I had a planned girls’ weekend away, but best laid schemes and such it turned into a couples’ weekend away.
I have just returned and am amazed at how leaving the burbs on a Friday afternoon makes a weekend away feel like a long holiday.
We just beat the real crush of Sydneysiders heading north. The luck of being able to duck off early and of living on the north side (or the outback as my son’s new girlfriend calls our suburb – she lives in a more built-up area with no towering trees as we have here, several train journeys from our stop. In fact it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say her suburb is all concrete. But I digress, which you know is what I do.)
Now I feel slightly surprised at my ignorance. You know how I like bubbles? And red wine? And nice things? And getting away?
Well, we went to The Hunter Valley, NSW’s wine country. Yes, well, I knew it was wine country and produces great reds. But I didn’t know it was so close to the top end of Sydney. Nor did I know it was so lovely.
OK, it was slightly touristy, and slightly crowded, and somewhat overpriced. But what do you expect when it is within escape distance for Sydneysiders?
In my conceptual framework I associated it with a loooong drive and the coach wine tasting tours I remember my parents going on in the 70s. Tacky, raucous.
But it was gorgeous. And less than two hours from my house!
The contrast with the nearest town that you have to drive through to get to the area we stayed in couldn’t be more marked in terms of class and money. There’s no mistaking to whom the wineries and restaurants and shops are appealing, and it is not the locals. Sorry, locals. I fall in the demographic and I loved it and I will return. We stayed here.
We drank bubbles (of course), visited some beautiful wineries, admired the scenery and the changing weather, drunk in the fresh air, listened to the birds, ate a flash dinner (pasta of a name I can’t remember with truffles and with something in Italian the waitress had to look – can you get anymore pretentious? What do you expect from a middle class weekend escape?), bought lovely things, resisted buying more gorgeous things (like a divine handbag, am I strong, or what?), bought lollies from the British lolly shop, watched the funniest crap on Foxtel (opps that doesn’t fit in, does it? But really it WAS funny and we had to let the food digest.), admired the cherry blossoms.
And made it home to go for a walk and do some mundane tasks like washing and ironing.
Some bad iPad photos for your enjoyment.