When you can’t remember the last time that you got away with the girls, it’s time to start planning a girls weekend. You’ll want to go somewhere chilled out and beautiful, but let’s be honest, it needs to also have great food, wine and shopping. Enter, Bowral in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
Often described as a little piece of Europe, driving through some of the cute country villages, you could easily mistake it for English, Italian, or French countryside.
Only 90 minutes South West of Sydney, the Southern Highlands is a playground filled with rolling green hills, historic landmarks, grand country estates, epicurean wonders and an inspiring display of art and craft works from local artisan producers. It’s easy to see why countless celebrities including movie stars, rock stars, TV stars, writers, artists, musicians, sport stars, international designers, and some of Australia’s biggest business magnates have made the Southern Highlands their home.
The most important thing for a luxe gals trip is to find an amazing place to stay. Golf & Tours choose Peppers Manor House Sutton Forest. Set a little way out of Bowral, it provides the 5 star country chill and ambiance to set the tone of the whole weekend. Did we mention it has a Tattinger Bar? Perfect for our afternoon High Tea or an aperitivo before we slip out for dinner.
This leads us to places to eat.
Just as important as where we are staying. On Friday nights, The Sutton Forest Inn is the perfect place for dinner. A favourite with the locals, this comfortable, traditional-style pub and bistro prospers on its foodie reputation. If you can tear yourself away from the cosy bar or the log fire, the gourmet sausages and pies are stand-out dishes here.
Saturday morning calls for a lazy hotel breakfast, before heading to Bowral to hit the shops.
This may be a down to earth country town but the stores here cater to the Sydney clientele. If you’re a lover of vintage and antique wares, you’ll love shopping at Dirty Janes which offers ‘The Best in Vintage’. Dirty Janes Bowral is located at 13 Banyette Street. With 75+ dealers spread across 3 large warehouse spaces, you will find an impressive range of antique and vintage furniture, lighting, architectural elements, vintage clothing, jewellery and more. At the country markets at Bowral Public School Market at Boolwey Street are on you can buy arts and crafts, bric a brac, jams, pickles, cakes and preserves, food, drinks, plants, and lots of other interesting things. When you’re ready for your next caffeine hit, head to The Mill, at Cnr Bong Bong Street and Bundaroo Street. Housed in what was the old hardware store, this huge space has undergone an amazing transformation. The interior brick walls have been retained and now have amazing murals. The open fire and their local, artisanal, fresh farm produce help to reinforce, this isn’t Mitre 10 anymore.
The Southern Highlands have some beautiful golf courses which really help to make the most of the gorgeous rolling hills and countryside.
Before we head to Moss Vale Golf Club, stop off at Made by Others (366 Argyle Street, Moss Vale), a cute little design and homewares shop in Moss Vale selling designer pieces for the home and serving coffee and cakes. Now’s a great time to walk off all the feasting, by playing a leisurely 9 holes at “Royal Mossy”. It’s a great friendly club, and one of the most scenic in the Southern Highlands. Chat and laugh as we walk the fairways forever striving to hit the ball more than 15 metres.
Take comfort in the fact that no matter how we play, there’s always that G&T waiting for us at the clubhouse bar.
After golf, it’s back to the hotel to drop off our shopping bags and freshen up before heading out to dinner at The Briars Country Lodge, another gorgeous historic country inn. With numerous open fires and the smell of roasting meats, the Brairs has a true country atmosphere and remains a favourite haunt for locals with its intimate bars and contemporary food.
It can’t be Sunday already, can it? Ah, but it is…. After another delicious hotel breakfast we head to Peppers Craigieburn to walk it off for 9 holes of golf. This private course is over 100 years old, with lovely wide fairways lined by tall pencil pines. A quick drink and some lunch in Hickory’s Restaurant and Bar overlooking the course is the perfect place to try and prolong the super chill feeling of the girls weekend.
Feeling relaxed and awesome we pack up and prepare to say goodbye before we head back to Sydney and our families, and whatever piles of washing and destruction in the kitchen awaits us…
Join Golf & Tours on our next girls weekend to the Southern Highlands. Click here for more info!