Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My memorable moment in my hometown: Radelaide

Having called Adelaide home for the last 22 years, I often take any opportunity I get to showcase what an amazing city it is to anyone who will listen.  Sure, in my younger days I'd bemoan that it was not as exciting as say, Sydney or Melbourne, but my, how this city has changed in the last decade or so!  It is a vibrant city with a lot to offer besides the well known surrounding wine regions and beaches (all of which I love), including an energetic arts scene — with festivals like the Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide, SALA and the biennial Adelaide Film Festival, as well as a robust dining scene, with exciting cool bars and cafes popping up at a rate I just can't keep up with these days.  It is little wonder that The New York Times named Adelaide as one the 52 places to go to in 2015 (the only Australian city to make the list, might I add - and they also wrote another piece on what to do in 36 hours in Adelaide later that year).

Despite all the new exciting developments Adelaide has received, the classic establishments and regions are still what I love most about Adelaide, and I was lucky to recently have had a chance to experience a lovely 'staycation' in lovely company in this city of mine.


Starting with the historic Mount Lofty House, which overlooks the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region, yet is just a short 15 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD.  Situated amongst five acres of gardens with stunning views across the Piccadilly valley and Adelaide Hills wine region, this historic boutique hotel features 33 beautiful rooms that exude old charm and a first class restaurant; and is the premier destination for luxury and romantic escapes (my sister recently spent a relaxing weekend there, and insisted I do the same), overnight accommodation, fine dining, boutique day spa experiences, conference retreats and weddings.  Like Hotel St Moritz (which I recently blogged about), Mount Lofty House is part of Accor Hotel's M Gallery by Sofitel group, and has its own 'Memorable Moment'.  I mentioned in my previous post that Memorable Moments at MGallery by Sofitel reflect each hotel's character, local landscape and culture, and take many forms, from whiskey and chocolate tasting at Brisbane’s New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites; candlelit rooftop dinners with a string quartet at the Harbour Rocks Hotel overlooking Sydney Harbour; or helicopter ride to “The Ledge” of Cecil Peak with a magical picnic on an incredible Alpine Plateau in Queenstown, New Zealand.  Shortly after arriving at Mount Lofty House, we (Melanie Liu, Shellie Froidevaux, Yan Dong, Emma Kate and Angela Liu) were quickly whisked away to The Lane to fly over the magnificent Adelaide Hills in a helicopter (my first ever!) and explore the produce and wine of the region:

A short video of my amazing stay at Mount Lofty House

Woo hoo! First ever helicopter ride!

 Incredible view of the Adelaide Hills region

 May I say, the 'soundtrack' to our helicopter ride was pretty brilliant!
Wine Tasting at The Lane

Followed by a delicious lunch
   The Pork Belly (pictured right) was all kinds of amazing!

  The Lane is one of my favourite spots for lunch in the Adelaide Hills, and I often bring friends and family here, as the food is always delicious!

Following our delicious lunch at The Lane, we were chaffeur driven in a Vintage limousine to some of the regions iconic wineries to enjoy private tastings, including a favourite of mine, Shaw and Smith:

Photo at Shaw and Smith (taken by Shellie Froidevaux)

 One of my favourite things about wine tasting at Shaw + Smith is the delicious cheese platter accompanying their beautiful wines (the M3 Chardonnay and Shiraz are my faves!)
After Shaw and Smith, we left for another favourite winery: Hahndorf Hill Winery
Chocolate tasting! We were treated to not only a wine tasting, but a matched chocolate tasting with a beautiful view of Hahndorf Hill's vineyards.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

We returned to Mount Lofty House for a little rest before meeting for dinner at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Mount Lofty House’s new premier restaurant with beautiful views of the Piccadilly Valley, for an elegant and intimate five course degustation dinner with paired wines, the perfect setting and location to view the Supermoon from, and in fine company too!  Executive Chef Girard Ramsay, and hatted head chef Wayne Brow personally selects local produce to create a culinary experience like no other, capturing the true essence of good food usinglocally sourced produce, and the finest internationally sourced ingredients (and state-of-the art kitchen equipment, which we later had a sticky beak at, when touring the kitchen after dinner.
Milk fed veal tartare
Beautiful food with beautiful views

 The next morning we enjoyed an amazing breakfast again, with beautiful views of Mount Lofty Hotel's gardens, and the Picadilly Valley...
You can select from the bountiful buffet or order a la always, we did a bit of both...How I love my breakfasts! Those pancakes were delicious, by the way...
Breakfast with a view
One can also enjoy breakfast in bed by ordering room-service...

I also enjoyed some lovely time outside on the verandah outside my beautiful room
At lunch time we enjoyed a beautiful picnic spread on the hotel grounds amongst their beautiful gardens...

 Enjoying the local produce


After our lovely picnic we headed to the heart of Adelaide, to the Playford Hotel, our second 'staycation' destination. Centrally located on North Terrace, opposite Adelaide's Convention Centre and close to the super exciting 'West Side' (where some of my favourite restaurants and bars are found), this boutique hotel offers the perfect blend of classical style and contemporary luxury.  Each room is unique and beautifully appointed in an Art Noveau style that is brimming with charm.

Checkout this video of the girls and I enjoying our memorable moment at The Playford.

The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, full of character and luxurious touches
 After some down time in my room, we were whisked away to South Australia’s Restaurant of the Year (and a restaurant I have been countless times), Windy Point restaurant, to enjoy a seven course degustation dinner overlooking the spectacular panoramic views of Spencer Gulf through to the Adelaide Hillssweeping from St Vincent’s Gulf to the Adelaide Hills enjoyed through full length 180° windows. 

The cuisine is Modern Australian combined with old-school silver service and generous locally sourced dishes, making this a memorable dining experience, which is fitting, as this is The Playford's 'Memorable Moment'
 Huon Ocean Trout Carpaccio with squid ink aioli, citrus crisps and sweet paprika oil, one of my favourite dishes of the evening
 This cute amuse-bouche was also so delicious (and too cute not to photograph)
 The view made even more spectacular with this magnificent sunset

 Cheers-ing with fellow Adelaidean (now Melbourne-based) Emma Kate
Photo by Angela Liu
Breakfast outdoors at The Playford restaurant

 If one can enjoy breakfast in bed, surely dessert in bed is also acceptable?
This dessert is actually a breakfast dish at The Playford's restaurant, an incredible house made ricotta that is an absolute delight to all the senses!

 The food on offer at The Playford (buffet included) is definitely one of the best I've ever experienced, it even had coconut water!  Some of you may know of my obsession with coconut water...

I may have to come back just so I can have breakfast here again, luckily I only live a 15 minute drive away!

Thank you Accor Hotels and Maddy G for this lovely 'staycation', and for the other memorable moments this year!

Mount Lofty House, MGallery by Sofitel
74 Mount Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers, South Australia 5152
Telephone: (08) 8339 6777

The Playford, MGallery by Sofitel
120 North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000
Telephone: (08) 8213 8888

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