It's always good to leave home, but it's even better coming back.
I left for Asia for a spontaneous solo trip, although endless amounts of good times were had, wherever I went, there was a constant yearning for home. City life is great.. but nothing beats the sweet and salty smell of Summer mornings.. endless acres of nothing but green, seeing all the stars shine at 4.00am in the morning and being able to drive without getting stuck in tuk tuk peak traffic. After being away for 5 weeks, I caught up with my best friend Joseph over a weekend trip to Hunter Valley thanks to Accor Hotels.
A little itinerary of our weekendo.. Yan Yan edition.
Stay: The Sebel Kirkton Park - If I get back to The Hunter Valley anytime soon, I'll be booking another room.. upon arrival, we freaked out over the rose gardens for about a good 20 minutes and the interior of our suite. Mirrored coffee tables, gold hardware and houndstooth printed chairs. We spent our afternoon sitting on our little balcony, doing work over sunset with a cheese platter and the smell of flowers.. really wish we stayed here another night.
To visit: After we settled, we got picked up by Bruce from Best Tours for our first ever Wine tour tasting (and many more to come). Among the tour our favourites were;
- Audrey Wilkinson; The oldest Hunter Valley winery; after a lesson on how to properly wine taste, and 5 glasses later, we picked up a bottle of the Semillon Sauvignon.. I'm not a huge white wine drinker but this beauty is the perfect wine for dinner at the beach with girlfriends.
- The Smelly Cheese Shop; Can't go with wine without some cheese. Although I'm a little lactose intolerant I still managed to pick up some pesto and chilli feta.. I've been putting this on everything.. crackers, toast, sandwiches and even dipping celery in. They also have a beautiful array of breads and crackers.
- The HV Chocolate shop; Rocky road and fresh chocolate fondue with strawberries and banana - enough said.
Stay: Mercure Resort Hunter Valley - All I can say... BATH TUB (!!)
- We love our sleep but we couldn't turn down hot air ballooning.. It was a 4am wake up call and a very pitch black drive to the meeting location. We booked a last minute spot with Beyond Ballooning, and it was one of the most peaceful and breathtaking things I had done since.. well I don't remember to be honest. We floated in the clouds above the valley and for about a good hour and a half, I forgot about reality.
- Pepper Tree Wines; This was definitely my favourite winery. It was raining all afternoon but it managed to clear up after our first glass of wine, so we moved our table outside on their deck and cruised around their beautiful garden, we stayed here for about a good 2 hours. The wine tasting process was matched with an antipasto board.. one way to win my heart!
- Circa 1876; We actually loved the space of Pepper Tree Wines so much we ended up staying and having dinner at Circa 1876, a beautiful guesthouse, using ingredients from their backyard garden.