Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre, New South Wales
The Margaret Olley Art Centre opened last year at the Tweed Regional Gallery – a meticulous recreation of the artist’s Paddington studio, comprising thousands of original objects, including doorknobs and window frames.
The gallery, near the New South Wales-Queensland border, incorporates a seasonal, local-produce focused on-site cafe with an exceptional aspect: dining on the verandah overlooking the Tweed Valley and Mount Warning.
The cafe often collaborates with the gallery to create immersive events, including the Margaret Menu, to commemorate Olley’s birthday in June each year. “We’ve got a list of some of her favourite things,” says gallery director Susi Muddiman, “everything from lemon tart to slow-cooked lamb and pies.”
This unique combination has not gone unnoticed: in October, the gallery was voted one of the country’s best in a poll of local and international travellers.
Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane
GOMA’s restaurant has been much lauded (its young-gun head chef, Josue Lopez, is the Citi Chef of the Year). The menu is as forward-thinking as its gallery surrounds, and dishes are often inspired by exhibited artworks.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery Food + Wine is closely linked to its namesake’s exhibitions. “We’re continually working with the gallery on food ideas,” says the restaurant’s owner-operator, Nykilja Butt. “We recently worked on a mini menu to complement the TARNANTHI exhibition [Adelaide’s inaugural festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art], highlighting bush foods.”
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria
Melbourne’s premium-destination restaurant Vue du Monde has an outpost at the Heide Museum of Modern Art. Cafe Vue’s menu is based around the museum’s historic kitchen gardens, established by its founders John and Sunday Reed, “Who lived here from the mid-1930s until 1981,” says director and CEO, Kirsty Grant. “The fact that they have been maintained and now provide fresh seasonal produce that is used by the chefs is what makes the cafe particularly unique.”
Heide and Cafe Vue collaborate on events that relate to both exhibitions and the history of the site, including garden tours, morning teas and the seasonal Pick and Eat series, “Which begins with a tour of the Heide grounds with our head gardener, followed by a three-course lunch which uses seasonal produce from the kitchen gardens,” says Grant.
For next year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival they’ll take this collaboration a step further, with new event Camp Out at Heide. It will feature a private exhibition tour, dinner with matched wines and overnight camping in the grounds.
MONA is always on the front-foot of immersive experiences. The Source restaurant is led by Michelin-starred chef Philippe Leban, and boasts a wine list composed of more than 10,000 bottles from around the world. MONA also operates its own brewery and winery, and offers luxurious art and dining-focused tours and tasting packages.