I recently spent two days at Spicers, Hidden Vale in Grandchester, QLD. This 12,000 acre property is only an hours drive from Brisbane but literally feels like you have been transported to somewhere like the Hunter Valley in NSW. It is set on a ridge with stunning views over a huge valley. The estate is filled with big old fig trees, lavender bushes and beautiful little luxurious cottages which is the accommodation. There are kangaroos grazing all around the place and there is an impressive vegetable garden where the restaurant grows all its own produce. So sit back with a cuppa and let me tell you about my cosy winter escapade to Spicers, Hidden Vale.
From the minute I arrived I fell in love with this place. The long dirt road surrounded by two rows of big old beautiful trees that leads up to a white picket fence as you enter the property is so inviting and oozes country charm. It was a chilly winters day when I arrived and as I entered the reception I was greeted to the smell and the warmth of an open fireplace. It reminded me of happy days as a child growing up in country NSW. I was greeted by a lovely girl who gave me directions to the cottage that I would be staying in for the next two nights.
I was staying in the Red Angus cottage which is one of the luxury cottages and is a one bedroom cottage with fireplace, flat screen tv, foxtel, surround sound, comfy couch, ducted air conditioning/heating (there was even heating in the bathroom), the most comfortable bed and a porch to enjoy the kangaroos grazing morning and evening plus views over the valley. After making myself at home I went for a walk around the property to get a real feel for the place. The first thing I noticed was the gardens filled with lavender.
There was a tennis court, a spot to play crochet, an incredible vegetable garden where the produce that is used in the Homage restaurant, horses over in the top paddock for horse riding adventures, and a stunning infinity pool that is situated off the restaurant and overlooks the valley.
After an amazing sunset I had a delicious meal in the Homage restaurant for dinner then went back to my cosy cottage and sat by the crackling fire with a glass of wine and reflected on the day. The next day I was up early for sunrise then a scrumptious breakfast by the fire back at the Homage restaurant.
After fuelling up on this delicious breakfast it was time for a bush walk. Spicers Hidden Vale is situation on 12,000 acres of Australian bush with loads of mountain biking tracks, four wheel driving tracks and walking tracks so it was time to go check it out! I only got about 400 metres before seeing a bunch of kangaroos having a lie around on the hill.
After a 6km walk turned into a 10km walk through the bush and a picnic by the creek I was back at Spicers and due for a bit of a rest before heading out to see the sunset which was a typically beautiful country sunset!
Once the sun went down I headed over to Homage restaurant for dinner. Once seated, Stacy the restaurant manager told me that I was having the 5 course degustation with matching wines! I wasn’t about to argue with that and was excited to taste the flavours of the region.
With each course Stacy gave me a wine to match the meal and explained where the wine was from and why he was matching it to the meal. Once the meal came out he would explain what the dish was and where it was sourced from. He was so knowledgable and passionate about his job and it was so great to see Homage restaurant using a paddock to plate method and sourcing ingredients that are grown in the garden or from local farms close by.
This lamb dish was to die for. So succulent and tasty. Its making me drool remembering it!
This was one of three desserts from the night. I can only remember it was pear and apple because I ate it to fast to look at it too closely!
Stacy told me there was an abundance of beetroot grown in the garden over the winter so Chef Ash is always thinking of creative ways to incorporate it into the meals he is preparing. He made a special little chocolate mouse ball with beetroot and white chocolate coating for me and it was amazing!
There was also a lemon granita dish that I had after finishing the savoury dishes. It was lemons from the trees around the property mixed with water and honey that was farmed from the property as well. Mixed together and frozen down and shaved to make the most refreshing dessert. YUM! It reminded me exactly of all the lemon granita that I ate when I was in Italy!
After dinner I rolled back to my cottage and noticed that it was a beautiful clear sky outside and took a few snaps of the stars. The milky way was right out the front of my cottage. The skies at Spicers Hidden Vale are so dark and there is not a lot of light pollution around so you can see thousands of stars that you don’t normally see living in the city.
Here is a quick little timelapse of the milky way moving clockwise and the clouds that rolled in that night that brought the biggest snow fall to the Granite Belt since 1984. The movement in the foreground are kangaroos grazing on the grass.
The next morning I was hoping to wake up to snow but unfortunately not. It did snow in several places around the area which was really exciting as its a rare event to snow in Queensland. I went and enjoyed another amazing breakfast in front of the fire in the Homage Restaurant and then made my way home again. I was really sad to leave this place. It has such a beautiful feeling of luxury, comfort and relaxation. The staff are amazingly friendly and helpful. It was the perfect winter escapade.
Have you been to Spicers Hidden Vale? If so, I would love to know what your experience was like, so leave a comment below! 🙂
N.B. This is a sponsored post but of course all opinions are my own.
Spicers Hidden Vale
617 Grandchester Mt Mort Road, Grandchester QLD 4340