Preston Estate (formerly Preston Manor) has new owners Alex Kennedy (pictured) and Ash Forbes.
Preston Estate (formerly Preston Manor) has new owners Alex Kennedy (pictured) and Ash Forbes.

Long lunches, high teas, cheese and wine tastings at new Preston Estate

The duo who owns the ever-popular James Street Grocer has launched a new venture, taking over a former wedding venue and transforming it into a stunning lifestyle destination.

Ash Forbes and Alexander Kennedy recently took over Preston Manor, just 12 minutes from the Toowoomba CBD, and have renamed it Preston Estate.

The 24 acres are home to sprawling gardens, an incredible historical homestead, quaint church and gazebo which all overlook the Lockyer Valley.

Roz King and Eleisha Hammel at Preston Estate’s first high tea event.
Roz King and Eleisha Hammel at Preston Estate’s first high tea event.

The idea is to turn the venue into a destination that region residents and guests can visit for a relaxing and unique experience.

There will be regular high teas, long lunches, picnic opportunities, outdoor dining, high end jazz days, movie nights, art exhibitions as well as opportunity for private functions.

Already a list of events has been confirmed in the coming months such as Gin Saturdays, a Garden High Tea, Preston Long Lunch, Wine Tasting, Pop Up Burgers, Health Kick Lady’s Lunch, Bare Foot Garden Party and Gourmet Cheese Tasting.

The pair has been working on bringing back the estate to its former glory since December, including giving life back to the gardens, laying turf, stringing lights and giving the buildings a fresh paint job.

Last weekend it held its first official high tea event, which was a five-course experience with champagne.

Mr Forbes said it was great to see so many people attend the event and he was looking forward to hosting more.

“People are sick of sitting inside a cafe all the time, they want freedom,” he said.

“You can come out here, relax, wear big hats and sunglasses and enjoy yourself.

“Toowoomba needs something like this. People are looking for high-end but reasonably priced.

Celebrating Pam Armstrong's 87th birthday at Preston Estate’s first high tea are (from left) Suzi Mills, Tricia Rettore, Pam Armstrong and Geoff Armstrong.
Celebrating Pam Armstrong's 87th birthday at Preston Estate’s first high tea are (from left) Suzi Mills, Tricia Rettore, Pam Armstrong and Geoff Armstrong.

“There is unlimited free parking and you can bring the kids out too, that’s what is great about having 24 acres there is room for everyone.”

While Preston Estate is already up and running, there is still plenty more to do to get the venue to where Mr Forbes and Mr Kennedy envision it.

There are plans to create an outdoor boutique bar and deck, huge amphitheatre for Sunday movies, a space for croquet, adding a helipad for flights over the valley as well as the possibility of utilising the old church building and grassed area for a homewares store and Saturday markets.

Mr Forbes said once he had the staff he would aim to open seven days a week.

For more information, visit www.preston-estate-toowoomba.com, search Preston Estate on Facebook or phone (07) 4613 0976.

Originally published as Long lunches, high teas, cheese and wine tastings at new Preston Estate



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