Overseas holidays are great, but not everyone has the time or the funds to jet off to an exotic destination. So with the cold weather creeping up on us in Sydney, we headed off on a weekend away to an unlikely place for a quick summer hit courtesy of MasterCard ‘Priceless Sydney’. And because we’re not the only ones with a summer obsession, MasterCard are generously giving This Island Life fans the chance to win the same weekend away valued at $765!
Here’s what you could win:
- Two nights accommodation at Lilianfels Resort & Spa
- Full buffet breakfast
- Three-course dinner for two at Darleys or Echoes restaurant
When it comes to warm weather escapes, the Blue Mountains isn’t the first place that springs to mind. But with four bikinis packed in my new WANT Les Essentiels weekend tote bag, we weren’t there to sit in front of open fires – we were there for island life.
Lilianfels Resort & Spa isn’t just one of the most luxurious properties in the Blue Mountains, it’s also home to one of the best indoor pools we’ve ever seen. After a quick but delicious buffet breakfast of freshly-squeezed orange juice, seasonal fruit, crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, pastries, friands, tarts and freshly-brewed coffee, we slipped into fluffy-white robes and went to check it out.
I live near the beach, so I don’t spend much time in pools – I much prefer swimming in the ocean. But with the water temperature sitting at around 19 degrees in Sydney and the wind getting colder everyday, I was craving warm tropical-like water. So it was just as well Lilianfel had my needs covered with the indoor pool of my dreams.
The indoor pool was everything I thought it would be and more. The water temperature was set to around 30 degrees and so warm, it was like taking a giant bath. We slipped straight into holiday mode and ordered a few drinks around the pool as we took in the beautifully manicured gardens through the huge floor to ceiling windows.
I also got a chance to debut my ridiculously expensive Hervé Léger bandage bikini – which I just discovered is 75% off at the moment in a super hot coral colour!
We didn’t make to Darley’s – Lilianfels’ multi-award winning hatted restaurant for dinner, but we did make it to Echoes for lunch. Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant is the sister property to Lilianfels Resort & Spa and located just next door.
The restaurant is more than just jaw dropping food; it’s the full Blue Mountains experience. The amazing old world entrance, the smell of eucalyptus and of course the stunning 180° views of mountains, cliffs and escarpments. It was hard to take out eyes off the view, but one look at the menu and we were hooked.
We started with the soup of the day and pan-seared tuna. The carrot soup was silky, refined and deep in flavor. The tuna was cooked to perfection alongside a tart julienned salad. We paired our entrees with a structured, but very drinkable chardonnay.
For our mains we stayed true to our ocean roots with pan-roasted barramundi and an old favourite of crumbed chicken tenderloins. The barramundi was rich, soft and coupled with a light, creamy vegetable reduction. The lightly crusted chicken was beautifully herbed, the salad had a sparkling wasabi dressing, and the side of honey and seeded mustard mayo made it sing. We paired these two knockouts with a classic rosé that matched beautifully.
Dessert was a blowout that saw me fall off my strict paleo wagon for the first time in forever. We chose the dessert trio of blueberry crème brulée with blueberry sorbet and handmade biscotti; apple tart with vanilla bean ice cream; and chocolate fudge and pineapple stack, with vanilla bean ice cream and tempered chocolate. After paring this with a sweet smooth dessert wine, I was super glad we’d squeezed in a ‘Bikinis of the Month’ shoot before lunch.
Darley’s – a spectacular hatted restaurant located on the edge of The World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains, that was inducted in the Hall of Fame for best Regional Restaurant in 2011.
Thanks to MasterCard ‘Priceless Sydney’, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win this amazing experience.
Hurry, competition closes 21st of June 2013 at 11:59pm (local time in NSW). For more details, check out the Terms & Conditions.
MasterCard is also giving you the chance to win any of their four other experiences too! To enter, visit MasterCard Australia on Facebook.