Woodland House to close, but what’s next?

Published on July 12 2019.

Photo: L-R: Hayden McFarland, Jacques Reymond, Thomas Woods

The Reymond family wants your restaurant ideas for the next chapter of the landmark site.

Prahran fine-diner Woodland House might have called time this week, but there’s a chance to revive the heritage mansion on Williams Road that, before Woodland, housed Jacques Reymond Restaurant.

Building owners Jacques and Kathy Reymond are inviting chefs, restaurateurs and food-loving business folk to put forward their ideas for the 145-seat space, now that Woodland House co-owners and chefs Hayden McFarland and Thomas Woods have called it a day.

The pair, themselves Reymond protégés, opened Woodland House in January 2014 with an unflinching commitment to fine-dining, with white tablecloths, soft music and a tasting-menu only format. Gourmet Traveller wrote at the time, “The signs for Woodland House forging its own path are very good indeed. The two young chefs are talented, well-trained and, by the look of many of the dishes on their first menu, imaginative and original too.” A 2017 review by Good Food declared that “Delightful initial impressions only become more lustrous as the parade of lovely, interesting food rolls on”.

But this week, McFarland and Woods handed the business to liquidators.

For now, the Reymonds are taking all ideas before announcing the next chapter for the site.

By Emma Breheny