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A lovely overnight trip out of Canberra

sitemgr_the_fold_southern_highlands-highlands_mossyFinally…we can travel…well domestically anyway.  My friend and I decided to drive about two hours out of Canberra to a beautiful area of New South Wales called the Southern Highlands which is also considered a wine region.  My lovely friend Sharon booked us a couple of rooms at Links House in Bowral.  Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands and is known for its antique shops, cafes, house & garden stores and expensive homes similar to other areas in the Southern Highlands.

We had a nice drive; I drove and we chatted about anything and everything and before we knew it, we had arrived at our hotel.  Links House has a lovely frontage.  It was built in 1928 as a country guesthouse and still has all the charm of that era and style.  fullsizeoutput_9e8fullsizeoutput_9e9We drove up the side lane and parked the car and walked into the hotel.  We were greeted by the owner who offered us a small glass of locally made port. Sharon indulged but because I don’t like red wine I declined.  We were shown our rooms which were lovely with a country style; heated, clean and most importantly; a comfortable bed!fullsizeoutput_9e7We spent the next hour or so with a friend and his family in their beautiful home; an old schoolhouse – and so beautifully decorated.  No photos unfortunately as didn’t think it appropriate to be snapping at the home of people I have only just met!!!  Then Sharon, David and I went out to lunch at Centennial Vineyards, a local winery, located in the same suburb as our hotel (but more on that in an upcoming post).

That evening Sharon and I decided to eat at our hotel at Ethos restaurant as it was rather cold outside and we had a busy day driving/eating/chatting and meeting new friends.  fullsizeoutput_9eaWe met in the lounge area of our hotel which had a lovely fire and comfortable chairs.


source: courtesy of the internet

I arrived early to the lounge area so ordered a glass of wine.  As most of you will know I am vegan (over two years now) but something you might not know is it’s only been the last two months that I have decided to only drink vegan wine.  This means that any wine that has used egg white/fish or gelatine as a finishing agent (stops the clouding of the wine) I won’t drink.



source:  courtesy of the internet


I asked whether there were any vegan wines available and was told there was only one which was a rosé.  I am not a red wine or rosé drinker but the owner said this wine was very light and offered me a taste.  I took a small sip and it certainly was very light so ordered a glass.  By this time Sharon had arrived and after a few minutes we moved into the restaurant.  I ordered a mushroom risotto which the chef made vegan and Sharon ordered the pumpkin soup with truffle oil and home made grain bread.  Both very good dishes with lovely fresh local produce.fullsizeoutput_9ebfullsizeoutput_9ecBy this time we were feeling a little tired so moved back into the lounge area near the fire for a chat before heading off to our rooms where I promptly fell straight asleep.

The next morning, I woke up early to see the sun rising and hopped out of bed to take a walk around the local area to check out the expensive homes.fullsizeoutput_9f0fullsizeoutput_9f6My walk took about an hour and whilst it was hard to see many of the homes from the street (I am definitely one of those people who loves to peer into other people’s homes!!), I could see driveways and parts of homes along from the footpath.fullsizeoutput_9f3fullsizeoutput_9f2fullsizeoutput_9f5The gardens were beautifully maintained also and one even had little ducks walking along the grass; very country I must say.fullsizeoutput_9f1Bowral has always been a place I would love to live but unfortunately now it’s way out of my price range…ah well it’s a lovely place to visit overnight or even for a few days.Autumn+leavesWe enjoyed a lovely breakfast at our hotel and then it was time to check out and head back to Canberra.  On our way home we stopped at another country town called Mittagong to look at the shops – I love the stores selling all things fabulous like facial creams/soaps and candles – a little bit expensive but gorgeous.  Sharon and I ended up buying a few things in one particular shop and I bought a present for my friends Ray and Nat who helped look after my dogs whilst I was away.  I bought them a jigger – now I had no idea it was called this but you might, it’s the stainless steel measuring cup used to measure alcoholic spirits…so I learnt something (mindless) whilst away.  fullsizeoutput_9f7We also went into a fabulous bread shop.  I must say I love good bread but whilst I didn’t buy any bread I did buy an Indian vegan pie to take home which I have since eaten and it was very good; great pastry!fullsizeoutput_9edSo as you can see we had a lovely time away and as it’s so close to Canberra it’s an easy place to visit regularly.  I must return soon!