Wandin and Emma's Cottage gear up for Lovedale Long Lunch 2018

PREPARATION: Wandin general manager Mark Allen and Emma's Cottage co-owner Therese Kramer ahead of the Lovedale Long Lunch.
PREPARATION: Wandin general manager Mark Allen and Emma's Cottage co-owner Therese Kramer ahead of the Lovedale Long Lunch.

Veal osso bucco, Portugese chicken with citrus fegola salad and toffee topped creme brulee. 

It sounds like food you’d have to travel to a fancy European restaurant for, but it’s what Lovedale Long Lunchers will be munching on this weekend.

And of course … it will all be washed down with fine Hunter wine and teamed with live entertainment.

The participating wineries – Allandale, Tatler, Gartelmann, Wandin, Saltire, Sandalyn and Emma’s Cottage – will put on a show of delectable delights for attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

Chefs from top-notch Hunter restaurants including Amanda’s on the Edge, The Cellar, Hunter’s Quarter and Emersons, as well as in-house professionals from Wandin, Tatler and The Deck at Gartelmann have been called upon to create the meals.

It’s certainly all hands on deck for Lovedale’s busiest weekend of the year.

Emma’s Cottage co-owner Therese Kramer said the event was initially established 25 years ago as a way to attract people to the tucked away part of the Hunter Valley in what was a quiet time of the year.

“The Lovedale Long Lunch ... is a way to present Lovedale as a broader product to the community,” she said.

From humble beginnings the long lunch grew and grew into a much-loved occasion on the Hunter social calendar. 

It attracts people from all over – from locals to interstate visitors – and has been recognised by NSW Tourism as a signature event.

“It’s been going for 25 years, so it’s something that is an institution in the Hunter. People tend to come back each year,” Wandin general manager Mark Allen added.

Mr Allen said for Wandin, about 12 months of planning went into the annual event – this being their second long lunch under the current ownership.

“This year we’ve changed a few things around to give a better event ... and to showcase our wine and our food and what we do best,” he said.

Mr Allen said things started to rev up about 6 months out from the event, before the planning comes to fruition in the month before.

The long lunch is a major event of the two-month long Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival which is held across May and June each year.