar.

Situated on 10 hectares of sprawling bushland, the newly built Australian homestead was designed by The John Singleton Group and Andrew Dickson Architects, with Michelle Leslie of MLD overseeing the interiors.

The impressive estate has its own waterfall feature at the front of the property and a large deck out the back, with views over a private dam for waterside dining.

The interiors are particularly well-groomed, with a sandstone fireplace and marble and aged brass accents, as well as a piano bar with its own pianola.

Cameron Cansdell heads up the kitchen. He’s created a simple and ethically-minded menu, which highlights the best in local and seasonal produce.

For a laid-back country lunch, there’s roast chicken with crispy fried potato cake, pickled turnips and herbs de Provence as well as a slow-cooked lamb shoulder, with asparagus, parsnips and a sprinkling of native desert oak spice, which adds pork crackling flavour.

If you don’t have room for meat and three veg, there’s also small plates to share, including a charcuterie with smoked trout pate, house made pork and fennel salami, cloth bound aged cheddar and caramelised orange chutney. Take it out to the deck for views across a glassy dam that will make your jaw drop.

You can also get your fill from the bakehouse, which serves light and flaky pastries straight from the oven.

There’s grass-fed beef cheek, red wine, and pearl onion pies, puff pastry tarts with La Luna Holy Goat cheese, and sourdough bread to take home for later.

Desserts are made daily and displayed on the counter, making it all that much harder to exercise restraint.

Highlights include the custard stuffed Italian doughnuts rusted with spiced sugar and the lamingtons rolled in Daintree chocolate and sandwiched with a soft and fruity guava-spike cream.

The drinks list is stocked with local drops, including beer from Six Strings Brewing Company and spirits by Distillery Botanica. For a taste of the landscape, try the lavender spritz cocktail, made from a violet-tinged craft gin infused with native Australian botanicals and fresh lavender flowers, picked from the dam wall.

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