The picturesque rural setting of the property may only be 10 minutes from the city and a few blocks from the airport but it feels like an entirely different world. Upon driving in through the gates of Pialligo Estate and making your way to the beautiful entrance marked by the refined water fountain, all you can see is greenery, fruit trees and rolling hills in the distance. The stunning property has, since its opening, been a perfect backdrop for exquisite dining and memorable events.
Overlooking Mt Majura, the vineyards, Paul Bangay-designed orchards, market garden and olive groves, it all makes for quite a view to accompany a meal at the refurbished Garden Pavilions.
With four Garden Pavilions dotted elegantly throughout the property, each Pavilion is unique and special, with different configurations and views. The key for the Pavilions was always versatility; they can each be opened right up to enjoy the spoils of a glorious Canberra day or can be closed off to the elements and used any time of the year as each one is perfectly climate controlled.
Each one can host an intimate dinner for two, a meeting for up to 20 people or a grazing cocktail party for 300 incorporating the gardens and all four of the Garden Pavilions exclusively. Now with the refurbishment, they have even more flexibility, explains Ellen Storey, Events Administration Coordinator.
“We put the roof in between the top two pavilions, so to be able to better use the space in all weather conditions and for a wider variety of functions. One of the existing Pavilions was extended, so that rather than being able to seat up to 30, we can accommodate up to 80 for a seated meal and over 100 for a cocktail-style function in the newly renovated space.”
“For the Pavilion extension, we wanted to create a space that catered for events that a lot of places in Canberra can’t: for events of between 30 and 80 guests seated. Our other venue, the Glasshouse was slightly too big for an event of that size but the Pavilions were too small, so we wanted to create that middle ground. It means we can cater for smaller weddings as well as larger weddings.”
The changes have been a hit reveals Ellen, “We get a lot of comments on the cathedral-style roofing of the new pavilion area, with the exposed beams and the chandeliers. It gives a very airy and open feel to the pavilions.”
There is also a new versatility with the menus, with all diners at the Garden Pavilions having a choice of either the traditional share menu they have become synonymous with or the newly launched Estate Menu. The new option offers a curated set menu – two courses (main and either entrée or dessert) for $40 or three courses for $50. No matter which menu option you pick, you are guaranteed it will feature seasonal local and Estate produce.