The Beautiful BAROSSA
SA blogger Q shows us how to experience the Barossa in style
Looking for a wonderful weekend retreat? I have one for you. How does five star accommodation for the weekend, with access to amazing culinary delights without leaving your hotel; a personalised guided tour of one of the world’s most renowned wine regions,; a Sunday sleep-in with late check out and lashings of extravagance with high tea before you leave suit you? It sounded fantastic to us!
We checked in to the Adelaide Stamford Plaza, located directly opposite the Adelaide train station, with easy access to everything you need for a wonderful city or interstate weekend break. Our room was neutrally decorated with amazing views over the north of the city and all the accoutrements expected of a five star stay.
We selected Rickshaws, the Asian fusion restaurant inside the plaza, for dinner and enjoyed a delectable mixed entree tasting plate along with a platter of divinely cooked delicacies from the tandoor. The staff were attentive but not invasive and dinner was leisurely and pleasant, the perfect way to begin unwinding after the working week.
Up early on a frosty Adelaide (yes sometimes, it is a bit chilly for a few hours!) morning, we were met by Gary Grimes of Gary Grimes Classic and Luxury Adventures for our personalised tour of the Barossa.
Gary had touched base with me earlier in the week to ensure that he was aware of our tastes in relation to wine; the culture and heritage of the area as well as the feel or mix of the tour we were interested in. We were guaranteed a tour perfect for our tastes and Gary definitely delivered as promised.
With Gary’s experience we visited four family owned wineries, perfectly dodging tour bus groups, it seemed almost as if we had private tastings at a couple. The wineries offered up matched our taste buds, with purchases made from all of them. Gary kept us entertained in between with anecdotes from his years of experience, stopping off at local landmarks and scenic spots and pointing out interesting historical and cultural aspects of the Barossa.
Aware of us running out of steam and filling up on wine, we had a sumptuous lunch at Kaeslers and slowed down the pace, focussing on accompaniments to our wine purchases by visiting the Barossa Cheese Making Company (you have to try the Washington washed rind champion cheese (2007)!), Angas Park (a 100 year old dried fruit company) and Maggie Beer’s farm.
If you have the opportunity to, I would highly recommend a personalised tour of the Barossa and found Gary to be personable, entertaining and intuitive of our needs. He is able to cater for groups up to 24 people with various sized vehicles in the fleet.
Our evening was luxuriously lazy with some of our cheese, pate, wine and fruit purchases enjoyed in our suite at the hotel. On Sunday we enjoyed a late check out of 3pm and headed straight to High Tea in Swish (another of the hotels eateries) with champagne on arrival and three tiers of teensy sweet and savoury delicacies to delight our indulged taste buds, finished with coffee and tea. If you need to close the door on the real world for a few days, stay at the Adelaide Plaza and enjoy a day or two in the Barossa, you won’t regret it.