Aside from the open range zoo, the polo, the mansion and the winery, there is now another reason to consider Werribee a fine destination. The catering virtuosa at Bursaria have launched The Refectory at Werribee Park.
The space now known as The Refectory is situated within a wing of the historic, Italianate mansion at Werribee Park amid neatly manicured lawns and English gardens. This part of the mansion was constructed as a kitchen and dining room in 1922 when the Catholic priests, nuns and priests-in-training who resided here outgrew their former space. It remained in its original incarnation until the 1970s. The new name honours the building’s legacy as the term “refectory” means a monastic dining hall; it also has a nice thematic connection to Bursaria’s other wedding venue at the Abbotsford Convent.
Of the new transformation, Bursaria director Sara O’Callaghan explains “we had a baby in December and took over the space one month later…it was two babies at once!” Working with interior designers, Doherty Design Studio, over seven months, The Refectory was renewed. “The space wasn’t in its original condition, there were a lots of stars and it was a mustard colour,” says Sara, “so we’ve gone through and done the whole palette.” The modern room is now splashed with warm whites and soft greys. A custom carpet is one of the new statement features in the space, mimicking the forms of the lead light windows high above.
Sara envisions elegant weddings here of up to 180 seated for a feast (including dancefloor) or up to 250 for cocktails. As with many modern weddings, The Refectory would suit couples who desire a minimum of fuss. “It’s a space that was designed for weddings so they don’t have to bring a lot of styling into the space. Once the tables are set with gorgeous linens and fresh flowers, they’re good to go.”
Bursaria’s food also reflects this relaxed style; “we’re really not a caterer who’s into foams and froths and trends. It’s actually more about the produce and letting the food stand for itself and be the hero of the dish.”
Sara makes it easy to imagine much celebratory feasting at The Refectory in decades to come (hopefully over plentiful wine from the nearby Shadowfax winery).
Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a beautiful new venue: I love the spectacular high ceilings and chic contemporary styling; the food looks so delicious too!