We welcome a new hospitality partner, Pearl Catering, to Vaucluse House and The Mint.

Every year, Sydney Living Museums hosts more than 100,000 dining guests and around 600 events at our properties, including weddings, Christmas festivities and business events. As well as enjoying the beautiful surrounds of our historic places, our guests also delight in the delicious food and beverage options on offer. Now, with the advent of spring, we’re thrilled to announce exciting changes at Vaucluse House Tearooms and The Mint, as part of our Food and Beverage Masterplan.

Enhancing our offer

The masterplan was developed in 2018 to identify ways to enhance the dining and catering offer at our cafes and restaurants at The Mint, Hyde Park Barracks, Museum of Sydney and Vaucluse House. It focuses on new ways to enrich the guest experience and meet visitor needs, improve amenities, and find opportunities for storytelling at our individual sites.

As part of this, SLM is pleased to introduce Pearl Catering as our new hospitality partner for Vaucluse House Tearooms and The Mint. Pearl Catering is led by Paul Dawson, who owned and operated two signature restaurants both awarded consecutive chef’s hats – Beach Road restaurant at Palm Beach; and Arena restaurant, Moore Park – as well as the Bendooley Estate in the Southern Highlands. Pearl Catering is currently refurbishing Solitary Restaurant in Leura, Blue Mountains.

A talented team

Pearl Catering’s talented kitchen team and consultants include:

  • Christine Manfield, Director of Food – one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, Christine regularly contributes to food and travel magazines, and is the former restaurateur of three highly acclaimed restaurants: Paramount and Universal in Sydney, and East@West in London.

  • George Sinclair, Head Chef of Production – George is a former Head Chef of Rockpool.
  • Matthew Leighton, Head Chef – former Head Chef of the Luke Mangan Group, Matthew has extensive local and overseas experience leading fine dining and bistro kitchens in Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo and Singapore. He has a strong commitment to quality, produce, consistency and engaging menus.

Vaucluse House Tearooms

Pearl Catering’s exciting vision for the Vaucluse House Tearooms includes a fitout by celebrated interior designers Luchetti Krelle; the creation of exceptional and innovative menus that include produce from the kitchen garden; increasing engagement with the local community; and developing food programs and activations jointly with SLM.

Matthew explains that the new food offer at the tearooms ‘evolves and flows with the seasons, making the best of what’s available and using organic produce where possible’. His favourite item on the new menu is the slow-braised lamb shoulder with potato galette, rosemary and aioli.

The Mint

At The Mint, the Pearl team is creating a Mediterranean-influenced menu incorporating sweet bites, share plates and individual plates for the new canteen and bar on the first floor, opening in early September. Beautiful food starts with the best ingredients, and the menus are designed with produce that’s locally sourced, organic and ethically grown wherever possible. A pop-up espresso counter is planned for the Bullion Room on the ground floor of The Mint from late spring to early autumn.

Vaucluse House is such a beautiful and unique property to create a local and destination food experience.

Paul Dawson

  • Exterior of tearooms set in gardens.
  • Exterior of white-painted two storey building with verandahs.
  • View of side of large house through garden vegetable beds with green leaves in foreground.

Architectural photo of contemporary house against deep blue sky with green verge in foreground..

Media release

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Hyde Park Barracks Museum


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Have you got a passion for museums and a desire to help create a positive experience for visitors?

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Gold Melting Room at the Mint

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Interior photograph looking out of Studios 54 including the blue level balcony.

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