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Dining on the lawn at The Long Apron

The Long Apron at Montville is located at Spicers Clovelly Estate and is the jewel in this retreat’s crown. Many diners come for the exceptional food and wine and stay the night so they can enjoy their dining experience (and the excellent wine list) to the full. At the end of a wonderful stay at Spicers Retreats’ sister property, Spicers Tamarind Estate, which is a 15 minute drive away, we dropped in for the three-course Sunday lunch menu which costs $99, not including wine.

The Long Apron restaurant menu

The Long Apron menu offers a culinary experience that embraces the philosophy of paddock to plate but adds a little more pizzazz and style, using ingredients from the Sunshine Coast and its surrounds. Whether you come in for lunch or dinner, you’ll get to choose from a three-course menu. Wine matching is available at an extra cost. For dinner, vegetarians have the option of a dedicated vegetarian menu.

The Long Apron ambiance

We arrived at reception and were escorted to a table for two outside on the patio. It was a wonderful surprise to discover that live jazz is on offer on Sundays from 12pm to 2pm. This really added to our dining experience. If you are dining on a Sunday, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen as it gets quite bright out on the terrace, even with the blinds down. If it’s too warm for you, there’s also the option to dine inside in the formal dining room which is where dinner is served each evening.

Dining room at The Long Apron
Dining room at The Long Apron

Sunday lunch at The Long Apron

Sunday lunch at The Long Apron on the Sunshine Coast is a leisurely dining experience, with long breaks between courses so you can sit back and enjoy the music. We began with a glass of Riesling and opted for chicken ballotine topped with radicchio and served on a chicken liver parfait pear puree and the twice-baked goat cheese souffle, which had a very subtle flavour. Pecan and apple topping added texture and the bitter leaves cut through the richness of the souffle.

Chicken ballontine at The Long Apron
Chicken ballotine at The Long Apron
Goat's cheese souffle
Goat’s cheese souffle

Some diners brought along their (well-behaved and very cute) dogs and sat outside on the lawn to enjoy lunch under the market umbrellas. However, if the weather is cool, be warned that it can get chilly out here if there is a breeze. The tables under the patio awning are more sheltered if you have forgotten to bring a warm jacket or are worried about being too cold.

For mains, we both opted for the same dish – the pasturised pork belly – as it sounded so good. The presentation was beautiful with apple relish and a bed of mustard cream, with roast parsnips artfully decorating the plate. The top of the pork was deliciously crisp and the meat was tender and moist.

Pork belly at The Long Apron
Pork belly at The Long Apron

The thing about The Long Apron is it’s not only about the paddock to plate concept but also cutting down the number of food miles. Much of the produce, like the goat’s cheese from Little White Goat’s Cheese, is supplied by local farms located less than a one hour’s drive from the restaurant.

We finished with the restaurant’s signature dessert, Clovelly Mess, which is a twist on a traditional Eton’s Mess. The Long Apron’s version of this classic included French spice cake with a colourful sprinkling of freeze dried plum and crispy carrot, and a quenelle of sweet potato ice cream that had me swooning.

Clovelly Mess at The Long Apron
Clovelly Mess at The Long Apron

If you are seeking a convivial and relaxing lunch experience in beautiful surrounds on the Sunshine Coast, the Sunday lunch at The Long Apron at Spicers Clovelly Retreat will put a spring in your step and have you tapping your toes.

Disclosure: The writers dined at The Long Apron as guests of Spicers Retreats.

Heading to the Sunshine Coast? We’ve got lots of helpful information to help make this your best trip yet including accommodation reviews for Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat Review, Oceans Mooloolaba, Rumba Beach Resort, Seahaven Noosa, Luxury Entertainer’s Haven, On the Beach Noosa, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and Peppers Resort & Villas Review. We’ve also reviewed Australia Zoo Review, Kanu Kapers Everglades Tours, SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, Sails Restaurant Noosa, Noosa helicopter tours, Noosa Oceanrider, Noosa Dreamboats, and Betty’s Burgers Noosa. Don’t miss our tips for Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Things to Do for Active Travellers, The Best Restaurants at Mooloolaba, The Ultimate Guide to Noosa, Things to do at Mooloolaba, Healthy Noosa Holidays, Where to Find the Best Views on Hastings Street, and How to Plan Your Noosa Honeymoon.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.