Girlie Weekend (part 1)

A couple of months ago Katie, Lisa and I decided to plan a weekend away to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, which is a 2-hour drive out of Sydney.  Unfortunately for us thanks for a few traffic accidents along the way, our trip was a 4-hour journey, but still worth every minute.

We stayed at the Sovereign Hill Country Lodge in Talga Road, Rothbury which was lovely.  It wasn’t exactly what we’d expected, but it was still good.  The website seemed to show the room as having a kitchen and lounge area, but it turns out that our room just had a small breakfast table and beds, and there was a separate room with full kitchen and lounge that all guests shared.  The owners make the venue very hospitable with a complimentary bottle of Shiraz waiting for you, as well as all the foods to cook up a nice breakfast (eggs, bread, cereal, milk, condiments and cheese platter).  In the lounge there is a stereo, dining table, sofas, board games, and flagon of port 😀

The view from the property is stunning as it’s up on a hill overlooking the Valley.  They grow their own grapes, and the rooms overlook the vines and olive trees across the road.  It was a pleasure to see kangaroos hopping around in the faraway fields (at least I found it a pleasure anyway), and to see the many wee rabbits hopping around at dusk!  I had an added treat of the owners having two full-grown dogs there, so I was in my element when we arrived and I was covered in doggie hair within minutes of arriving LOL.

Here’s our view from the front of the property:

Sovereign Hill 5

Sovereign Hill 4

Sovereign Hill 3

As we arrived quite late, we worked out where a ‘local’ Irish pub was that served pub meals, and headed on out in the car.  I can definitely recommend the food there – my Beef and Guinness Pie was to die for, and the girls loved their Chicken and Prawn dishes.  If anyone is out in the Valley, definitely consider heading to Harrigan’s Irish Pub for a meal if you get chance (although it can get a bit crowded on a Friday night).

We’d seen a brochure that said Hunter Valley Gardens had a spectacular Christmas lights display, so we popped over for the last 1/2 hour of them being open, and it was truly magical wandering around the gardens.  They have a storybook garden that kids would absolutely adore!  Lots of sculptures around the place from children’s books, such as Humpty Dumpty, Mad Hatters Tea Party, Jack and Jill, and loads and loads more.  Unfortunately we’d all forgotten to take our cameras with us, so the mobile phone camera had to do, and the quality is dreadful.

Hunter Valley Gardens 1

Hunter Valley Gardens 2

I just had to take a photo of this character – he looks kinda spooky on the camera phone, I just love it 🙂

Hunter Valley Gardens 3

We had a special treat of seeing fireworks going off in the background behind the gardens somewhere – not sure what the occasion was, but it another great highlight of the night 🙂

After that we decided not to head back to Harrigan’s for an hour, as tempting as it was, and we headed off home, as we had a relatively early start the next day …

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