Someone once told me exploring the Adelaide Hills was like stepping into a fairy tale. But the big question is, what’s your idea of a fairy tale?
Is it a paired wine and chocolate tasting at a gorgeous winery while roaming the German village of Hahndorf? Perhaps it’s all about setting off on an art trail adventure through the rolling hills of the region? For others, it may simply be chugging on ciders and craft beers, or scoffing scrumptious pizza washed down with the area’s tasty reds in a 130-year-old church.
Whatever tickles your fairy tale fancy, here are five worth turning into a reality in the Adelaide Hills.
Fairy Tale 1: Cooking Masterclass & A Luxe Touch
In Stirling, only 20 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD, Sticky Rice Cooking School is a rare gem in the Hills. While enjoying a hands-on cooking class with a top regional chef, you also get to feast with the rest of your fellow would-be-masterchefs at the end of the session before retiring to one of three immaculate Asian-themed villas out the back of the property.
The award-winning accommodation features Jag kitchens and are finished with designer furnishings, while each villa comes with a private courtyard and landscaped gardens.
Fairy Tale 2: Heritage-Listed Chesterfield Charm & Boutique Brilliance
A stunning heritage hotel in an equally beautiful setting, Mount Lofty House is an immaculately restored 1850s country estate surrounded by English-style gardens outside and exquisite antiques and fine art inside.
Wandering out is easy with views of the fairy tale-like Piccadilly Valley. Be sure to take time kicking back in the Chesterfields in the library or fill some pockets in the billiards room. It’s posh, but that’s what makes it so fab.
Even better, the heritage wing of the property is only a month or two away from being complete (September 2016) and will include Arthur Waterhouse Bar and Lounge and Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. Mount Lofty House is now offering gourmet picnic baskets for day trippers.
More Adelaide holiday inspiration
Fairy Tale 3: Tantalizing Treats
They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but let’s not get sexist here: I know plenty of the fairer sex whose travel fairy tales start with what’s hot from a region’s kitchens. While I’ve encountered some of the best, for you flighty folk I’ve pulled a hit list straight from those in the know when it comes to what’s hot in the Hills.
Thank local gal Chloe, who says unmissables include: Walk the Talk in Verdunc for a brilliant lunch; Mt Lofty Vineyard (cheese flight with exclusive cheese made by Woodside Cheese Wrights); The Lane for Gathering Experience or a long lunch; Longview for tapas on weekends; and Lost in a Forest, a perfect pizza experience in an old 130-year-old renovated church in Uraidla.
Fairy Tale 4: Gruner Veltliner, Chocolates & Beautiful Hahndorf
There are countless dime-a-dozen vineyards throughout Australia, and then for something completely different there are those like mighty Hahndorf Hill Winery (HHW). Not just a boutique vineyard where Germanic and Austrian varieties are the heroes (Gruner Veltliner is dubbed the 'world’s most food-friendly wine'), but also the ultimate setting for HHW’s now legendary ChocVino experience: some of the finest drops unearthed from the vineyard are matched with chocolates from around the globe.
It’s elegant and tasty, bringing a whole new sweet dynamic to food and wine pairing. Just around the corner is the famous German village of Hahndorf for all sorts of eye candy, real candy and sweet-as shops with points of difference. For accommodation try the recently revamped Hahndorf Resort.
Fairy Tale 5: Allow The Art To Warm Your Heart
As if there aren't already enough aesthetics in both the landscape and charming hamlets of the Adelaide Hills, there’s also plenty of artistic beauty to take in. One such stunner is the Sculpture Trail that winds its way through a large portion of the Hills and into the Fleurieu Peninsula.