I was invited to this dinner as press but no other compensation was provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos are mine unless otherwise noted.
A short distance off 290, past the town of Dripping Springs, you’ll find one of the state’s premier wedding venues. But the inspiration for the venue came from much further. Whit and Kim Hanks found the structures which populate the venue in Vietnam, textiles and flowers in Ecuador, the name gives nod to the Adirondacks.
When Hanks took over the property, he knew he wanted to share this 275 acre piece of the Hill Country with others. With Kim’s expertise in wedding planning and Whit’s property and experience with antiques, Camp Lucy has grown to a four venue wedding wonderland and Whim Hospitality was born. With the addition of 27 guest rooms and two cottages, the venue became an overnight destination. With the recent addition of a pool and Tillie’s restaurant, it becomes a place to truly getaway.
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Tillie’s Restaurant which will open to the public October 1st. Named after Whit’s great-grandmother who also had a passion for travel and a developer’s spirit. She and her husband, Lewis Hancock, established The Hancock Opera House and The Austin Country Club. She was one of the first female developers in the state.
From the moment we entered the gates of the property, the Hanks’ attention to detail and commitment to excellent service was apparent. From the moment we entered the towering aqua doors, their desire to elevate and transport was clear.
We were immediately offered an umbrella, then a glass of wine. Several staff members were on hand ready to welcome, offer tours, and answer questions. The entire venue combines modern touches with antiques, slashes of whimsical prints with rustic treasures from their travels.
We began in the main dining area. The structure is a repurposed 200-year-old town hall from North Vietnam. Saints placed just below the trellis over look the custom encaustic lie. An array of sitting areas placed around the venue invite relaxation nd conversation. Colorful tiles highlight alcoves and separate spaces. It is stunning.
We toured the pool area, the private dining room, also housed in a building from Vietnam, and the Luxury suite. Another set of intricately carved doors grab your attention upon entering. The suite is complete with a sitting area and fireplace, a deep soaking tub imported from China, textiles from Ecuador, reclaimed beams, an antique vanity. Amenities include environmentally friendly toiletries, a coffee maker and a mini-fridge.
Following the tour, it was time to begin the 7 course tasting menu. Executive chef Brandon Martin comes to Tillie’s with 20 years of experience in some of the best restaurants in the state ranging from the Gage Hotel to Odd Duck, Dai Due to Lenoir. The approach for the menu is American Nouveau, fresh takes on classics with surprising international touches. They will be open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even Dim Sum weekend brunches.
Our tasting menu, listed below, incorporated several styles of cuisine. Beautifully plated, balanced dishes with elements of surprise which enhanced the dish. The impeccable service continued throughout the night, nailing the difficult balance of precision and comfort.
From start to finish, it was an evening which fed every sense. Visually stunning, every comfort attended to, amazing food, warm company. Whether you are looking for a weekend away, a girls’ night, and romantic dinner for two, or a brunch with friends, Tillie’s is well worth the journey. With plans of a spa in the works, you have even more reason to travel just west of Austin, and see the world, for the day or night. No nuptials required.
For more information on the opening menu, see below. For rates on accommodation visit the Camp Lucy site.