Port Elliot Day Spa, Normanville, Sea and Vines Festival in McLaren Vale – June 2012 long weekend

Mini break photos

Taking two nights to relax by myself was something I was really looking forward, a chance to chill, have some quiet time and focus my thinking. Having bought a Scoopon a few months ago, I booked into Authenticity Day Spa Resort on Thursday around 5.00 pm, just an hour’s drive from home in Happy Valley.

The 150 year old house has 3 bedrooms upstairs and I was shown to the yellow room with a lovely view over the surrounding vine yard, slippers (only footwear to be worn inside the house) and robe laid out, and heater on so the room was nice and cosy.

With a Mediterranean feel, downstairs there are a number of treatment rooms, bedrooms, a café, lounge come library and tea room with the sole TV and choice of movies. The house is kept at around 25 degrees during winter with music piped through the common areas and subtle lighting. You can snuggle up on a cosy lounge with a book, write at the table overlooking the grounds or enjoy an organic meal and wine.

The Scoopon included a continental breakfast each day and a 3 course vegetarian organic meal which was served in front of the open fire each night in the lounge. Your choice of exercise with a gym and personal trainer on site, tai chi class, bicycling, trying a variety of teas or walking through the vines or to the beach was probably the hardest choice you had to make.

I had the goal of working on my company’s strategic plan and after reading a book in a couple of hours on the first day, I was able to work very effectively and quickly on the plan. Not having any distractions, with my phone on silent, walks each day, spa baths each night, this was the ideal environment to think about where to next. On the last day I had a deluxe facial which was beautiful and I checked out around 11.00 am on Saturday morning.

If you are considering staying at Authenticity the hosts are very welcoming, you need to be prepared to share a bathroom (fortunately there was only 1 other person staying downstairs so I had the upstairs bathroom to myself), as it’s an old manor you’ll see a few cracks in the walls. Be aware that it’s a place where you need to put your electronics away ‘in public’ and embrace the east meets west mix. I’d recommend the stay and for me two nights was enough.

For the drive back to Adelaide I stopped off at Alexandrina Cheese Company and at Mount Compass from The Little Cake Box I picked up homemade pasties. On to Normanville and after purchasing balsamic vinegar and heirloom tomatoes from Jetty Food Store in the main street I had a light lunch at the Normanville Hotel. The beach at Normanville is stunning with many people braving the cold and fishing from the jetty and one person even swimming! A final stop at Myponga Micro Brewery, to buy beer for my husband and brother, uncovered a hidden rustic gem with an open fire, beer garden and varieties of beer including chilli.

Arriving home I had a quest to spa-ise the house so this included vanilla tea, scented candles, rugs, cushions, relaxing music (from my Body Balance classes), wood heater, plenty of water and organic food.

With the Sea and Vines Festival being held over the weekend, Monday was the day to visit the McLaren Vale region. Lunch at Rosemount had a Spanish flavour, ruby and white O whilst watching salsa dancing was fun. d’Arenberg was popular with a good crowd and Jay Hoad band. At Maxwell Wines to try their honey mead there was a real family feel and people of all ages go nuts with their dancing to video killed the radio star. A final stop at Paxton Wines finished the day on a high note with jazz and a late harvest wine.

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Written by Wendy Perry – connect with Head Workforce Planner, Wendy Perry, Wendy Perry on LinkedIn, Wendy Perry on Facebook, Wendy Perry on Twitter and Wendy Perry on You Tube – subscribe to the channel.

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