Why Adelaide Hills?
In the heart of the Adelaide Hills is Mount Lofty House, a manor that overlooks the rolling hills of a region known for exceptionally good food, wine and exploring. An easy 20-minute drive from downtown Adelaide, Mount Lofty House dates back to 1852 when it was built by politician Arthur Hardy as a summer residence and the original coach house and stables now form a key part of the property, which has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar makeover at the hands of owners David Horbelt and Malcolm Bean. The 33 guest rooms, many with balconies, are now some of the best in South Australia. The hotel also serves up their own wines (some are produced from grapes on the property), highlighted by their chardonnay. That variety is produced at wineries across the Adelaide Hills and cellar doors that you should stop by include Petaluma (sip on chardonnay and shiraz), Shaw + Smith (tasting flights, accompanied by cheese, are on offer for $15pp) and Nepenthe (the sauvignon blanc is exceptional). Also, make sure you visit Bird in Hand for their olives and tasty reds.
At Mt Lofty House’s Piccadilly Restaurant, locally sourced seafood, meats and vegetables line both the a la carte (entrées from $17 and mains from $36) and degustation ($110pp or $150pp with matching wines) menus, with top orders being the lamb rump and braised beef rib. The restaurant’s wine list has a good blend of local, state and national wines, especially in the deep reds. Save space for the marzipan, ginger snap and violet brulee. Daily from 6pm. For a great lunch date, visit Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill and score a table on the deck overlooking the old water mill.
Time Out Tip
Spend a morning in Hahndorf, a quaint town that serves up a small slice of Germany with providores, cafés, homeware stores, restaurants and coffee houses. Best to avoid the lunch-time rush of Adelaide locals and get there mid-morning.