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Travel guide McLaren Vale

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Editor's Choice - Sea & Vines

The McLaren Vale wine region has more than its fair share of treasures, and this picturesque 1850s stone cottage is just one of them.  Nestled in the foothills on 3 secluded acres on the glorious Fleurieu Peninsula, Sea & Vines Cottage is your perfect escape away from the scramble of everyday life.

It is hard to believe that such complete peace and serenity can be found only 45 kms from Adelaide.  This is truly a rural idyll that is not only convenient to the city, but also close to the many wonders of the region.  McLaren Vale is the gateway to the Fleurieu Peninsula and is described as being “where the vines meet the sea”, which is why this lovely cottage is so well named.

Sea & Vines is a renovated stone cottage, with two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, reverse cycle air-conditioning, open fireplaces and historic features such as the original flagstone slate floor in the lounge room.  There is a TV/DVD and stereo, and a BBQ so you can enjoy alfresco meals under the wisteria covered pergola.

Both bedrooms have queen-size cast-iron beds, with romantic canopies, beautiful linen, open fires and baltic pine floors, along with views across the vineyards.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, there is the bathroom with corrugated iron feature panels and the claw-foot bath that will transport you to a more relaxed and reflective time as you relax in water scented with the complimentary toiletries.

Enjoy the generous breakfast provisions, which include bacon, eggs (fresh from the resident Rhode Island hens), tomatoes, mushrooms, orange juice, bread and a range of cereals, along with a large selection of teas, plunger and instant coffee. There is also a bottle of local wine, port, chocolates and fresh fruit.

Drag yourself away from the cottage and the delights of the area surround you… regional produce, fabulous wine, surf beaches, wildlife and attractions such as the lavender farm, flying in a biplane and so much more.  But it is almost impossible to talk about – or visit – the Vale, without concentrating on the wineries and artisan providores of fine food.  The region has been producing acclaimed wines since the first vines were planted in the 1830s and is particularly known for its Shiraz and Shiraz varieties, and is still home to iconic wineries such as Seaview, as well as smaller family wineries and emerging labels, such as Spring's Hill.

Don’t miss the Willunga farmer’s market, which is held every weekend and has an amazing array of fresh produce.

And after a day exploring and taste testing the wine, the food and the natural beauty, return to Sea & Vines Cottage and enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the vines, explore the beautiful cottage gardens, visit the barn and try to spot the resident barn owl, or pick your own fruit and nuts in season.  As close as the cottage is to Adelaide, we are sure you will never want to leave.

About the Author
Lisa Monk is a marketing communications writer with a diverse background that includes experience in travel, hotel, finance, public relations and advertising. She has worked with Club Med, the Holiday Inn group and on a number of other travel projects on a freelance basis.  Lisa has travelled throughout Asia Pacific, North America and England.

Lisa now works with TakeABreak.com.au as editor of the Holiday Inspirations newsletter and other publications.  She lives in Sydney with her husband Andy, and sons Joseph and Nicholas.

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About the author
Lisa Monk wrote this article in March 2009

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Sea & Vines Cottage
Sea & Vines Cottage
Glorious gardens
Glorious gardens
The barn - complete with barn owl
The barn - complete with barn owl
Classic country bedroom
Classic country bedroom

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