Three is a crowd but not when you’re at Lachlan’s. Ask for a table for three and ye shall receive your own private room – the stone fireplace, wooden door and charming candles all conspiring to create a sense of fairytale fancy.
The dreamy atmosphere appealed to the pathos of Chris. He became starry-eyed and sentimental. He told us friendship was a breathing rose, with sweets in every fold. Tom also experienced the strongest of his emotions – hunger. He was banned from using the phrase “gee-up” throughout the evening.
There was something slightly sinister about the place. We were sitting in an deserted restaurant in the dark depths of two hundred acres of empty parkland. The sandstone of the building, one of the oldest in the country, was lifted into place by murderers and thieves, more than two centuries ago. And there were Christmas carols playing on repeat. Tom, brainwashed by the carols, ordered an eggnog (proving that it s not only people who wear nightcaps to bed who order eggnog).
One reservation had been made for the table next to the fireplace – a reservation for a Mr. Stanley. But Mr. Stanley never arrived that night. And we were led to his table, already laid with a white tablecloth and silver cutlery. I had read enough Agatha Christie to know that something dreadful was probably going to happen.
And something dreadful did happen that cold, dark night. My mainmeal was the size of an entrée. If only I had considered the the polldaddy.com poll (posted on this very blog) that found ordering an entree as a main was a quantitative risk. I don’t actually remember what the meal was but I do remember the disappointment I felt.
Chris and Tom were delighted with their meals. I don’t remember what their meals were. I do remember that the waitress’ hair had escaped its band and she wore an expression of perpetual surprise (in a Christie novel she would be the nervous character, compounded by a nervous situation). I also remember that Chris confessed that his favourite band was Nickleback. And, Tom alleged there was a broadway show in New York that featured 800 men dressed as Santa dancing on stage at once (regrettably the show features only 100 Santas). It was a wonderful evening.
Lachlan’s Restaurant is located inside Old Government House. Admiral Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the newly settled New South Wales, liked the fertile soil and sturdy eucalypt trees of the site when he first discovered it in 1788. It was a perfect place for a home. And more than two hundred years later, it’s the perfect place for those seeking a restaurant that’s a little bit….whimsical.