The key to a perfect weekend retreat is to start it off just right. After an after school gab session with Heather, we headed off to Artisan Bakery to meet the Reception team for a few pots of perfect tea in the late afternoon sun. An evening to pack the required ingredients: books to read, notebooks in which to write, word puzzle books, slippers, my best comfies, and deep breaths to slow down at the end of nine weeks.
A Friday holiday off school made for a easy sleep in, relaxed breakfast, and plenty of time for one last cup of tea before loading the iPod in the car, and making my way down the twisty back roads towards Port Elliot.
My first sight upon turning into the driveway was vineyards left, right, and centre; old, old outbuildings and sheds converted into use for the resort; and giant trees overarching everything, and finally the main event – the house. I think the title of ‘manor’ would be appropriate in this case.
For my other blog, I’m going to write more about Authenticity Spa and how amazing it was from location, staff, amenities, and food possibly in a more fancy way than I will here. For now though, let me just tell you – highly recommended and incredibly relaxing weekend.
After a tour of the house, I got to settle into my most beautiful room.
After lounging about in my robe and slippers for a short bit, I perused the bookshelves in the lounge room full of sofas, tables and chairs, and a gorgeous marble fireplace. In the next room I checked out the extensive DVD collection while I waited for the kettle to boil.
Since I had no responsibilities, nowhere to be, and plenty of time to do nothing at all I checked out the four shower heads in my perfectly decorated bathroom. From there, back into my oversized robe to lay out on the four-poster bed and finish up the last few chapters of my week’s book before dinner.
Shortly before the 6:30 pm dinner hour I took my puzzle book downstairs and sat by the fire before Enrico invited us (there were about 8 other guests there for the weekend) into the dining room for our dinner.
Dinner – in my slippers – started with a walnut and pear salad, led to chickpea pasta, and finished with ricotta cheesecake for dessert. YUM! I enjoyed my meal with another lady that was there by herself and headed back up to my room for a night of reading.
I fell asleep to creaking floorboards of a well-loved house and awoke to the same sounds of the house and its occupants waking up. I had a luscious breakfast of cereal with fruit salad and nuts; raisin toast with fresh creamed cheese; drank a glass of orange. I have never had orange juice quite so orange-y. My new friend and I continued to chat, fill our tea cups and orange juice glasses, and discuss how much it didn’t matter what we did all day.
A hot shower, cup of tea, and chocolatey-goodness Isagenix bar for lunch with a few puzzles at my window again. After lunch, I laboured over the decision to read in bed or on my couch and the bed won out. Read, nap, read a little more, nap, stare at the ceiling.
No clocks, watches, phones, computers. Hours to read, puzzle, write. I’ve never felt so unaware of the time. For dinner that evening we were served a salad with cucumber and fennel, mousaka, and semolina with homemade ice cream for dessert. I enjoyed the crackling fire for about an hour after dinner before one last lamplit read in bed before falling asleep to the creaking floorboards.
In the morning, we all enjoyed a tai chi class before another delicious continental breakfast. I doused myself with the peppy green tea body wash one last time and read a few more chapters of my book before heading to Teresa’s in Middleton for a coffee overlooking the ocean.
I had just enough time at home to unpack, have some lunch, and watch an episode of my favourite Law and Order:SVU before going to Elyssa’s to walk with her to our Bollywood class with Franziska, Brigitte, and Manon, as part of the OzAsia festival. I had dinner with Karen and her family when I picked up Skittle from her house and went nearly straight to bed when I got home.
Greatest weekend ever? Pretty darn close! I do love going south to Port Elliott and area. Always seems to be a rejuvenating time.