Beautiful Barossa and historic Adelaide

Valley over Pindarie Winery.

By Kylie Mitchell-Smith

There’s something about Adelaide, steeped in history and abundant in local food and wine. Growing up in Melbourne we always looked to our South Australian counterparts for the weather forecast and trends in wine.

More than a city of churches and historical buildings, Adelaide’s charm lies in the people and their sense of place. Along with its authentic ‘big country town’ attitude, the city bursts with pride.

We choose to stay at the newly refurbished and nostalgic Playford Hotel, ideally located on North Terrace, adjacent to the old railway station and the picturesque River Torrens.

The historic hotel offers luxury in the heart of the city, from the artistic design of the lobby to the exquisite detailing in every room, it’s a stately building that’s all about comfort and charm.

There are 182 styled rooms, decorated with a touch of Art Nouveau- a fusion of classic meets modern. Expansive windows and balconies are well appointed in selected suites, to capture the city’s skyline and natural surrounds.

Dining at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant Luma (meaning light) you are treated to a showcase of what South Australia has on offer, from farm fresh produce to an assortment of local wine. The curated menu is threaded with local produce and is inspired by international cuisine- a testament to Adelaide chef Cameron Tabe.

The hotel is accessible to the city’s main attractions, where you can meander through the nearby botanic gardens or explore the town centre, with an eclectic array of restaurants, bars and laneways, to enjoy along the way.

We take a day trip around the Barossa Valley to taste test what the award-winning region has on offer, from local wine to dairy farm cheese and botanical gin. First wine stop is Pindarie Winery, located at the entrance of the valley, with sweeping views, award winning grapes and delicious tasting room, delightfully restored in the farms original stables.

Next stop is Turkey Flat Winery renowned for their French style rose and delicious house made Pedro Ximenez, that is infused into a pate, which we devour at lightning speed. The tasting room is built into the farm’s rustic, but quaint cottage, we wander the serene property and enjoy a drop of their finest, by the outdoor fire-pits.

Lunch is served down the road at ‘1918 Bistro & Grill’ located in a century old manor, with open fireplaces and country garden surrounds. We savour a degustation menu, loaded with local produce, such as Coffin Bay Oysters and Forest Mushroom Risotto-paired perfectly with Barossa wines.

Legend has it that there are over 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors in the Barossa Valley, it’s an agri-tourism hot spot- oh and did we mention they also produce gin.

Our last stop day tripping across the Barossa is Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, known for its award-winning Shiraz Gin-as tasty as it is colourful-the distillery is the ideal place to pull up a pew and stay awhile.

We head back to The Playford Hotel for some rest and recuperation, before we check out Adelaide’s latest luxe hotel, The Sofitel. The exquisitely designed hotel is decorated with original artworks and sculptured hangings, with luxurious rooms to impress.

Dinner is served at the hotel’s decadent, French restaurant Garcon Bleu, delivering a delectable menu that champions the region’s food and wine. We sample and are impressed by classic dishes like the Cheese Soufflé, Hiramasa Kingfish and Kangaroo with Roasted Eggplant.

Adelaide is known for iconic events, like WOMAD and Adelaide Fringe, that take over the city for ‘Mad March’. But we suggest visiting anytime of the year and you’ll discover a vibrant city, with a collective pride and a real sense of place-a place that welcomes you at every turn.

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