Bendooley Estate

4.4
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679 reviews
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$40 and under
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Australian

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Sunday Lunch
Home to the iconic Berkelouw Book Barn, Bendooley Estate is a destination for wine and food lovers everywhere. Nestled in a truly magnificent rural and vineyard setting just outside Berrima, it is the Highlands most beautiful venue for a relaxed coffee, book-browsing, wine-tasting or a delicious lunch experience. With historic cool-climate gardens adjoining our lakeside pavilion, the Estate is also Australia’s premier destination for elegant Barn weddings.
From the stunning stone Cellar Door, to the rustic yet elegant Book Barn housing our restaurant and bookshop, we invite you to experience the beauty and first-class hospitality of Bendooley Estate.
What 679 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.1
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

The service was very slow! It was a Tuesday so you would expect better.
The food was mediocre. I had salmon and it was over cooked and quite dry.
I just thought there was not enough attention to detail.

VO
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had a really great meal here, everyone's main and dessert was delicious. We were booked to sit outside but due to super high winds we were struggling to keep everything on the table! Staff were very obliging in finding a table for us inside the cellar. Would visit again if in the area.

CK
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Beautiful serene vistas..... accompanied by a warm ambience and friendly staff. Can get really busy and service slows down a bit... other than can’t fault it . Menu is accomodating but needs few more additions .will be back again and again👍

x
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 1

Floor staff left such a poor first impression. Seating groups who walked in after us after acknowledging us left me feeling undervalued as a customer so I ended up leaving to dine elsewhere. It was such a disappointment as the venue itself is absolutely beautiful. For a place that's so highly regarded, I'd expect the staff to act like they care a little more.

TL
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Every aspect was exceptional. Seating outside, food, service ambience more than I had hoped for

CD
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 16 October 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I dine at Bendooley Estate regularly.. i like the wine tasting room .. the staff are friendly and attentive.. the food is great .. wine is great .. I always take visitors to the Southern Highlands here .

BD
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Lovely environment, a restaurant where you can hear conversations (rather than being drowned by the noise), and good table service

MM
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

It was raining on the day we went, but that did not detract from the day! It was just lovely. There is an open fire, and of course the bookshop is amazing and the major drawcard.

We were inside near the front windows with all the doors closed so my only complaint is that it was very loud. Nearby tables were having a good time - they weren't raucous - it's just that the space means nearby noise is over-whelming.

ND
1 review
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

One of our favourite places. Service not quite as good as on previous visits but that will not deter us from returning regularly.

PE
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, great atmosphere very cosy location for a quite lunch. Wine from the winery on site is very good and well priced.

MS
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great way to spend an afternoon. The estate is lovely. The staff were very friendly and food/wine was great. We were allocated our preferred seating outside and the whole experience was terrific.

15% surcharge for public holidays did seem a little steep but didn't ruin the experience.

Will definitely be back.

J
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 5Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

Would've loved a larger range to pick from the menu.
Also a couple items on the menu was a bit overpriced but over all loved the atmosphere.

KF
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Lovely venue. Eat inside or out. Very busy. Absolutely crucial to book well in advance.

JK
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

We were booked for an outdoor table, but moved to the Cellar Door as the weather wasn’t great. Service felt rushed, it was really noisy and it wasn’t until we were leaving, we were told everybody needed to leave by 3pm as a wedding was on. I felt we should have been told that at the beginning, not the end. Food good as always,

PE
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

I had a booking for 7 people for lunch
We arrived 20min early so we could do some wine tasting
The wine tasting was the worse wine tasting experience i have ever had
The girl behind the bar could did not care at all, it was like we were an inconvenience to her
There was no interaction, we were just tolerated by her so we just walked away without buying anything
We were then seated for lunch, we ordered drinks & had to wait for 20min before they came
This just set the tone for the lunch
The service was very poor
We travelled from Sydney for this
Would never go back again nor would i recommend
Very disappointing

RB
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

My group sat outside on a beautiful spring day, the scenery, book barn, food & service very good.

LG
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Nice atmosphere and pizza was really good but spatckcock was too dry and didn't go with the beans.

DH
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A lovely place to catch up with friends over lunch.

KN
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This was our second visit. Lovely ambiance, delightful setting, friendly (super efficient) staff. Great food, excellent wine (by the glass). Now our go to place for lunch in the Southern Highlands.

GT
1 review
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

We have dined at Bendooley Estate several times and have never been disappointed. Our only criticism would be that the menu has remained the same. Although the food is excellent we would like a change.

HV
1 review
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 5

We absolutely love Bendooly. We took our parents for their 40th wedding anniversary on a Tuesday for lunch. It was a quiet day. The initial service we received from the 2 young girls was absolutely appalling. They seemed hugely inconvenienced at any request we had.. even something simple like bringing plates and cutlery. Towards the end of our lunch a young man took over and his service was excellent. So polite and efficient. There was really no need for any rudeness or apathy from the girls. The restaurant wasn’t even busy. The food was amazing.

PB
Montreal
1 review
Dined on 24 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My favourite place to eat it Bowral. Delicious food and great value. Can’t fault the place. Look forward to returning!

CW
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 3

The venue was lovely but the service was very poor, had to ask 3 times for our drinks, entre came with main meal, there was no eye contact with wait staff. Had to yell at them for service.

EL
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Great venue and professional staff. The menu is good and the restaurant has its own local produce. The local wine is excellent. It also has the added benefit of a well-stocked bookshop and great selection of second hand books.
A highly recommended restaurant but make sure you book before you go as it is very popular.

AR
Canberra / ACT
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 4

Nice location but overpriced

w
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had crab linguine, just lovely, it's a lovely place to have lunch

LL
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

A menu that never changes but needs to. Service that is slow and off hand. A restaurant on the way down

A
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 4

Sorry but myself and partner felt the food flavours were disjointed and didn’t work. Best was the cured meat and condiments platter for entree.

V
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 17 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I had known of Bendooley Estate and was keen to bring an overseas visitor to lunch. We were all so impressed with the ambience and the food. Loved being surrounded by the books and still with beautiful views outside. Perfect place on a rainy cold day. Felt very proud to showcase the Southern Highlands in this way to our guests. Thank you. Would definitely reccommend and will definitely be back.

R
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Amazing setting in the country with very simply food done well, was a little weird having the wedding party hanging around outside while we were eating but gave us something to talk about hahaha.

Overall very good.

PS
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 3Food 5Service 2Ambience 4

This review would have been 4-5 stars, but we had a service problem. I think because with such a nice day there was a full house, perhaps with a number of tables who had not booked, so staff might have been a bit short?

Anyway, the problems were;
- we had to get our own water on being seated
- the order of a bottle of wine with 2 glasses left on the table became 2 glasses, discovered after we asked for our glasses to be refilled. I know I should have asked when the bottle was not left on ice at the table to start with but one is wary of new trends (but a new bottle was open at the table for the 2 glasses) ...
- I think our order after the starter was forgotten, we were seated just after noon, got our drinks and the starter about 12:30, we then had to ask for the rest the order at 1:30

B
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love the whole experience, such a lovely place & of course great food too. On cold windy days you can hide inside amongst the books or next to 1 of the fireplaces Beautiful sunny days can be enjoyed outside & take in the fresh air.

OT
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, service was great. Staff very attentive and helpful. They were happy to make changes to the menu that we requested. We brought kids aged 5 & 2 and they were happy with their meal and the free activity kit. And of course the bookbarn was a great attraction too.

CT
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Wonderful lunch location just over an hour from Sydney. Food size were generous and top quality produce. Would definitely recommend!

S
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The winery was as god as it gets for a luncheon venue with a friend or family. The staff and management are attentive, but not intrusive. The grounds of the estate are exceptilnally groomed
The bookshop had an eclectic mix of authors and genres. This This is my fourth outing to the estate and will be returning soon.

PM
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent experience....well recommended. Would certainly go again and recommend others.

J
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The wonderful food, service and ambience at Bendooley ensured we had a very special family celebration. Thank you so much

EW
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A beautiful venue and the food was amazing. Great service as well.

JO
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

Food was great, however waited 20 mins once seated till we got served. Ordered cocktails to begin. At $18-$20 per cocktail, tasted like soft drink, in hindsight, stay away from cocktails at a winery but expected more given the price. We really enjoyed the food but the service definitely not five stars. We found the staff to be quite arrogant. When we enquired if there was anywhere to have a drink after lunch, we were told they closed at 5pm, but it would be good if we left at 4.30pm as they had to set up the for the next day. They told us to go to a pub in town! We thought this was a bit rude considering we'd just spent $100 pp on lunch. So we ordered another bottle of champagne and from 4.30 pm onwards the staff made it clear they wanted us gone making lots of noise, banging utensils and dragging furniture across the floor. We were not being rowdy or difficult in any way. Ben Dooleys has a lot to offer, but on this day the staff really let it down and we would think twice before recommending it or going back.

JR
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 2

We set outside and it was freezing, they ofered us a blanket, but couldn't put the heater because we set in a table nearly the trees. The waitress were confusing about what was ordered in each table.