Top city chefs take on The Verandah at Hamilton Lake


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2 March 2009

Top city chefs Graham McFarlane and Bill MacDonald have signed to bring their culinary talents to The Verandah, Hamilton City Council's new event facility situated on the city's lakefront. Both chefs are international culinary judges and between them will they will bring over 50 years of professional culinary experience to developing Hamilton's newest city icon, The Verandah at Hamilton Lake.

McFarlane and McDonald are currently the owners and operators of the popular Queenwood eatery Café En Q, recently voted Best Restaurant in the 2007/08 Waikato Times TEMPO Readers' Choice Awards.

Hamilton City Council's Parks and Gardens manager Bill Featherstone says the pair's vision for The Verandah as a prominent city icon was consistent with Council's vision for the location and key to their success in securing the hospitality rights to the facility.

"Council considered a number of submissions before reaching its decision. The quality of this proposal – utilising the location to leverage major events in the city, positioning The Verandah as a focal part of the overall Hamilton experience, promoting the versatility of the area to other Lake Domain users, initiating high standards of food and beverage across the full range of potential client groups and reinforcing the success of that combination with some solid marketing plans moving forward – made Mr McFarlane and Mr McDonald a stand out choice."

Construction of The Verandah commenced in July 2007 with demolition of the old tearoom buildings. When it opens the cafe, restaurant and event centre will accommodate a range of purposes and complement the area's existing views and natural surrounds.

The Verandah is designed by architects Chibnall Swann and the structure incorporates a number of ecologically sustainable design elements, including natural day-lighting and rainwater harvesting.

In addition to a café/restaurant and kiosk, a large function room will cater for everything from weddings to conferences, breakfast meetings, sports club ceremonies, community group functions, and corporate events.

Mr McFarlane says he and, fellow Café En Q Director, Mr McDonald are proud to be associated with such an exciting and iconic facility as The Verandah.

"The Verandah will offer a diverse range of services to the public and corporate sections alike in what is an idyllic location".

"We see this facility being a popular venue for families, social and business groups alike. For that quiet coffee, lunch, sweet treat, or an ice cream for the kids, through to a high end business conference or the perfect wedding, The Verandah will be able to offer it all".


Name: Graham McFarlane
Designation: The Verandah – Operator
Tel (Direct): 027 630 1788
Name: Christine Watson
Designation: Communication Executive
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6509
Mobile: 021 791 264
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761
Page reviewed: 02 Mar 2009 12:00am