Our other visitor guides
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The weather may be playing us -- but The Alex is great, inside or out -- while mild and temperate weather is with us! The verandah beckons on these warmer days. The view is smashing!
Address: 62 Great Western Highway, Phone: 02 4782 4422
Hours: Open daily 12 Noon, Music on Sunday 1pm–4pm
'The Alex' [as it is fondly known] is a popular place with both locals and visitors, particularly on weekends, so we strongly recommend booking ahead for weekend dining.
We love the ambience of 'The Alex'. Out on the terrace, families occupy large picnic tables on a sunny school holiday – our weather has been unusual this autumn. The terrace is an incredible setting – you can see the whole of Leura below and the added bonus, you can watch passengers debark on the Blue Mountains trains. Railway travel entrances our little ones.
Recently we ventured away from our usual menu choice and ordered the slow roasted rosemary and mint lamb shanks – so tender, so delicious. The Redfern Bistro is casual yet the lovely bar, the white linens and the fire, when the weather is nippy give that touch of class to Leura dining.
If you want a light homemade lunch 'Alex-style', spring rolls and the soup of the day from the entrée listings are perfect. Or if there is a starving teenager in your family, a huge stacked gourmet burger with all the trimmings and a generous serving of chips is definitely a hit after a day of trekking. Friday and Sunday evenings can get crowded, so call for bookings to avoid a wait.
From TripAdvisor …
"A lovely place for lunch.
Te food was wonderful. The ambience was beautiful. Very reasonably priced and great service. I really enjoyed my meal and so did my husband. Would recommend to others."
"We decided to eat at the Alexandra Hotel as it was close to where we were staying, we ended up coming back for the three nights as the food was truly beautiful!! Big thumbs up to the chef!!! Also the staff. Mike Jackie and the team were polite, helpful and very accommodating".
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Everglades House & Gardens
SO LONG, FAREWELL!
It is a mixed bag when someone leaves your life and moves on to their next opportunity as iin the case of Scott Pollock, Manager of Everglades House & Gardens. (National Trust Property)
Scott has spent his years at Everglades developing major programs in addition to overseeing the maintenance and development of the gardens for the Houses Trust. A few years back a new welcoming centre was built with Scott’s guidance – it also houses a perfect little gift shop and is easily accessible for visitors.
In 2010, Scott partnered with the Sydney theatre company, Sport for Jove to begin a Shakespeare Festival in Leura. The location is beautiful and just perfect for outdoor theatre and performances have been a smashing success. Theatre lovers bring picnic suppers, wine, blankets and chairs for three weekends in January . . . a great time for friends to gather.
Last week, Scott opened his first solo art exhibition in Katoomba at the Palette Restaurant. At this event – exhibition and dinner – we discovered not only how talented he is but also that he is cherished and loved by all.
Actor friends from his past, local artists, family friends and the lovely volunteers at Everglades were all in attendance and Scott shed a tear, perhaps two when thanking everyone for coming out in the cold. He was really moved by all the love and affection in the room and we were all saddened to think he will no longer be at Everglades.
While we feel loss and nostalgia to lose Scott – he is headed to Southern Highlands to manage a new National Trust property and we do wish him well in this exciting opportunity.
FOOD, WINE & ART
Finally, if you haven’t dined at this charming restaurant in Katoomba, you must soon. Eclectic and very Sydney-style setting, Palette has a studio-bar upstairs for exhibitions and full dining on the lower level. The menu is great – we dined on salmon and bok choy – all very fresh with very clean flavours and perfect presentation. Palette is the appropriate name: eh season we will display the works of a feature
The staff went beyond the call of duty – as we were short timed in order to catch a late train, they paid close attention – even packing the most unusual delicious pumpkin dessert for us to devour on the train. We are not a food critic, but we are a foodie and we plan to return often! https://www.palettedining.com/