Needing a quick escape out of Adelaide? Brendon recommends you head to the beautiful Mount Lofty House.
Mount Lofty's summit is 710m above sea level and gives wonderful views of Adelaide and its surrounds. Visitors to the summit look over the Piccadilly Valley, Port River, the Adelaide lights and the ocean. Sunset is a particularly beautiful time to visit.
Arthur Hardy began building Mount Lofty House in 1856 as a home for his family. The area's proximity to Adelaide made it the perfect location for city escapes, even in those days. Sitting on the edge of the mount's cool climate Botanic Gardens, the colourful display of azaleas and rhododendrons can't help but impress.
Built from sawn freestone and local sandstone with sheets of glass, Mount Lofty House has seen many distinguished owners, all of whom made additions over the years.
Unfortunately, the devastating Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 destroyed most the original house, but new owners have since rebuilt it, transforming the site into a boutique hotel. The house reopened in 1986 with eight guest rooms, Hardy's Restaurant, the Arthur Waterhouse Lounge and John Richardson Rooms, with the Tiers Bar and Lounge.
In 1988 the Piccadilly Wing was opened, adding a further 21 rooms, the refurbished original coach house and stables, conference rooms and Piccadilly Restaurant with rich jarrah floorboards and leather chesterfields. On cold nights, the fireplace is welcoming and warming.
Winter Sundays are popular. Visitors can escape the cold weather with an afternoon tea plate by the fire or one of their special heartening winter dishes. Their wine list focuses on grapes of the area, but other wines are included.
The 150-year-old George's Cellar houses Mount Lofty House's grand wine collection, as well as the spirit of Old George, a groundsman who worked there over 100 years ago.
The choice of accommodation is sure to suit every need rooms with verandahs, fireplaces, conservatory, double spa and they are all equipped with everything you could need.
You can relax with an aromatherapy session, massage, hit some balls on the floodlit tennis court, play some volley ball, billiards or petanque or just do some laps in the pool.
The Fire Watch Tower and Obelisk, built in 1885, survived and are significant landmarks.
Cleland Wildlife Park is just five minutes away and there are country markets and cellar doors to visit.