I’m not usually an overly romantic person, however it has been a very busy couple of weeks (family visiting, moving house, work is crazy) and now that everything is starting to calm down again, I feel it’s time to focus a on our relationship a bit more. It’s crazy how you can live together as a couple but hardly have time for each other because you’re both running around trying to cram as much as possible into every single day.
Times like these are calling for a romantic getaway to get some much needed rest from the day-to-day madness. After all, it is winter now, i.e. the best time to cozy up together.
As Sydneysiders, we’re very fortunate to have a number of amazing getaway options at our doorstep. I love all of them but, if – like me – you’re a fan of good food and wine, the Hunter Valley is the perfect destination for your getaway. It doesn’t even have to be for a full weekend, just one day/one night usually does the trick.
So, what does a good romantic (read: not participating in an organised booze tour) getaway to the Hunter Valley entail? Check out my top picks for everything from accommodation to wineries and restaurants below.
If you’re feeling fancy, try staying at The Convent. The building, rooms and surrounds are absolutely stunning.
For a more rustic (yet classy and romantic) option, check out Stonehurst Cedar Creek cottages. It’s off the beaten path and there’s a number of different cottages to choose from. Stonehurst also happens to be one of my favourite wineries in the area, so it’s a win-win (more below).
There is no shortage of lovely restaurants in the Hunter Valley, but these two are my favourites for a romantic (and delicious) dinner:
- Amanda’s on the Edge: very charming, with a delicious menu for both lunch and dinner.
- Circa 1876: this restaurant, which is part of The Convent, boasts an adventurous menu, exceptional service and is housed in what is probably one of the most stunning buildings in the Hunter Valley.
As mentioned above, Stonehurst is one of my absolute favourites. Their Shiraz and sparkling wines are outstanding, and the cellar door is housed in the most charming stone cottage. It only fits a few people so you should not be at risk of any big tour groups ruining the romance.
Another great smaller cellar door (in a stunning location!) is Macquariedale Wines. The owners are extremely passionate about their product and all their wines are organic and biodynamic.
See & Do
This should be fairly obvious: go wine tasting! I also recommend going for a drive along Old North Road (the Hunter Valley bits), which provides some amazing views of the Hunter vineyards and plenty of opportunity to stop at a few historic sights. If you feel like pampering yourself even more, try this amazing spa. Most importantly: relax, enjoy and spend time with each other!
I’d be keen to hear your suggestions for any great wineries, hotels or restaurants in the Hunter Valley. Let me know in the comments below!