Stressed out Sydneysiders head here for a cosy escape … and we know why!
The beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW home to towns such as Bowral, Mittagong, Bundanoon and Moss Vale is a little patch of England in Australia. It enjoys definite changes of season and is to a great place to escape to for a weekend, particularly during the colder months.
Briars Country Lodge and Inn is five minutes from Bowral and Moss Vale and the grand old colonial building (which is National Heritage listed) and farm are on six hectares of rural countryside, gardens and lawn.
The building appears to be typically Georgian, but it is not quite as symmetrical as that style usually suggests. The doorways of Georgian buildings erected as hostelries had the door offset to the left to allow for a long taproom on one side of the entrance. They also had large stone-lined cellars and many chimneys for the numerous fireplaces.
The lodge's 30 fully appointed guest suites have central heating and air-conditioning, plus an additional double sofa-bed, dressing room and ensuite with bath. The split-level sitting room leads to the terrace through French doors which open to views of gardens and the lake. All rooms have a refrigerator and facilities for tea- and coffee-making.
A lounge in the main building has an open log fireplace and it is just right for relaxing, meeting other guests or having a quiet read or game of cards.
You might prefer to find a quiet spot in the gardens to read a good book or sit by the lake and watch the ducks.
Hearty meals are served in the licensed bistro and you may dine on the terrace or by the warmth of the fire in those beautiful crisp Highland months. There are many nooks where you can enjoy a quiet drink or snack but wherever you are, the freshness and quality of Briars' fare will please you.
Children are welcome at Briars and their special playground can be seen while you are enjoying a drink or meal.
There are two tennis courts, a heated pool, volleyball court, putt-putt golf range, bikes to hire and you can even take fly fishing lessons on the lake. Mark Tickner of Highlands Wildescapes is an instructor and will take you through the intricacies of the activity. He can also help if you would like to do some hiking or canoeing or go on a four-wheel drive tour.
Mt Broughton Golf Course is nearby, and a drive to Mt Gibralter gives beautiful views of the Highlands. If shopping is on your agenda, there are plenty of marvellous shops and galleries to browse through and lots of cafes where you can take a break.
Bowral, a 75-minute drive south-west of Sydney
Briars Country Lodge and Inn Fly Fishing packages start at $192.50 per person for two people. Breakfast and pub lunch are included.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Briars Country Lodge and Inn
Moss Vale Road, Bowral 2576
Ph: (02) 4868 3566
Fax: (02) 4868 3223www.briars.com.au
Wildescapes can be booked through Briars.