Dining at Southern Ocean Lodge is an exclusively local affair, with a bounty of premium ingredients for the kitchen’s dynamic, produce-driven menus pairing with premium South Australian wines to create a real taste of Kangaroo Island. Driven by a commitment to provide a real ‘sense of place’ for guests, the Baillie Lodges’ Culinary Philosophy is to source local produce for its daily changing menu and is essential to the dining experience at Southern Ocean Lodge. Chef Asher Blackford and his team in the kitchen at Southern Ocean Lodge deliver a menu that connects guests with the locale and features the finest regional produce from the restaurant and the cellar to the in-suite bar.
In keeping with the Baillie Lodges Culinary Philosophy, a diverse selection of Kangaroo Island and South Australian wines and beers has been hand-selected to pair with each seasonally changing menu. Alternatively, guests can choose their own bottle from the convivial open bar or help themselves from the walk-in cellar.
Especially at sunset, guests gather around the Great Room’s open bar, which offers premium wines, craft beers and top shelf spirits, including Baillies 9 wild gin and the local honey liqueur. Staff are on-hand to assist with mixing a cocktail or making a suggestion, and sunset drinks are served each evening to allow guests to mingle and share the day’s discoveries.
The generous at-home feel at Southern Ocean Lodge means guests are free to peruse the selection of premium South Australian wines on offer in the walk-in cellar, and choose whichever they like to take to the table. The cellar wines are chosen by Lodge Manager John Hird, with many only available at the state’s cellar doors. The experience is a virtual winery tour of South Australia, all in one glorious location.
Every suite has a complimentary in-suite bar, which includes daily-replenished local treats, as well as South Australian loose leaf tea and an espresso coffee machine. Guests can relax after a day’s adventures with cheese, nougat or chocolates, as well as soft drinks, juice, wine and beer.
Southern Ocean Lodge Executive Chef Asher Blackford brings a passion for fresh seasonal produce as well as a drive to work with local producers to the kitchen and the dynamic, daily-changing menus, an approach that is essential to the Baillie Lodges dining experience.
Asher takes inspiration from his surroundings and brings the landscape to the plate in its appearance, taste, scents and emotions. A keen forager, Asher conceives dishes that recreate a precise natural location and the experience or memory attached to it, so that guests dining in the restaurant are reminded of the experiences of the day.
Asher’s particular food belief is around sustainability, both environmental and economic. He is a proponent of the local-and-wholefood philosophy of American author Michael Pollan, with his ‘you are what you eat eats’ look at the food chain. Having a close working relationship with Kangaroo Island’s producers feeds neatly into this approach, as does a dedication to using the whole of each product, from ‘nose to tail’ or ‘root to shoot’.
Understated elegance and attention to detail coupled with sensational service and wonderful food and wine… I cannot imagine anything better. The staff were wonderful. I have never experienced better anywhere in the world and I have been lucky to travel extensively. The lodge will be my new benchmark by which any future accommodation and service will be measured.Tony, Australia January 2019
Southern Ocean Lodge is all about getting lost in the wilds without sacrificing one iota of comfort.Tatler Travel Guide December 2018