Dine, wine & shop: Australia’s finest edition – words Al Woods
The interest in Australian tourism is increasing, and each year, Australia is becoming more and more popular a destination. The exotic wildlife paired with breathtaking landscapes is a luxury in itself. Both soothing and exciting, this is a promising destination for rejuvenation.
And no wonder, with its coastline brimmed with beaches for surfing and meditation centers, numerous hot springs and spas, massage and wellness, and many of the Luxury Retreats around the country, this is a heaven for those that wish to relax and still experience something different.
The idea of barbecue incorporated into the image of the Australian dream has thrown a shade over their cuisine. But this notion holds no ground when it comes to Australia’s finest restaurants.
Vue de Monde in Melbourne is surely the best example, famous for their classical outstanding service and ambiance with a versatile and creative menu. If their kangaroo, rusty wire oysters with smoked asparagus and striploin with buttermilk don’t sound interesting enough, then Attica is the right place. Its picturesque and almost literary menu, however, it has to be booked months in advance. And if you’re looking for a lean and healthy diet, Brae is the first when it comes to organic produce.
But the single most exciting and romantic experience you’ll get out of a restaurant in Australia is surely dining under the stars in the vast landscape of Uluru that will leave you both full and breathless.
Although Australia hasn’t gained its reputation for wines, that doesn’t mean this won’t change, as Australia now has three major wine regions and a growing number of smaller ones across the country. Apart from their prominent production of wines, these regions provide a formidable tour for both wine lovers and those seeking small yet fine pleasures in nature.
The Fowles winery in Strathbogie Ranges is an award-winning producer of cool climate wines, situated near a premium viticultural region, with a scenic ambiance of surrounding wetlands.
Tahbilk winery is both a beautiful and historic place where you can try the largest and some of the world’s oldest Marsanne and Shiraz wine plantings.
Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove will let you enjoy the architecture as well as the groves. Relax and enjoy its sculpture trail and the acclaimed restaurant and cafe in stylish Australian architecture.
Pizzini Wines in the King Valley specialize in the production on Italian wines such as Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Prosecco, Sangiovese, and Nebbiolo, which can soothe those that seek quality in familiar tastes.
For more information on luxurious Australian wine brands, look here.
Sydney can gloat with having the two most popular and prestigious shopping centers in Australia. If you’re keen on fashion and have a taste for luxury, these two centers will be a true feast for your eyes with its offerings of storefronts glimmering in high fashion, modern designers and historical decor.
Queen Victoria Building has over 180 high-end boutiques, jewelry, homeware and furniture shops. All the designer labels from Jimmy Choo to Gucci, Leona Edmiston and Alex Perry can be found here. But it is not just rich in the finest boutiques but also the magnificent architecture. It has most of its original 29th-century decor, dome, staircase, stained glass windows and the monumentality worthy of a cathedral.
Strand Arcade is another center that can parallel the QVB in style, history, architecture and exquisite offerings. Here, you can enjoy restaurants and cafes the same as shopping, and it is pleasurable even for those that don’t have a passion for fashion.
However, these are not nearly all the shopping experiences you can get. Shopping areas such as the Centrepoint Tower Westfields, Darling Harbour, Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets, and many more prove to be just as popular a destination for both locals and travellers.
You can get overwhelmed with a variety of choices and exotic pleasures in Australia, so keep in mind that sometimes it’s just these seemingly usual comforts that can bring the most delight in unexpected ways.