Stop Everything, Get In The Car And Drive

Isn’t it amazing how just one or two days spent out of the city can feel like you’ve had a long and relaxing break?

Just being out where the roads are wider and emptier, and where the only things kissing the clouds are trees – not skyscrapers.

Happy Birthday … Now Get Out

I was very kindly whisked away for my birthday last week to Bowral, a lovely little town in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Bowral is famous for a few things: it’s the home of (arguably) Australia’s greatest cricketer, Don Bradman, and (perhaps more pertinent to my interests) it’s wine country.

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I’ve always loved going there because it’s so close to home (about 1.5 hours, give or take a few red lights) which is great and easy when it comes to travelling with a baby.

It’s also got wineries. Did I mention the winers? Good wineries, too.

Wine Time

Needless to say the wine was amazing, as was the food. It’s a very paddock-to-plate feel; meals are prepared using delicious, seasonal and local ingredients. There’s dishes like goat shoulder and baked homegrown pumpkin with harissa – enough variety for even the pickiest eater.

Our first stop was Centennial Vineyards, which boasts a truly unreal selection of sparkling wines. It’s also got a restaurant on site, so you can balance out the wine tasting with some food. Always a good option. They also do cheese platters at the cellar door if you feel like something lighter.

Next we stopped at Artemis wines, which is also home to Bee Mead – which is basically a cider made with honey. They also add in a little ginger and spices, too, making it my new favourite drink for summer. INSANELY ADDICTIVE.

We wrapped up the day with a quick swim in the hotel pool before dinner at Bistro Sociale, a French style restaurant with a GIN BAR. Oh yes… a GIN BAR.

The next day we packed in breakfast at Gumnut Patisserie (a pie and pastry to start the day is good, right?), before driving along to Berrima and tasting wines at Pepper Tree cellar door. Now, this place has only been open for around three months, but it’s fast becoming known in the area for its luscious decor and delicious wines. For the first time in my life I went for a Pinot Noir over a Rosé (even though I loved them both, I gave myself a one bottle limit at each winery).

Across the road from the cellar door was a little patch of grass which Georgia spent some time running around and chasing a balloon she stole got while we tried to walk off the wines.

Then we ambled in for lunch at Bendooley Estate. This place is something of a local icon. Anyone and everyone will know someone who has gotten married on its grounds. Plus, it’s also the birthplace of Berkelouw Books. So, after you eat you can have stroll around the aisles of second-hand books (breathe it in) before heading to the adjoining cellar door.

Phew. We were home that day by 2pm.

It’s little overnight, or even day trips, like these that prove you don’t need to go far to escape.

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