Terms and Conditions


The Watervale Hotel and its affiliate Penobscot Farm are in the business of purveying ‘Ethical Epicurean Experiences”. The terms of conditions of engaging with our businesses reflect this.

As an Ethical business we must ensure that all behaviors, relationships and interactions between us, our staff, suppliers, customers and community are moral, reflect our responsibility to the broader community, and develop a deep trust through reliability.

Epicurean businesses are more interested in the quality of the fine food, wine, beverages and services than the profit derived from them. Don’t get us wrong, we need to profit from our epicurean business in order to be economically sustainable, but we fundamentally believe that purveying epicurean offerings will lead to a broader customer base, greater loyalty, and earn higher prices that reflect the higher input costs.

Businesses focused on providing positive experiences must look beyond the quality of food and beverages. We are committed to educating and entertaining our customers, and helping them to find other places in the Clare Valley they might like to go to enhance their experience. This is not simply a tourism marketing platform. We want our locals and near local neighbours to feel involved when dining and drinking at our Hotel, and set out to enhance their experience through things like farm tours and cooking demonstrations. We are in the business of food theatre not provision of fuel.

This philosophy inevitably leads to a ‘contract’ between our business and our patrons. A set of terms and conditions that are implied or overtly enforced to ensure that everyone treats each other with the sort of respect inherent behind our ethics. 

Booking and transacting with The Watervale Hotel

  • Booking on line is essential for events, book private rooms and to advise preferred spaces. Whilst we can generally cater for walk, or even ride ins, the preferred spaces fill fast. We will give priority to Watervale Epicurean Society Members, so why not join before you book?
  • We reserve the right to request a deposit of $50 / head on a credit card for certain events or spaces.
  • Late arrivals. If you are running late please call ahead and we will keep your table. If you are 30 minutes late without advising we reserve the right to allocate your space to others.
  • No shows. We will keep the deposit in the case of a no show.
  • Split bills. We do accommodate split bills. Our Commbank Albert machine makes splitting easy, but our staff are not trained arbitrators so we do ask that each group negotiates their financial affairs prior to settling. Alternatively set up separate accounts on the one table and we will do our best to keep track of those.
  • Tasting Menus. The tasting menus deliver the greatest value, demonstrate the diversity of our menu and highlights fresh farm produce. These are set at the discretion of the Chef on a daily basis. They can be altered for those with allergies, intolerance, or moral preference.
  • We guarantee your drinking and dining pleasure. If a dish or wine is not to your liking please advise the wait staff and they will replace it with another of similar value at no cost. If you perceive a quality issue please raise it to our attention so that it can be managed.
  • Take-aways. We are not in the take-away meal business but we will happily package ‘left-over’ food not consumed on premise. Our Penobscot Farm packaged produce is definitely for sale on a take away basis. All of our packaged beverages are for sale to take away at lower prices than the wine and beverage list. In fact, if you join the Watervale Epicurean Society you can continue to buy this produce and beverages for home delivery on a further discounted basis.

Codes of behavior when drinking and dining in the Hotel or Beer garden.

  • Inclusive: We have an amazing variety of patrons. Young families, older couples, tradies, winemakers and viticulturalists, farmers, professional, tourists, back-packers, and hippies. They are multi-cultural by ethnicity and religion, diverse with respect to music, food or sexual preferences. Some even barrack for the ‘wrong’ football team. At the Watervale Hotel all are welcome. Even those wearing (fill in your most hated team) guernseys. They are brought together by our food, drink, entertainment and an inclusive environment. We will not tolerate negative behavior towards others for whatever reason, and we will ask people to leave if their behavior is not consistent with our inclusive values. Violence will lead to Police action.
  • Intoxication: We are responsible servers of alcohol and will abide by the RSA codes. This will mean that from time to time our staff will ask patrons to slow down or stop drinking, drink the water or hot chips offered them free of charge, or in some cases to leave. We may even ask for patron’s keys or call a cab for them. We reserve the right to refuse entry to people already intoxicated. We can not accept responsibility for someone who arrives intoxicated. We will take similar action with those who appear to be under the influence of other drugs. We will do so in the best interests of all of our total community, and will remove people who fail to be disrespectful of staff or other patrons. Repeat occurrences may lead to indefinite bans.
  • Respect for other patrons. We encourage people to drink and dine in a wide range of spaces at the Watervale Hotel. Please respect others as they eat and drink in close proximity. If you or your group are annoying another group we reserve the right to ask you to move in the best interests of all parties.
  • Children and Dogs. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing Children enjoying themselves at the Hotel; and we love Dogs … just ask Frankie Blue. Behavior of both Children and Dogs are the responsibility of the parents. Please ensure that all under your care are as respectful as you need to be.
  • Respect for property. We have invested in beautiful furniture, fixtures and fittings. Some are old and beautiful and need extra care. We have paintings that belong to the artist on the walls. We have bought lovely cutlery, crockery and glassware to enhance the dining and drinking experience. We require all patrons to respect property that does not belong to them. Patrons guilty of intentional or careless breaking of items or theft will be charged with the full replacement of the damaged or stolen item. In the case of intentional damage or theft the patron may be banned from the venue indefinitely.
  • Respect for neighbours. We live in a small town and have few neighbours. However, we have a young family to our south, staff to our east, close neighbours to our north, and Guesthouse guests to our west. We have a responsibility to keep noise level down, particularly before midnight. We will not play loud music outside, and it will be turned off at midnight. We ask all patrons to keep their voices down when leaving the venue. Disrespectful noise levels or other acts of disrepute such as urinating, breaking glasses or similar may lead to bans.
  • Respect for staff. We will not tolerate poor behavior towards our staff. It is not easy maintaining RSA standards and keeping everyone happy in an inclusive environment. Our staff deserve respect. Poor behavior may lead to expulsion, and in major cases bans.

Penobscot Farm Tours

  • Penobscot Farm is Nicola and Warrick’s home, and the cottage is often home to Chef’s in Residence. We all need to respect their privacy.
  • Farm Tours are held at 5pm on a Friday Evening during daylight savings. This is to allow Friday evening tourists come to the Watervale Hotel for a Farm Tour and Dinner package. Otherwise tours are held at 10.30am on Saturday Mornings.
  • Tours need to be pre-booked.

Taste Nature

Our menu is seasonal, driven by produce from our own organic, bio dynamic Penobscot Farm.