A Girls Weekend in the Blue Mountains
Our fabulous NSW blogger Daniella takes us along for the ride on a relaxing getaway to the Blue Mountains, 90 minutes drive from Sydney.
“Food is the only art form that embraces all the senses – from sight, smell, taste and touch.” These are the words of Rez, the charming restaurant manager at Darley’s Restaurant (who happens to be a kineseologist in his other life).
Seated by the dancing light of the fireplace, local vintage wine in hand, the heritage-listed restaurant offers my special guest (my mum) and I a dining experience reminiscent of a bygone era. There might be a fast-paced MasterChef style race in the kitchen, but there is no evidence of it in the romantic dining room.
Local ingredients and seasonal produce dominate the menu, and respect for food is evident in the elegant presentation of each magical dish.
The clocks seem to have paused as each course is presented with exquisite attention to detail, each morsel designed to savour. We learn the tuna was caught the previous night, and that even the roast potatoes took three days to prepare (explaining the melt in your mouth sensation). The dessert of fresh raspberry mousse with hazelnut praline, served in a delicate chocolate cup, is both a visual and sensory delight.
Expanding our waistlines on a foodie-focused Blue Mountains getaway, it is hard to believe that we’re less than a two hour drive from the chaos and concrete of Sydney’s CBD. The autumn leaves create abstract vistas of orange and yellow, while a misty fog descends over the famous mountain peaks.
Staying at Lilianfels Resort, a historic country mansion nestled between the iconic Three Sisters and acres of manicured lawn, we enter a rare world where fresh bread is baked each morning, winter woollies are knitted by hand and heat comes from flickering fireplaces.
We are welcomed by genuinely friendly staff, authentic in a manner that comes from being far away from a big city. A cuddly toy kookaburra greets us on the bed, while the walls and curtains pay homage to the landscape with motifs of Australian flora and fauna. While the grounds are majestic, the lounge and rooms are surprisingly cosy with plush couches and inviting, cloud-like beds.
The epitome of old world Australiana charm, Lilianfels feels like a home away from home (if your home just happens to be a beautiful mansion set amongst mountains, with handmade chocolates placed on your pillow daily and attached to a five star kitchen…). Whether engrossed in a novel in the reading room, enjoying high tea or making the most of the indoor pool, at Lilianfels you have a license to relax. If you’re craving the opportunity to tantalise your senses and ward off the winter blues with art, adventure – and most importantly, lovingly crafted food, the Blue Mountains doesn’t disappoint.
Hot Blue Mountains foodie tips
• Celebrate a special occasion at Darley’s multi-award winning restaurant
• Admire the spectacular views at Echoes Boutique Hotel and Restaurant
• Take the ladies in your life to the renowned Lilianfels High Tea
• Enjoy fluffy scones surrounded by books at Blue Mist Café, Wentworth Falls
• Indulge in handmade chocolates at Josophan’s Fine Chocolates, Leura
• Buy some home-grown figs at the Leura Markets
• Revisit your childhood at The Candy Store, Leura
• Warm up with award-winning meat pies at the German Bakery Patisserie Schwarz, Wentworth Falls
What are the key ingredients for a perfect winter escape?