Pialligo Estate - my future wedding venue?

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I can picture the golden glow of a gorgeous sunset bathing the lush manicured lawns of Pialligo Estate as the backdrop to my dream wedding. With sweeping views across Canberra, right to the Brindabellas, I can see iconic landmarks of Parliament House and Telstra Tower in the same gaze. I've always wanted a garden wedding with an emphasis on beautiful food. So after I took advantage of the opportunity to have a sneak peek of Pialligo Estate prior to the relaunch, I could tell it was a very special venue.

The beautifully landscaped grounds feature four individual verandahs for private dining functions. There will be a separate kitchen and bar servicing these outdoor bungalows.

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Wedding guests can sit back and enjoy the magnificent panoramic view (while I frolic around in the grape vines for my wedding photos).

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Following extensive refurbishment, Pialligo Estate boasts an olive grove, vineyard, fruit orchard, market garden, as well as the award-winning Pialligo Smokehouse. Visitors to Pialligo Estate loved the self-sustaining rural lifestyle so much that the owners decided to open the Estate to guests to enjoy the unique food, wine and lifestyle experience.

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As a foodie, I would want the food at my wedding to be memorable and a highlight of the event. Last year the Pialligo smokehouse was awarded Australia's Best Artisan Bacon.

It makes complete sense to have my wedding where they make the best bacon in the country.

Pialligo Estate launched their new farmhouse restaurant last weekend with a Valentine's Day menu. Having their own fruit orchard and market garden affords them the opportunity to create  seasonal menus featuring their own produce. I tasted these food samples as a guest of Pialligo Estate.

Spanner crab sandwich, picked cos lettuce and lemon verbena

Delicate crackers were the perfect vehicle to transport the fresh spanner crab to my waiting tastebuds.

Yellowfin tuna, peas from the garden, sea blight, almonds & Tasmanian wasabi

The tuna was delicious, but the peas were so incredibly fresh and vibrant that I just wanted to eat a whole bowl of those peas.

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Pialligo Estate wines were available for tasting. The 2009 Riesling went particularly well with the food on offer.

Sabayon of Pialligo Farm smoked salmon, green apple and chives

The light-as-froth sabayon served as a creamy sauce to the smoked salmon and apple combination. This dish was a well-executed balancing-act of flavours and textures.

Beignet of grilled corn and black truffle cream

For me, this was the stand out dish of the night. It was sweet corn soup - deep fried. It was accompanied by a black truffle cream dipping sauce, made of Canberra truffles from last year's season. We were instructed to pop the golden cube in one go. Good thing I had my mouth closed when I bit into the crunchy morsel because sweet corn soup immediately flooded my mouth. It was (literally) sensational! I loved that the presentation included the corn leaves.

But it wasn't just the food that wowed me. Featuring natural stones and recycled timbers, the Pialligo Farmhouse Restaurant evoked a stately, country elegance.

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A quick tour of the restaurant revealed a commercial kitchen out the back, and a temperature-controlled cellar with approximately 5000 wines inside. An in-house bakery is still being built.

Pialligo Farmhouse Restaurant private dining room

The dining area is expansive and versatile. There are private dining rooms and large verandahs with retractable shades. Leather chesterfield sofas have been placed next to fireplaces. If that's not cosy enough, there is underfloor heating for chilly Canberra winter nights. Though I'm not sure I would be having my wedding in winter!

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Only minutes from the airport and 8 minutes from the city, the 86 acre Pialligo Estate is a gorgeous location for a beautiful country wedding. My interstate or international guests wouldn't have to travel far from the airport. And my local guests will be able to appreciate a "country escape" in a central location.

With a Michelin-starred chef leading the kitchen and beautiful stately grounds with spectacular view, Pialligo Estate could very well become the most coveted wedding venue in Canberra!

With all this wedding talk, you might be wondering whether I've become recently engaged. Nope, the right guy hasn't proposed to me yet. But it couldn't hurt to have a good venue in mind, just in case, right?

The details Address: Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Rd, Pialligo ACT 2609 Phone: 02 6247 6060 Website (and menu): http://www.thepialligoestate.com.au Open: Wednesday - Saturday for lunch and dinner. Sunday lunch only.

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