Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed | Dunalley
Last weekend was my fiancé David and my five year anniversary. It was a special day so a special lunch venue was required. We both adore fresh oysters and water views so decided Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed (the Shed) would be our little treat this year. On rounding the final bend of their driveway I was struck by the glorious vista! I was so pleased. The water views didn't disappoint; and neither did the oysters!
A "Shed" is hardly an accurate description for the building that houses Bangor Wine and Oysters. It's rustic yet modern and the space maintains a certain country charm. I would happily move in there and make it my home. Set on a beautiful waterfront property, with a mixture of bush and pasture, the Shed is a pitched roof building with huge windows, dark stained horizontal boards (someone else would have easily used corrugated iron and I am so pleased that they didn't!), and a deck overlooking the vineyard and water. The lofty ceilings inside make the space feel light, open, and relaxed.
David and I sat at a converted wine barrel and perused the menu (hardly necessary as we'd studied it hungrily before the visit) and gawked at the view. We ordered Tasmanian sparkling wine to start and a seafood platter for two. Both were amazing! After that we snuck in a few more glasses of wine (pinot noir for David, Chardonnay for me) and a cheese platter. Both platters featured excellent Tasmanian Produce, and not necessarily the usual suspects either. Somebody really had an eye for quality when they were composing these platters.
The Shed is owned and operated by two families; Vanessa and Matt Dunbabin, who own the property and vineyard, and Tom and Alice Gray, who have an oyster farm just visible from the Shed in Norfolk Bay. They make a dynamic team with each member committed to producing the best quality products, and offering the best possible service. Each is devoted to the area around Dunalley which they all call home.
The Shed opened with a party in early December 2014 but the catalyst for creating this beautiful place was nothing joyous. In January 2013 bush fires ravaged the Tasman Peninsula. Both families' livelihoods were affected by this catastrophic event; as were those of almost everybody in the area who relied on the local economy.
Through their ingenuity, dedication, and ability to rise over potentially crippling adversity, the Greys and Dunbabins have created a successful business that employs local people, supports local producers, and caters to the local and visitor markets. The Shed is appealing on so many levels and they have blended them beautifully. There is a small providore element where you can buy Tasmanian products, plenty of open space and play equipment ensures families and groups can unwind and enjoy themselves, it's a scenic lunch spot for city dwellers happy for a chance to escape (like David and I), it's comfortable and relaxed enough for local residents to claim it as their own, and for interstate or international visitors it showcases an indulgent side of Tasmania on a popular tourist route.
So much praise for a place that's so worthy of it! I can't wait to go back. Next time I will try to leave some room for the amazing freshly baked cakes on the menu!