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Published August 31st 2018
Life is Short - Make Love Last All Weekend
Share a champagne in a hot-air balloon (by Yarra Valley Lodge)
Annie Hall, Silver Linings Playbook, When Harry When Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Bridget Jones's Diary and Muriel's Wedding. Each summer, we're hit with Rom-Coms. If the big-screen antics make you teary, put down the tissues make your own fairytale moments (without a film crew).
Could we emulate the slow-motion moments that Hollywood portrays? What if you've managed to book a whole weekend for pampering, fine dining, colourful sunsets and scented rose petals?
If you're in Melbourne, you can enjoy hundreds of romantic spots around the city, beach and floral landmarks. But you'll be bumping shoulders with millions of other visitors as Cupid's aim is swayed by boisterous AFL fans rattling cans of Victoria Bitter.
To really experience a fairytale moment, couples deserve an experience in the getaways near Melbourne, escaping the bustling energy of the most liveable city on Earth. These sites are easily reached on a scenic drive, allowing time for the tension of the office life to fade as the odometer ticks over. On arrival, you'll enjoy privacy, time and freedom to rediscover the joys of romance.
Choose from one of these getaways, located near Melbourne:
Yarra Valley – The Lodge The Yarra Valley Lodge has transformed the valley's rugged landscape into a luxury oasis. After arriving, share a refreshing flute of champagne from the balcony. Watch kangaroos hopping across St. John and St. Henley, the pair of heritage championship 18-hole golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus. Take a deep breath, inhaling the pure country air and exhaling the stresses of a hectic week.
Relax in the day spa as the sun sets, indulging in a Vichy Shower or exfoliating with pure desert salt before easing away the last of any tension with a massage.
Dine at the Bella Restaurant, savouring the quinoa tart with pecorino salad, and duck breast and smoked potato with beetroot chutney.
Sleep soundly until the sun's gentle rays dance at the foot of your king-size bed, shining across the colourful native wildlife.
Ease into the morning with a fresh buffet breakfast of homemade muesli, fresh pastry, local preserves, scrambled eggs with tomato, mushroom and hash browns. As you gaze blissfully toward your partner, sip the local brew, roasted from coffee beans grown in the valley.
Fill the day with scenic pleasures, visiting the local town of Healesville for local art and the Sanctuary for flora and fauna, our best cheeses at the Valley Cheese Shop and a winery tour in a valley hosting dozens of vineyards.
The Yarra Valley Lodge has a range of packages and suites, beginning at $217 for a standard room. The ultimate is the Celebration Accommodation Package, including buffet breakfast, deluxe room and bottles of Chandon Brut NV and Domaine Chandon.
For more information about the suites, restaurants, facilities and packages, visit Yarra Valley Lodge.
Have a picture-perfect moment (by Mercure Portsea Golf Club & Resort)
Portsea – Mercure Golf Club & Resort
A short drive from the city, skirting the Mornington Peninsula, the Mercure is in the relaxed surroundings of Portsea Village. The Mercure overlooks one of Australia's top 50 18-hole golf courses, bordering Port Nepean National Park.
Step past the giant king-size bed and onto your private balcony to admire the yachts gliding across Port Phillip Bay.
Slowly slip into a romantic mood, surrounded by mod-cons, designed to tease your imagination and indulge your whims, desires and dreams.
Share afternoon tea or champagne as you leave a trail of footprints across smooth coastal sands or search for a fortune on Millionaires Walk.
After breakfast, stroll into the Hot Springs, wine taste at the wineries or join eager golfers teeing off with gusto. Explore the region with short hops to Sorrento for local art and fresh produce.
Prices start at $135 per night with indulgence packages which include the region's entertainment highlights.
Strath Valley – The View Bed and Breakfast
On a secluded hillside tucked into 50 acres of rural magnificence, this B&B is the ultimate escape into nature. Coffee lovers shouldn't fear the rustic charm as the Delonghi Nespresso stands ready.
Beyond the green hills, the Kerrisdale Mountain Railway carries open-car trains in a zig-zag overlooking the Goulburn Valley.
The lush flora in the Yea Wetlands is explored on a suspension bridge, leading couples to picturesque picnic spots. The cellar door opens at Sedona Estate for lovers to sample cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon or Sangiovese.
Luxuriate in the bath with natural soaps, firm atop the quaint cast-iron clawfeet. While the TV and DVDs may tempt visitors, romance should lead to lounge in front of the fireplace, watching the glowing embers on a cool evening. For dinner, barbecue a fillet of fresh fish.
As the sunrise of a new day beckons, begin with home-grown eggs, tomatoes, freshly baked bread and seasonal fruits while the aroma of Nespresso coffee fills the dining area.
Prices start at $180 per night with special rates for long weekend escapes. For more information about the suites, restaurants, facilities and packages, click The View.
Have you found another romantic weekend getaway? Please let us know, we love to discover new favourites.
Maryton ParK B&B in Marysville is lovely for a getaway too. Close to Lake Mountain, Bruno's amazingly quirky Art and Sculpture Garden and gallery and a beautiful mountain drive to Healesville for air galleries and the Healesville Sanctuary. Penny and Tony Thompson are welcoming hosts. Self contained spa cottages as well as smaller cottages, lovely garden and lake and delicious breakfast. We are going there for a getaway this month.