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  • Jodie Mae

Countryside Charm

As much as I am a city girl, there are times when I want to leave that life behind and get away to the serene beauty and vibrant rolling hills of the striking Hunter Valley wine region, brimming with gourmet delights and stunning vineyards. This would be my fourth escape to the oldest wine region in Australia, and may I say it never fails to please. I visited three new wineries this time around, adding De Bortoli, Audrey Wilkinson, and McGuigan's to my list (only 140 to go!!) and two restaurants Circa 1876 and The Mill.

The Hunter Valley is definitely one of those destinations that require multiple visits. Needless to say, it's one of my favourite places to travel to in regional NSW. There's no need to stay for too long, a simple weekend away will suffice to unwind, wine and dine!

In one of my older posts Unbreakable Bond, I may have mentioned I will never stay anywhere else in The Hunter Valley but Spicers Vineyards Estate. Yes, Spicers has my heart, but this occasion called for somewhere new.

Staying at The Convent located in premier wine region, Pokolbin, you are immediately transported to a fairytale-like land entering through a grand driveaway lined by tall trees, swaying side to side, like they were dancing while singing a sweet melody as they welcomed us through, approaching closer and closer towards the inviting presence of the boutique hotel lying central in its surrounding landscape. The heritage details of the building, from it's enchanting powder blue exterior, to its colourful stained glass windows to the white bannister rails of the upper level - catch your eye, making you wonder just what might be hidden inside. It's iconic as they come.

As the name would suggest, the 100 plus year old building was a convent in a former life. Whilst on our wine tour, our driver Bruce owner of the The Hunter Valley Wine Tours gave us a great story on how it was disassembled and transported from Coonamble like an Ikea flat pack in the 1990's, the property was rebuilt and transformed into the luxury hotel that exists today. Bruce told a few great stories that day - there was one about Telstra call centres - let's just say he kept us well entertained, and informed may I add!

As you can see, The Convent is quite a statement and is the reason why I have it as my backdrop in this photostory.

Since I have my own fashion/ style diary, you may have gathered I love clothes. I love styling. And I love to plan. So you know already I had my outfits picked out for this trip well wayyyyyy in advance! One featuring in this photostory.

What better way to compliment the sweetness of this backdrop, and to bring a little city into the country than with this cute dress by Kookai. Continuing the spin on retro chic from my previous blog For the Love of Cord, the Jaxon Mini Dress excites colder days and nights making the perfect choice for this day. This long sleeve style is crafted from a blend of cupro and viscose enabling a comfortable firm fit. With its distinct square neckline, the dress is rendered on a black base with a contrast pink floral print evoking a refreshing appeal. It pairs nicely with Kookai's Danielle boots - effortlessly making a statement with its stretch suede texture, this knee length silhouette brings details with its rouched design and what I adore, is finessed by its stiletto heel. As it was chilly that day and to finish the look nicely I grabbed my long wool coat by Ted Baker, that not only is very stylish but is very warm too! It's neutral tone elevates the pattern, allowing it to shine even more.

This outfit is the definition of when city meets country.

Amongst other regional areas, The Hunter Valley certainly hasn't had an an easy start to the year. Continued drought in recent years collided with one of the country's worst fire seasons, lingering blankets of smoke and the coronavirus has impacted not only the winemakers via their crops, tourism and sales but also the landscape and wildlife. You couldn't tell while we were there though - the charm and warmness the region exudes especially through the people was still alive. Their tenacity in keeping their spirits high is truly inspiring. That's why it's important we get out and visit places like this when we can in support as they continue to rebuild and adapt to these trying times.

I sincerely cherish this getaway - there's nothing I love or enjoy more than surrounding myself with delicious wine, breathtaking views, local food, and amazing company! Thanks for reading xoxo.




Dress: Kookai, Jaxon mini dress (currently on sale for $54); Shoes: Kookai, Danielle Boot;

Outerwear: Ted Baker (old), similar; Accessories: Samantha Wills earings (old), suggest



Wine country, out to brunch or lunch

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