French-inspired luxury retreat
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Spicers Clovelly Estate is a scenic two-hour drive north of Brisbane, located high in the Blackall Ranges in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast. The estate and its surroundings boast spectacular views all the way to the Glass House Mountains in the south. Nearby towns Montville and Maleny retain much of their original identities as arts and crafts hotbeds as they play host to several nationally recognised artist and art galleries. Slightly further afield (a half an hour’s drive), will bring you to Mooloolaba and its pristine coastal beaches.
Enter through magnolia groves and pass between grand figs to the main guesthouse and, in doing so, be transported to rural Brittany. Spa Suites come with Carrara marble bathrooms, under floor heating and spa baths while Estate Suites additionally feature bay windows, outdoor terraces and private gardens. For the ultimate stay, book the standalone three bedroom French cottage, which has verandas to the front and back and its own outdoor spa.
Awarded two Chef Hats and ranked in the top 100 restaurants in Australia by The Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Long Apron delivers a modern European-inspired menu. The kitchen makes full use of the extensive onsite herb garden and works closely with local producers to serve the best in seasonal ingredients. For breakfast, expect a selection of favourites with a gourmet twist, for example, scrambled eggs, goats curd served with roasted cherry tomatoes. In the evening, head chef Cameron Matthew’s French training comes to the fore but the menu is never far from Australia with dishes such as kangaroo tail and Mooloolaba prawns.
With a swimming pool, 22 acres of landscaped gardens and manicured, rose-terraced lawns, many guests simply wile away their days with a gourmet picnic basket overlooking Lake Baroon. Alternatively, The Long Apron puts on tailored cooking courses so you can learn how exactly the beef was so excellently prepared the night before. The hotel’s Spa Anise offers a range of treatments – perfect for a post-walk massage. Venture a little further afield and you’ll find the UNESCO listed Fraser Island, the mesmerising Rainbow Beach and seasonal whale watching at Hervey Bay.
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