A reborn but not bastardised pub with some of the best views in the Adelaide Hills, ice-cold beer, smart wine, some of the best food around, plus everything is very reasonably priced – it’s a must visit!
The regular’s tip
Lunch on the curved terrace is an essential Hills experience – so is the tartare served in a bag of Smith’s.
The nuts & bolts
Opened 2020 (current owners)
Function spaces: 30 guests
The name is a dead-set giveaway. Just 15 minutes up the Old Norton Summit Road, above Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, you’ll find this historic pub that has a killer view back through the valley and out across the city to the coast, as far as the eye can see. It’s an absolute gem, with a sprawling garden space that is steadily being nurtured into the centrepiece of the hotel’s spirited offering.
Long a bastion of balcony views, cold beers and variable food, this pub was bought by a syndicate of new, young investors in 2020 who have reset the dial in a big way. Enoch Yates, Alistair Wells and Jay Marinis all bring different skills to the project but share a common interest in providing a nourishing hub of good things. Head chef Dylan Marshall and restaurant manager Matilda Bryson complete the key team.
They jumped in during lockdown, fixed a few things, switched up the food and generally got a feel for the place before making some more substantial improvements. They changed the syntax without really changing the historic feel of the place. If anything, it’s a process of discovering and revealing the true soul and potential of a pub that first swung open the doors back in 1869.
Wine selections are driven by Marinis, who has a wholesale wine venture (Son of Dot), lives locally and is both agent for and friend to many of the region’s new-gen natty crew. There are a dozen-odd wines by the glass and plenty more by the bottle. And while the offering is prescriptive in terms of organic and biodynamic farming, the Scenic is not exclusively no fining, filtration or sulphur. “Although we personally prefer these wines,” Marinis points out, “the sulphur, no sulphur conversation is so boring!” True that.
The broader concept is the important thing to glean at The Scenic Hotel, and it is aimed at service to the community and welcoming those from afar into the local community and its surrounds. The prime location at the top of the valley is a gateway to the Adelaide Hills and so perfectly situated as a meeting place and gathering point for all comers.