Just over two hour's drive north of Sydney, you can experience a Hampton's style getaway amongst grapevines at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. At one time the fault in this area was geologically very active and gave rise to the Brokenback range that features prominently in the Hunter region.
There's no disputing that the environment and scenery are rather special, as is discovering what The Hunter has to offer: visiting local stores and vineyards, playing golf during the day, trying the many excellent restaurants, and even playing scrabble in your cosy cottage at night. Our base for this three-day girl's getaway was Hamptons Loft at Casuarina Estate Guest House and Vineyard.
Hamptons loft is tastefully decorated in typical "Hampton's" style. The open-plan living room has soaring ceilings with exposed beams, and a massive fireplace that kept us warm through a cold winter, comfy couches and bookcases that reach to the ceiling. With a place as comfortable as this, cooking in at night in the well-equipped kitchen was a treat.
Open Plan Dining Area - photo by Hunter Valley Stays
Casuarina Estate has multiple accommodation options with 4 cottages and a guesthouse with 9 'oversized' themed suites, and a shared swimming pool. The property was on the market when we stayed there in May 2021 and the restaurant/function venue was closed. It has since sold and it was recently reported that Sydney chef and restaurateur Serge Dansereau plans on opening in February at Casuarina Estate. Opting for a Tree Change, the French-Canadian co-owned the famous Bathers' Pavilion at Balmoral Beach for 20 years. The SMH has quoted him as saying "It will be French … with a twist of Old Shanghai and the French Concession to it." He goes on to say that there will be a "wine library and lounge" and that he will feature both local Hunter wines as well as his "favourite French Wines." It may be too early to broadcast, but he does say he would like to also incorporate cooking lessons. This is something I know I would be putting my hand up for.