7869 Main South Rd, Second Valley SA
08 8598 4184
It takes a large leap of faith to turn a passion into a business: something Jane Mitchell knew all too well when she and husband Alan Greig decided to buy Leonards Mill in Second Valley.
Having owned a beach house in Carrickalinga and knowing the area well, it was a chance weekend by the ocean that saw Jane jump at the opportunity to turn her enthusiasm at entertaining family and friends into a business. However, with Leonards Mill’s history of failures, the husband and wife team were aware of the risk and decided to go all out, purchasing the freehold as well as the business.
Five years on, Leonards Mill is an award-winning regional dining destination, delivering fine food and wine in a welcoming environment. The husband and wife team of Head Chef, Brendan Wessels and Head Pastry Chef, Lindsay Durr, can certainly take some credit for this. Arriving fresh from a stint as sous chef at the award-winning Lake House, Brendan developed his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants in England before taking the opportunity to work at high-profile game resort Singita, where he met Lindsay. From there, they joined Neil Wager’s team in the Seychelles before continuing on to Australia. At Leonards Mill, they work closely with local farmers and producers to showcase the best of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Sourcing and supporting local ingredients is an essential part of the restaurant’s ethos, with the team developing relationships with nearby suppliers that display the same commitment and passion to producing the absolute best. Dairy comes courtesy of Fleurieu Milk Company and Alexandrina and Paris Creek Farm cheeses; proteins from Wakefield Grange Farm Gate, Green Eggs and Ham and Fleurida Goats; and other produce from Carrickalinga Cicada Olives and Scoop. They also maintain a productive vegetable garden on-site where figs, apples, lemons, limes, bay leaves, plums, pears and mulberries grow.
The flagship menu, appropriately named A Taste of the Fleurieu, is designed to take visitors on a culinary journey of the region. With options ranging from two to six courses, with additional wine pairing, everyone will find something to enjoy. Start with the pork belly, served with sesame and smoked aubergine purée, shiitake mushrooms and onion oil, before following with Kangaroo Island lamb neck, accompanied by charred shallots, and apple and sheep labneh. Finish with a selection of local artisanal cheese and condiments, or if your sweet-tooth is aching, lemon, caramelised white chocolate and ginger boterkoek.
Situated in a 170-year-old flourmill, Leonards Mill’s interiors are just as impressive as its two and a half acres of green lawns. The bar, complete with polished boards and recycled jarrah, welcomes guests. Here, you can enjoy a cocktail and bar snacks in ‘The Loft’, or continue through to the restaurant. The white-washed walls and seagrass floor coverings complement the original mill workings in the downstairs dining area, giving visitors a glimpse into the flour milling era of days gone by.