A few months deep into Melbourne living, an email landed in my inbox from Accor Hotels, inviting me on a trip involving two nights in my own home town of Adelaide to experience two boutique hotels in the MGallery by Sofitel collection. I had to stop for a second and make sure I had read the email right (- I had!) Because while Adelaide city and the Adelaide hills are beautifully familiar to me, the experiences on the itinerary were certainly anything but. A wine tour, garden picnic, scenic helicopter flight…. sign me right up!
Before I knew it, I was on the way. I was invited along on the trip with some beautiful girls – now new friends – Shellie [@ironchefshellie], Clarice [@brigadeirochoc], Angela [@thegirlswhoatetheworld], Yan [@msyan_] and Mel [@TheTiaFox] making the visit all the more memorable!
But first… lunch!
After arriving at Adelaide Airport, I was met by a chauffeur and whisked off to lunch. I had an inkling on what was awaiting me, but beyond lunch itself, I was about to get a taste for the MGallery by Sofitel experience. You see, every MGallery hotel in the collection offers a signature Memorable Moment, unique to that hotel and curated by the hotel staff themselves. Memorable Moments are deeply rooted in the local landscape, culture and hotel character.
Our first night in Adelaide was to be with Mount Lofty House, a manor house nestled in the heart of wine region , and it just so happened the memorable moment for this hotel involved a helicopter flight over the Adelaide Hills, followed by lunch at the iconic (and my long time favourite The Lane Vineyard), topped off with a chauffeur driven Vintage limousine around local wineries, to enjoy private tastings with the wine maker.
No sooner had I arrived at The Lane, I was ushered out to the vineyard’s helipad. “not bad for today’s office,” said the pilot as we took to the sky.
Departing The Lane Restaurant from the helicopter!
The afternoon to follow was nothing short of magnificent – after a decadent lunch at The Lane, we cellar door hopped about the hills, including a pit stop at my my other favourite winery, Shaw and Smith.
Checking in to Mount Lofty House
As the day became dusk, we arrived at Mount Lofty House – MGallery by Sofitel. After getting the keys to our rooms, we all had a little down time before we shimmied into a new outfit and floated over to our degustation dinner.
Mount Lofty house is an iconic hotel overlooking the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region. Seemingly a world away, yet just 15 minutes from the Adelaide CBD, historic Mount Lofty House is a premier destination for luxury escapes, overnight accommodation, fine dining, boutique day spa experiences, conference retreats and weddings.
‘Valley to Verandah’ dining at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant
We had the pleasure of dining at Mount Lofty House’s new premier restaurant. Head chef Wayne Brown (a French-trained chef with Japanese influences whose credentials include stints at Sake, Quay, Tetsuya’s and Stokehouse) surprised and delighted us through a series of five courses and matched wines, all the while with the above view of Mount Lofty’s tiered gardens and the greater Piccadilly Valley vista.
The Nitrogen Orb with Passionfruit Ice Cream – mesmerizing!
After an amazing sleep in one of THE most comfiest hotel beds I’ve known, we spent time wandering the beautiful Mount Lofty House grounds, enjoying breakfast in the main breakfast room and in our own rooms, followed by more food via a lunch picnic.
After the picnic, we checked out of Mount Lofty House and were driven over to our new city-side home, The Playford!
Checking in to The Playford
In contrast from the leafy retreat of Mount Lofty House, The Playford – MGallery By Sofitel is in the heart of Adelaide’s arts, cultural and entertainment precinct conveniently set in the heart of the city’s vibrant North Terrace, opposite the Adelaide Convention Centre and SkyCity Casino. A perfect blend of classical style and contemporary luxury, the beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites feature luxurious amenities and an Art Nouveau ambience that leaves a lasting impression.
Welcome treats and my room’s garden courtyard
Our memorable moment for this hotel? Food! We were whisked away to South Australia’s Restaurant of the Year, Windy Point, only to enjoy a seven course degustation dinner overlooking the panoramic views of Spencer Gulf through to the Adelaide Hills.
Windy Point Restaurant
Designed by Executive Chef Justin Miles and Head Chef Brendan O’Keefe, the Windy Point’s degustation menu surpassed every expectation amongst us! We made our way through Huon Ocean Trout Carpaccio, Caramel Pork Belly, Lacquered and Confit Duck Leg, Northern Territory Barramundi Fillet, and more. Every dish was presented with an impeccable description of the flavours and story of the dish. The matched wines were equally exceptional, with Champagne from France followed by all South Australian wines from the neighbouring Adelaide Hills, and greater Barossa Valley, Limestone Coast and McLaren Vale wine regions.
As a special, departing touch, we were all presented with a brown paper bag containing house baked bread and two fresh eggs, along with Justin’s personal recipe for the ‘Perfect Scrambled Eggs’ – cute!
Thankfully, the girls on the trip were as committed to breakfast as I am, so we rose early to enjoy the Playford’s delicious buffet, before suddenly we were airport bound, and it was time to return to Melbourne.
Mount Lofty House, MGallery by Sofitel
74 Mount Lofty Summit Rd
Crafers, South Australia 5152
Telephone: (08) 8339 6777
The Playford, MGallery by Sofitel
120 North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia 5000
Telephone: (08) 8213 8888