• Natalie Bannister

A Grand Old Dame


Head to the banks of the Tweed River in Murwillumbah to discover the newest star in the vibrant cuisine scene of the Northern Rivers.


For over a century, this riverside manor has been a focal point for significant occasions in local’s lives. Once a sprawling family home, it’s now been magnificently restored as Tweed River House to take its place as the crème de la crème of dining, drinks, and soirees in the region.


Opened in September 2021, Tweed River House adds something pretty special to Murwillumbah and surrounds’ ever-growing collection of road trip-worthy eateries. With an inviting bistro and bar, sweeping views across lush tropical cane fields to majestic Wollumbin and Border Ranges, and even its own private pontoon for arrivals, the manor offers a new lease on glamour and old-world hospitality.


Tweed River House is the shared dream and vision of partners Gregory Lording and Phillip Hepburn, and has been lovingly and thoughtfully designed in the colonial style of bygone eras (think Singapore’s Raffles and Penang’s E&O dining rooms and cocktails on the terraces of grand old homes in Australia’s tropical north). It’s an elegantly relaxed affair — and entirely unlike any other establishment in the Northern Rivers.


Guests can dine on the river terrace or inside under pressed-tin ceilings and cooling fans, or swing by for an afternoon drink in the palm-swathed bar for the perfect chance to take in those majestic sunsets over Mount Wollumbin.


Executive Chef Joseph McGrattan, Irish-born with an Australian family, combines his considerable gastronomic talents —garnered from his classical training in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe — with his love for fresh local produce, creating a contemporary culinary experience at Tweed River House.


The inspired and ever-evolving provençal style menu showcases the very best of each season’s haul from the Northern Rivers’ local farms, riverways and ocean. You’ll find many dishes inspired by native bush foods too, with Chef McGrattan having worked over a decade in regional Australia, including a stint at Raugi’s restaurant at Kooljaman, a remote wilderness camp owned and run by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities on the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. There’s also a set menu and a degustation to tempt gourmands and a purely vegan-friendly menu to boot, while kids haven’t been forgotten with a children’s menu that is just as sophisticated yet entirely tempting for little tastebuds.


Naturally, this grand old plantation-style dame settled at the foothills of the Tweed Caldera in Murwillumbah beckons couples seeking old-world romance, with the venue opening bookings for 2022 wedding celebrations.


Tweed River House is open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner Friday and Saturday. Bookings are essential. tweedriverhouse.com.au



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