Review - a night in the hills
In the middle of our break, my friend and I decided to stay the night in Hahndorf – the famous small town known for its German heritage.
We had both been there before but thought it was fitting to visit the hills during the winter break as it's known to be a very pretty drive up with the fall leaves on the side of the roads and chilly weather. I had also never stayed overnight in the hills so I wanted to experience that this year.
The skies were gloomy when we left the city. By the time we got on the highway, the fog had emerged and began to thicken. I’ve never watched Twilight but I imagine that’s what the atmosphere was like in the movie – grey and foggy. Our first stop was in Stirling. There, among the cottage houses and thick forests, stood a castle called Thorngrove Manor. It’s a luxury boutique hotel fit for a king or queen but since we’re mere university students who could not afford to pay $1,000 a night for the stay, we rocked up in front of its mysterious gates and snapped some photos instead. I felt like I was in a period piece!
Right as we had finished taking our Insta worthy pictures, the clouds began to darken and droplets fell onto our heads, so we dashed back to the car and drove to Red Cacao for shelter and waffles. The café was very cosy and warm, no wonder it was bustling with families and patrons.
As we drove to Hahndorf, the skies had begun to clear and the sun took its place once more in the centre of it all, making the green fields greener as we drove past. I must admit, I did get excited driving past the unbothered sheep and horses (city slicker, sorry!). I love getting out of the city occasionally to marvel at these adorable critters and the greenery. We checked into our stay for the night called The Lodge, located conveniently in the middle of the town. Originally, we had planned to stay at The Manor in Basket Range but seeing as it was in the middle of nowhere (literally) and our party consisted of only two girls, I thought better of it and decided to stay in town instead. I’ve learnt a lot from those murder cases I read in class, so no thank you. It was no manor of course, but our lodge was still nice! They have a year-round heated pool so that’s an automatic +10 points for them.
After settling in, we threw on our coats and went for a round of mini golf. I love mini golf - it’s such a fun way to get a laugh out of each other especially when everyone is so bad at it. After hitting our golf balls into the bushes one too many times and nearly getting hit with the cub, we went on a stroll along the town. It’s a small town so you could manage to walk from one end to another within 20 minutes probably. We passed by some pastry and souvenir shops while scouting for potential dinner locations.
We finally settled on The Haus because they offer halal options so I could enjoy the meat dishes too! We were super hungry and had BBQ pizza, some chips and chicken wings. You’d probably think that by then we’d drag our full bellies and pass out on our beds but oh no, we jumped into the warm pool and did some laps in an attempt to burn off those calories. Regret immediately took over us though when we got out of the pool and darted to our lodge in the middle of the freezing night.
The next morning came early as we had a tour booked. We bid Hahndorf goodbye and set forth to Biggs Flat where we toured Jurlique’s farm. We could have picked a better day for it honestly – definitely not in winter when half the plants are trimmed and not blooming. It was also forecast to rain so we were the only ones there but hey, we got a private tour (and it didn't rain)! We got to see their nurseries and tried out some of their products. We were even given some tea made from flowers from the farm and honey from the local bees!
At the end of our trip before driving home, we had lunch at FRED Eatery in Sterling. A two-storey restaurant painted in green serving Asian fusion food and all-day breakfast. Some of the softest French toast I have eaten. Yum!