Peter Rowland Group is proud to be hospitality partner at Sovereign Hill
29 June 2021

Peter Rowland Group is Embracing Winter and Celebrating Regional Victoria

Events are truly alive in regional Victoria, with Ballarat kicking off its annual Winter Festival, running until the 18th of July.

In April this year, Peter Rowland Group were appointed hospitality partner at Sovereign Hill in a move to elevate the food and beverage offering, embrace local suppliers, and develop a series of immersive experiences.

Each year the region embraces the cold, and highlights activities that make winter wonderful, including a pop-up ice-skating rink, truffle hunt, ‘Fire and Snow’ show, and one of the main attractions, the Winter Wonder Lights at Sovereign Hill.

United States Hotel, brightly lit for Winter Wonderlights
United States Hotel at Sovereign Hill

In April this year, Peter Rowland Group was appointed hospitality partner at Sovereign Hill in a move to elevate the food and beverage offering, embrace local suppliers, and develop a series of immersive experiences.

Aligning with the Sovereign Hill master plan, we have begun a journey to reshape the overall visitor experience that sets out to trace the story of food back to the gold discovery days and explore its link to yesteryear.


“Food for me is about telling a story, just like Sovereign Hill. Where the food has come from, why it is on the menu, a connection to the past and present, and an experience that the visitor can take away with them”.

Matthew Haigh, Group Executive Chef.

Across the Sovereign Hill precinct, Peter Rowland Group now oversees eight retail outlets, each with its own unique offering, including a café, bakery, a la carte restaurant, bars, private dining rooms, and function rooms. In addition, a series of ‘pop up’ activations will regularly feature in line with seasonal programming – such as the ‘Diggings After Dark’ a carvery that is part of the winter program, offering freshly carved honey glazed ham in crusty rolls with a mustard cheese sauce.

Serving of honey glazed ham for ‘Diggings After Dark’
Hope Bakery

The Winter Wonder Lights menu in the New York Bakery will feature a ‘Christmas in July’ theme and includes two sittings each night. Guests can expect to find their traditional favourites such as Roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing, and cranberry sauce, finishing either  with Plum pudding, salted caramel custard and clotted cream or Christmas trifle, with coconut, kiwi, and strawberries.

Visitors can book and pre purchase their dining package in the New York Bakery when purchasing tickets. To book your tickets and dinner click here.


Functions and Events at Sovereign Hill

In addition to the retail offering and regular pop ups, Peter Rowland Group is currently curating a suite of options for corporate events, incentive-based travel groups, and social celebrations.

“As the Business Event markets starts to open up, and confidence in travel returns, we look forward to hosting various groups and activating the multiple outlets for boutique and unique conferencing for example: the Victoria Theatre and United States Hotel, and immersive dining in the unique spaces such as the underground mines”.

Peter Rowland Group will also cater exclusively to Narmbool, a magnificent and historic pastoral property of 2,000 hectares located at Elaine, just 30 minutes from Ballarat and 90 minutes from Melbourne. Owned and operated by the Sovereign Hill Outdoor Museum Trust, Narmbool exemplifies sustainable farming within a diverse and fragile ecosystem. Famed for its fine quality merino wool, Narmbool also protects bushland and Williamsons Creek as habitat for native wildlife and flora. A magnificent setting for your next event, function or wedding.

The property includes a function space, The Garden Room, with capacity for up to 140 seated guests. The property also includes Narmbool Lodge, a modern, environmentally friendly accommodation complex for groups to stay on site. 


Embracing the Ballarat region

Our philosophy of ‘a community first approach’ revolves around “Choosing locally grown, locally supplied first”. This  supports our reduction targets for carbon emission, and our focus on supporting  local, family and community-based businesses.

“Most of this country’s very best produce is found in Regional Victoria. We want to showcase ‘local’ in ways that bring the experience back to Sovereign Hill. As we develop our range of dining experience, visitors can expect to not just see local on the menu, and be a part of a curated immersive experience, and even take-home crafted Sovereign Hill products.

Visitors can expect to see venues such as The Charlie Napier Hotel become a regular spot hosting a range of master classes, workshops, and new tastings for the region’s best food and beverage.

About Winter Wonder Lights

Winter Wonder Lights is an annual event held at Sovereign Hill as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival. On until the 18th July visitors can experience a range of activities such as;

The Shining Streetscape – where the Main Street is illuminated with dazzling, vibrant projections accompanied by a rousing musical score, telling a story of celebration and togetherness.

Brown’s Confectionery – Meet Sovereign Hill confectioners and watch as they make world-famous Raspberry Drops from scratch.

Pantomime style production in the Victoria Theatre  – Beauty and the Beast is one of the best-loved fairy tales of all time – romantic, magical and timeless. We’ve added lots of silliness, a good dose of slapstick, and even the odd pirate and witch, to ensure that it’s riotous fun for children of any age. You can boo, cheer, sigh, laugh and cry to your heart’s content!

Speedwell Precinct Light Show – The gardens of Sovereign Hill are illuminated by our kilometers of fairy lights. Mosey around the Post Office Lake and enjoy a picture perfect moment with your gang.

Candle Dipping – Kids can create a candle like they did in the 1850s. Get hands-on with a rainbow kaleidoscope of colours. Lots of fun dipping candles in pots of colour.

Diggings After Dark – The sun has gone down and you can no longer see the gold in the creek but that doesn’t mean the Diggings has gone quiet. Follow the paths and enjoy the ambiance of evening life on the Goldfields.

Book tickets at

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