Friday, April 15, 2011

A Gourmet Weekend in Maleny, Queesnland

If delicious cuisine is high on your holiday wish-list, check out these sumptuous short break destinations from Holidays For Couples, where wining and dining is just as important as luxurious accommodation.

The Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Just 20 minutes by car from Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills could be another world away. These undulating hills are dotted with picturesque villages interspersed with market gardens, orchards, long-established formal gardens and myriad vineyards producing quality wines. Stay in new apartment-style accommodation and dine at the very central and stylish Stirling Hotel – a cross between country classic and city chic. 

Pick your own cherries on a ‘cherry trail’ of orchards and farm-gates in the hills – plus raspberries, figs, strawberries, apples, peaches, plums and apricots in season. Learn how to make your own home-style cheese with an interactive cheese-making class at Udder Delights in Hahndorf (includes lunch with wine) or book into a gourmet cooking class at the Sticky Rice Cooking School in Stirling with perhaps Christine Manfield, David Thompson or Kurma Dasa. Stroll in the beautiful Botanic Gardens at Mt Lofty, enjoy a flight of wines at Shaw & Smith winery and book Sunday lunch at The Lane with fabulous vineyard views.

Launceston, Tasmania
Book a luxurious suite at beautiful colonial Quamby Estate with its lofty ceilings, deep spa baths and open fires. Enjoy a round of golf on the estate’s nine-hole course, then reward yourself with fabulous coffee and a luscious raspberry and chocolate Le Framboise cake at Tant Pour Tant.

Let Wursthaus at Olivers pack a picnic hamper to enjoy in the grounds of local vineyards Goaty Hill or Brook Eden where you can savour their wine. Or make up your own picnic with home-made goodies, local smoked trout, cheese and more from chef Daniel Alps’ fabulous new Alps & Amici foodstore and kitchen. Take a cooking class at the Red Feather Inn cooking school in Hadspen, dine at the beautiful upmarket steakhouse Black Cow Bistro, go Chinese at Me Wah (one of the best on the island) and dine on contemporary fare at romantic Stillwater housed in an old 1830s flour mill overlooking the Tamar.

Maleny, Queensland
On a spur of the Great Dividing Range, the Sunshine Coast hinterland around Maleny has the lot – a gentle country lifestyle, idyllic climate, a vibrant food scene and great views across fertile farmlands to the state’s famed white sandy coastline.

Commune with nature in a Falls Pavilion at Spicers Tamarind, sip a Spicers Sunset cocktail and dine in the intimate on-site restaurant of former Darley St Thai and Chilli Jam Café chef Paul Blain’s exemplary Thai cuisine. Book into one of his classes so you can replicate the gourmet experience when you get home. Tour Maleny Cheese factory, savour their great triple brie and le blochon cheese, then share a fondue in the café. 

Try the divine award-winning hazelnut roche or decadent passionfruit cheesecake ice cream from Colin James Fine Foods and dine on modern Australian fare at acclaimed Reserve Restaurant and Cellar. Indulge in a pampering spa treatment at nearby Spicers Clovelly Estate at Montville and enjoy excellent French-inspired food at The Long Apron on-site.

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