Enchanted Fig Tree and Cygnet River dining options on Kangaroo Island

DAPPLED LIGHT: SeaLink and Nick Hannaford of LifeTime Private Retreats are proud to launch the Enchanted Fig Tree as the first Gastronomo destination. Photo: SeaLink

DAPPLED LIGHT: SeaLink and Nick Hannaford of LifeTime Private Retreats are proud to launch the Enchanted Fig Tree as the first Gastronomo destination. Photo: SeaLink

There are some new and interesting dining experiences being offered on Kangaroo Island with the Enchanted Fig Tree open again under the banner of Gastronomo.

SeaLink Kangaroo Island has partnered with Kangaroo Island's magical dining experience, the Enchanted Fig Tree, as the exclusive transport partner, to bring together a series of wilderness dining events - Gastronomo, hosted by some of South Australia's most celebrated chefs, from December 11, 2020 to April 30, 2021.

The Exceptional Kangaroo Island tour company meanwhile set up its Cygnet River Restaurant pop-up dining experience over this past October long weekend.

Chef Chan Thornley developed an special menu and they were hoping to offer more sittings.

Blair Wickham said the concept was to offer a menu in advance, online booking with contactless payment and limit of up to 40 people.

Locals had been quick to take up the $90 as they were looking for something different, he said.

Kangaroo Island visitors meanwhile will once again dine amongst the dappled light of the 100-year-old Enchanted Fig Tree's boughs after the venue closed to the public in 2018 when a localised fire partially burnt the property.

Over Gastronomo's five-month season, guests will begin their culinary experience with a welcome cocktail beside the Mulberry Tree or in the property's rustic shearing shed, before dining under the gnarled limbs and sun-dappled chambers of The Enchanted Fig Tree.

Here diners will be treated to any number from 1000-plus combinations of multi-course meals inspired from the sea, land, and earth, heroing local produce and created by a range of guest chefs, including the likes of Simon Bryant (Tasting Australia Director), Duncan Welgemoed (Africola) and Emma McCaskill (ex The Pot & Magill Estate Restaurant). While renowned wine critic, Nick Stock, will curate a 100 per cent Kangaroo Island wine list to delight the palate.

According to Nick Hannaford, director, LifeTime Private Retreats, "Although Gastronomo is inspired by South Australia's stunning locations and the sharing of great food and wine, it's not just about what a customer tastes and sees, (or shares on Instagram!) It's how they feel or what they remember that counts."

Lunch at The Enchanted Fig Tree is from 12.30pm to 3.30pm and is $135 per person including a Kangaroo Island Spirit welcome cocktail. Lunch will be available six days a week, closed Tuesdays and operate from 11 December 2020 to 30 April 2021.

Dinner at The Enchanted Fig Tree is from 7.30pm to 10.30pm and is $135 per person during January 2021.

SeaLink is the exclusive transport partner and will be providing private and small to large group transfers to and from Kangaroo Island accommodation and ferry services to The Enchanted Fig Tree Restaurant, located in the remote Middle River on the North Coast of the island.

SeaLink has also put together Kangaroo Island packages, departing from Cape Jervis or Adelaide and including lunch at The Enchanted Fig Tree. Packages include the 2 Day / 1 Night Kangaroo Island & The Enchanted Fig Tree Self Drive Package, 2 Day / 1 Night Kangaroo Island Sip & See Tour + Lunch at The Enchanted Fig Tree and the 3 Day / 2 Night Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour + Lunch at The Enchanted Fig Tree.

Nick Hannaford comes from a special events and hospitality background, starting out at Jolley's boathouse Bistro in the 1980's working for his mother Belinda Hannaford.

He has created fine dining experiences for the likes of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, and produced sublime outdoor events ranging from 2000 to two guests, in some of the most challenging outdoor environments around Australia.