You may have read my guest post earlier in the year for The Blog Issue about why a country escape is the perfect way to unwind on the weekend, or break up a hectic travel schedule. Well today I am going to take you through the gorgeous property that featured in that post, Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa. You won’t believe the fairytale gardens and opulent rooms that are tucked away just an hour and a half from Sydney. I was lucky enough to spend two nights there, shooting a trans-seasonal fashion post, trying a spa treatment and eating at their French restaurant Horderns on both nights, because the food (and one Chardonnay in particular) was just too good to pass up. If you’d like to escape the hectic pace of Sydney here are my thoughts on why Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa is the perfect place to retreat to.
MILTON PARK COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA
The spa and fitness area is up there with the most beautiful spots in the estate. Moss clings to the tennis court nets and vines climb over the arched windows, reflected in the hydrotherapy pool. This was the first area my husband and I came across on arrival and was just as impressive as the grand mansion. We had an Indulgence Massage booked in which covered the full body and face. I’m not the most experienced person when it comes to spa treatments but the facilities were without a doubt luxurious and relaxing. They will be hard to top as I try out other hotels, tough gig I know. I’d show you a photo of the spa room and my fluffy robe but having my phone with me would have definitely killed the vibe ;-)
We stayed in a Forest Suite which sits on the second floor up amongst towering pine trees. The room also had a view of the courtyard and fountain which let a lot of natural light in. The rooms are absolutely huge compared to city hotels and have plenty of country comforts like an open log fire, plush robes and heated towel racks. If you’re visiting in winter you certainly won’t have to worry about keeping warm. We enjoyed champagne and strawberries in the room and on one wintry night just grabbed some DVD’s and chilled out on the couch. The quite grounds of the hotel, comfy rooms and decadent food make for a relaxing experience and much-needed time out.
During the day I wandered outside the grand mansion and found Carriage House which is stand-alone accommodation with 7 bedrooms! The surrounding garden and entrance is divine and what I would imagine a barn in the French countryside would look like. The name Carriage House reflects the style of farm buildings that used to house horse-drawn carriages. With it’s grand doors, tall ceilings and impressive archway it would make the perfect accommodation and photo opportunity for a bridal party.
One of the great things about escaping on the weekends is not having to cook (well, it is if you can’t cook like me)! Add that to trying new foods, indulging in rich flavours and exploring wine from all over the world and you’ve got the perfect food-lovers escape. The first afternoon of our stay we tried some scones and a cheese platter on the front verandah and they were both delicious. My husband also ordered a French onion soup which we have learned on our travels is always a winner when it’s made traditionally. Each night we dined at Horderns which has a French-influenced menu and a HUGE wine list. It was the first time since my trip to France that I found a chardonnay with the distinct buttery flavour that I love. I had the gnocchi both times because I am a sucker for sticking to my favourites. But true to our usual form we also tried the scallops, scampi, crepinettes and duck. You know, just to be sure it’s all delicious ;-)
The Orangerie lunch restaurant.
The Grand Mansion verandah.
A visit to the Southern Highlands isn’t complete without enjoying the landscape and natural surrounds. Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa is encased in lush gardens, endless rose bushes and winding pathways bathed in green light. We spent a few hours exploring the gardens over two days and there were plenty of areas to sit and admire the view or set up a picnic lunch. My favourite spot would have to be an old iron gate that we found wrapped in vines. It reminded me of The Secret Garden movie and I took the opportunity to grab some outfit shots there. I must mention that we visited in winter so I can only imagine how the garden comes to life in spring!
A soothing swim is perfect for relaxing tired traveller’s legs or channeling those summer vibes. The pool at Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa is beautifully sheltered in a pool house with outdoor terrace. If it’s cold you can keep warm inside and enjoy the sun streaming through the arched windows. And if it’s warm why not soak up the sunshine from the outdoor benches. It’s only a few meters away from the Orangerie, making it a great pre or post-lunch activity. Okay, maybe pre-lunch if you plan on trying the wine.
Do you have any go-to spots for escaping on a long weekend? If you’re in Sydney or even visiting I cannot recommend the Southern Highlands highly enough. It is the perfect place for rejuvenation, sampling local produce and learning about the quieter side to living in Australia. If you have any questions about staying at Milton park Country House Hotel & Spa please leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to help you out with suggestions. Particularly if you are planning a wedding there. I came across some amazing photo locations that I would love to share with you in more detail.