Living in Brisbane enjoying food, wine, art, health and life!
Published August 30th 2014
Relax and unwind at Ballandean Lodge
I always think that one of the beautiful things about heading out of town in Australia is experiencing the wonderful hospitality that our country towns offer. Sometimes in some of the more tourist driven areas this can be lost - I'm glad to say that this is not the case with Ballandean Lodge B&B.
Ballandean is a small country town in Granite Belt wine country. It's about a fifteen minute drive from Stanthorpe and boasts quite a number of well known wineries. My partner and I have been out to Stanthorpe on a couple of occasions now for the wines but this time we were out there to conquer Sundown National Park in the 4WD.
Accommodation wise in the Granite Belt we've had some hits and misses. I'm glad to say that Ballandean Lodge will make it onto our list of hits. I'll openly admit that the B&B experience is not for everyone. If you're not happy to meet and chat with new people I would suggest going to one of the more self-contained accommodation options in the area. If however you're looking for the above-mentioned country hospitality then please read on.
An overnight stay at the lodge is like going to an old friend's house for the night. Host Steve is a pleasure to speak to and seems to have mastered the balance of being friendly and hospitable without intruding too much into his guests' personal space. We were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for the evening but Ballandean Lodge caters for up to three couples, and I'd suggest it would be a lovely experience if enjoyed with friends.
We spent our stay in the Magnolia Suite. The room was tastefully decorated, had its own private bathroom and verandah, heating and fabulously comfortable bed. Accommodation costs are currently $160 for an overnight stay on a weekend with full cooked breakfast the next morning. We also opted to pay extra for a three course candlelit dinner served by the fireplace in the lovely dining room. Bring your appetites because Steve will keep you very well fed. The food was as honest and warming as the accommodation and we could not find fault with anything. Alcohol for dinner is BYO so feel free to crack open a bottle of something you may have picked up at one of the local wineries.
Ballandean Lodge is conveniently located only five minutes or so away from the township of Ballandean so if dining with the owner is not your cup of tea you could always opt to dine at one of the restaurants in town. Steve isn't the only friendly local who calls Ballandean Lodge home either and you can expect an enthusiastic welcome from dogs Rusty and Toto and their feline friend Emma.
As an aside to all of this, due to personal reasons, Steve is looking to find someone else to take over the lodge and has had it on the market for a little while. I sincerely hope that whoever ends up purchasing the property can inject just as much love into it as Steve has because it's this sense of warmth that makes a stay at Balladean Lodge well worth the trip.