Your Insider Guide to Rae's on Wategos
What can you expect from a stay at one of Australia's most luxe boutique retreats? We asked Francesca, General Manager at Rae's on Wategos, on what guests can experience during their stay at this iconic Byron Bay destination. She provided us with the ultimate daily itinerary for guests as well as her take on Byron Bay's best offerings. A stay at Rae's wouldn't be complete without a visit to Rae's Dining Room and Head Chef Jason takes us through his inspirations for the menu as well as sharing with us his favourite seafood dish to prepare for family and friends.
In one sentence, how would you best describe Rae’s?
A discreet, laidback and utterly tailored experience with luxurious touches.
If you were to put together the ultimate daily itinerary for your guests, what would you include?
- Sunrise walk up to the lighthouse, being one of the first people in Australia to welcome the sun for the day.
- Swim at Wategos Beach.
- Breakfast within Raes Dining Room (or your balcony!)
- Head to Doma Café for lunch in Federal.
- Return to Raes for an afternoon Spa treatment.
- Pre-dinner drink within Raes Cellar Bar.
- Dinner within Raes Dining Room.
- Back to your room to enjoy your pre-brewed sleep tea by your housekeeping team provided during turndown.
What’s your favourite meal from the Rae’s restaurant menu?
Too many to name just one! My choice of a meal is – starting with Jason’s kingfish crudo that surprises you on every bite. The combination of cream, mint and rockmelon is the perfect mix of salty, sweet and zesty. Super fresh to start the meal. Then the Saltbush Agnolotti with a side of Scallop Potatoes and Warm Broccoli. Dessert, slow cooked pineapple – which is actually a savoury dish, accompanied with mascarpone & olive oil.
What are your top 5 local/insider recommendations about the area for your guests?
- Whites Beach!
- Chasing Waterfalls Tour, the region harnesses some incredible walking tracks that lead to some amazing waterfalls. Make a day and go find them all!
What are your signature dishes at Rae’s and why will your guests love them?
I would have to say the Chocolate cake at the moment. It’s unique in that we use Daintree Chocolate which is grown in northern Queensland, which most guests have never tried before. We also get our Bananas from a local farmer, who lets them over ripen for us which is perfect for making ice cream.
What were your inspirations when designing the menu at Raes?
I wanted to use as many local ingredients as possible. The term paddock to plate gets thrown around a lot, especially in the big cities where I have spent most of my career cooking. I spent a month speaking with local farmers at the markets before we opened, which was super inspiring when writing the opening menu.
What is your favorite seafood dish to cook for family and friends at home?
I love eating oysters at home with friends, especially during the colder months with a crisp bottle of Pet Nat. I am also a doing a lot of BBQing at the moment, some of the local prawns coming out of South Ballina go great cooked over fire.
First image by UNE PIECE, remainder supplied by Rae's.