First explored by Governor Phillip in 1789, the Hawkesbury is Australia’s third oldest settlement. Surrounded by steep forested slopes, the serene bays and inlets along the Hawkesbury River provided an enclave for early settlers and are still dotted with a hidden legacy of sandstone ruins, historic cottages and convict trails.
The area is also rich in Aboriginal history, home to the Darkinjung, Darug, Eora, and Kuringgai people, which you can trace as you explore the rock art and walking tracks around the area.
While the region is abundant with experiences to cater for every style of traveler if you are after a delicious dining experience you won’t want to miss Delishus Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Richmond. The flavours of Madrid emanate from the kitchen and the red and yellow décor are very welcoming.
Dining here is like visiting a destination and being invited into the home of a local. The award-winning restaurant makes you feel as if you have been transported directly to Spain and, among many accolades awarded, it has won the Dimmi Awards for the Best Rated Spanish Restaurant in Australia!
Now, naming your restaurant Delishus sets a high standard in the mind and we are happy to confirm that the restaurant delivers. Our expectations were consistently exceeded as each dish was presented. Hosts, Jose and Sally (head chef) Fernandez offer the full Spanish experience which is complimented by the suave Jose who greets every diner at the door and spends time sharing his knowledge and passion of the food.
“After visiting us, people who have never been to Spain want to go and, for Spaniards, it just is a beautiful reminder of home,“ says Jose.
"The idea of tapas is to taste of lot of things but not fill up on any one thing. Food is about taking your time, it's not about quantity but quality. I say things in Spanish and then I paint a word picture of the dish so that by the time I have finished the customer wants it – it's about creating desire."
To truly experience dining as you would in Spain we highly recommend the 10-course degustation and matching wines and your should allow between 90 minutes to two-hours to fully savour the evening.
Spain is a melting pot for many of the old world empires. Beginning with the Phoenicians who came to Spain about 400BC, then the Romans and then the Moors, who all brought foods and spices from the empires. Finally, all the new produce brought by the Spanish Conquistadores from the Americas has been blended together over the centuries to produce what is now a distinctive and wonderful Spanish cuisine.
Where to Stay:
With 17 small towns and villages to explore, five rivers, and more than 70 per cent of the area national park, the Hawkesbury is a haven for adventure and nature lovers, as well as for art and history buffs alike. So it is best to savoir the area over a couple of days. A perfect base, situated minutes from both Windsor and Richmond, is the 4-star Hawkesbury Race Course Motel which is located on the grounds of the historic Hawkesbury Racecourse and features 30 very well appointed spa suites and deluxe suites.
The Hawkesbury racing pioneers fashioned a racecourse from 200 acres of virgin bushland in 1865. The first race meeting being held on the course in 1871. It has been in continuous use ever since.
Delishus Tapas Bar & Restaurant, is at 122 Windsor St, Richmond NSW 2753 (02) 4578 6999. For accommodation at the Hawkesbury Race Course Motel bookings visit their website.
But wait there's more: Before you leave the area here are some delights in the area waiting to be explored…
Richmond Records Music Shop: 161 Windsor St, Richmond: This isn’t just a record store. Richmond Records pays homage to the music lifestyle – stocking vinyl albums, CDs, DVDs, amazing rare music memorabilia items, clothing and gift items. Located in an old residence, the store is divided into individual music genre rooms, country, classical, metal/punk, relaxation etc. There is also a vinyl record room, Internet cafe, world music room and, out the back, a wonderful, dog-friendly sunny courtyard cafe with homemade treats and beautiful coffee. This shop will appeal to all ages with musical instruments, guitars, rock t-shirts, TUK, Pleaser & Demonia shoes, Hell Bunny rockabilly-inspired and Gothic clothing, fairies, books, incense and crystals.
Wander Windsor St, Richmond, and see the visionary planning of legendary colonial Governor Lachlan Macquarie: Richmond Park in the centre of town; The bull-nosed shop verandahs; Historic buildings such as Toxana and other later gems such as the Regent Theatre building (right near Richmond Records)
Visit Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker St, Windsor: Here you can easily spend an hour or two learning about the history of Australia's third oldest European settlement. Also see things you won’t find anywhere else, from the celestial globe that belonged to internationally-renowned astronomer John Tebbutt who lived his whole life in the Hawkesbury, to the diary kept by a member of HMAS Hawkesbury during World War II and recording the Japanese surrender.
Immerse yourself in the epicentre of Hawkesbury colonial history – Thompson's Square at the top of George St, Windsor: Have a drink in Macquarie Arms Hotel, Australia's oldest pub; Wander the square and imagine Red Coats and convict hangings and discover the magnitude of the 1867 flood (see if you can find the flood height marker on the wall); Soak up the ambience of the Hawkesbury River at the nearby Windsor Wharf, where tall ships used to dock after bringing supplies to the settlement along the water highway from Sydney; Stretch your legs and explore Windsor Court House in nearby North St, Governor Phillip Park at the end of George St or walk under wisteria arches on the riverbank along The Terrace.
Grab a cuppa and watch military planes take off and land at RAAF Base Richmond across the road from the Hawkesbury Showground and racetrack that lies beyond the rail line.
There are many, many offerings on the menu at Delishus, and the menu changes all the time to ensure only the freshest, local and specialty imported produce is available. On the night we visited we enjoyed the following, with each course served with a perfectly matched glass of wine…
Jamon Serrano (g)
A Spanish tradition, this Serrano Ham is aged for 18 months, and served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and marinated olives.
Boquerones (g) Fresh marinated Spanish white anchovies served on crunchy croutons, with Spanish onion, a drizzle of olive oil & fresh lemon, – they are magnificent.
De gambas y pinchos de chorizo (g) A combination of chorizo, the traditional Spanish sausage paired with prawns and served as skewers.
Tortilla (v)(g) Traditional Spanish omlette made with potatoes, onion and eggs of course.
Pollo rellenos con tomate seco y albahaca (g) This succulent chicken breast is stuffed with a mix of semi-sun dried roma tomatoes, pine nuts and fresh basil. Finished with a butter sauce.
Croquetas Salmon These are loved for their sublime symphony …. crunchy outside and creamy exploding with flavour.
Vieiras con mantequilla chorizo (g) A delishus plate …… beautifully sweet seared scallops cooked in chorizo butter and served on a bed of cauliflower puree. (4 per serve)
Vientre de cerdo asado lentamente (g) Succulent Pork Belly slowly roasted and served with a smooth Apple and Rum Sauce.
Chuletas de cordero (g) Locally grown lamb cutlets cooked pink and served with potato galettes.
Daily selection of home made desserts. All delicious!