At Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

To dine at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is to savour the tastes of nature.

Step into an uncomplicated world where food is real, the soil, air and water are pure and your dining experience is designed to honour those elements to the fullest.

The Retreat’s cuisine is rooted in what comes from our large vegetable garden and the local suppliers of our region. Guests have described their dining experience here as “foodie heaven.” Our cuisine playfully wanders the line between refined and rugged, borrowing from both fine dining and simple whole foods defined by freshness and the natural seasons.

Explore the foodie happenings around the Retreat, roll up your sleeves to participate, or just observe and enjoy time in the Retreat’s idyllic garden or bustling kitchen with our chef. All dietary preferences and requirements can be accommodated.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

Garden to Plate

At the Retreat, we love the garden and the pleasure we get from providing fresh organic ingredients for you. The garden is packed with berries, herbs and vegetables of all kinds, all with a forgotten taste that evokes the freedom of childhood.

What’s important to us is the authenticity and pureness of the food we serve, and we use local suppliers for things we cannot produce here, such as free range eggs, manuka honey, juices, apricots and cherries.

Our Culinary Team

Our wonderful culinary team of chefs Tom and Rafa are at the core of the exceptional dining experience we offer to our guests.

Chef Tom has been a professional chef for more than 20 years, and has worked around the world in exciting and innovative restaurants before returning home to New Zealand.

“Working at the Retreat is what I consider to be my dream job,” he said. “I get to cook the best quality local ingredients paired with produce grown on site in our organic veggie garden. We pride ourselves on the garden-to-plate philosophy, cooking from scratch and letting the seasons dictate the menu.”

Chef Rafa, who traveled to New Zealand from Brazil, said cooking is about love and happiness and conveying those feelings through the care taken to prepare beautiful food.

“The veggie garden is a magical place where I find inspiration to create new flavours,” Rafa said. “The chef’s life is a life of discovering, and it is where my heart feels complete.”

From the moment we arrived we felt so welcome, and knew we were in for a special experience. We weren’t disappointed. The accommodation is so comfortable and beautiful, the setting and views are superb, even on an overcast day, and then there was the most amazing food delivered to our villa each day. Every one of the staff were so friendly and accommodating. It was all so good we booked an additional night! We really enjoyed the outdoor hot tub on the cold nights, gazing up at an incredible starry sky, and also loved taking the owners’ two Springer Spaniels for a walk on the numerous tracks. All in all, just perfect really, we couldn’t fault it, and will be back for sure! This place is a credit to the NZ travel industry.