An escape to the mountains that packs a punch! That’s exactly what’s in store when you check in for the weekend at this gorgeous five star Mountain Chateau located on the very edge of the Jamison Valley. Follow along as I cover the food, the resort and the adventures of 3 days exploring this scenic wonderland with Accor Hotels and The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
Picnics with a view, enjoying a basket of goodies at Sublime Point Lookout, put together by the chefs of the Fairmont Resort.
After an early morning flight with Jetstar and a cruisy hour and a half drive from Sydney Airport, I found myself a very long way from the sunny beaches of Cairns. Arriving in the quaint little village of Leura, nestled deep in the heart of the Blue Mountains, I was surprised to find the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. Although the air was brisk, the unfamilliar winter weather wasn’t anywhere near as bone chilling as I had expected. Perhaps it was the epic views or the charming atmosphere that kept my mind preoccupied.
One thing was for sure though, I certainly was in for a scenic escape!
Leura is home to some of the finest dining and accomodation options in the Blue Mountains region, as well as loads of cute little boutiques, art galleries and antique shops. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and offering loads of view points into mountains beyond, it’s not hard to see why this charming little town is one of the most popular places for visitors to the region.
Imagine unsurpassed luxury meets a big kids (and little kids) playground. That is the best way I can think to describe the five star Fairmont Resort, MGallery by Sofitel. The pinnacle of first class accomodation in the Blue Mountains, this gorgeous property sits on the very cusp of the Jamison Valley and spares no expense in ensuring guests have a memorable stay.
Offering facilities like a huge in house cinema, a billiards room, library and golf course. Segway tours of the grounds are available as a fun way to get your bearings, or guests can get active on the tennis courts before winding down in either the indoor/outdoor pool, spa and sauna and that’s just for the big kids. There’s also pony rides on weekends, a huge games room and kids zone which includes a mirror maze and mini bowling ally. Train rides, a merry go round, mini cars for hire and beautiful gardens to get lost in. Not to mention an entire World-Herritage National Park just waiting to be explored, on your very doorstep.
There is absolutely no excuse for boredom in a place like this and it had me like a kid in a candy store, so much to try and so little time!
When it comes to your rumbling tummies, The Fairmont certainly has all your culinary needs covered! With a number of on site restaurants, each serving up delicious options at all times of the day, there really is no need to leave! Here’s my breakdown of the dining highlights. (Beware – FOOD SPAM AHEAD)
Lunch and dinner at the Fairmont is enjoyed along side the toasty warm fire place, where you’ll find your self shadowed beneath giant floor to ceiling windows, which showcase the epic views of Jamison Valley as it unfolds beyond the resort.
All day dining is offered at the casual and cozy Embers Restaurant with a menu that features a fusion of local ingredients and focuses on richly flavoured comfort style dishes that both filled my belly and warmed my heart.
Alternatively, on weekends guests are treated to the Fairmont’s signature Eucalypt Restaurant which delivers a seasonal menu that combines only the freshest regional produce and a strong emphasis on texture and balanced flavours, to offer modern Australian Cuisine in a sophisticated and intimate setting. So if it’s something a bit fancier you are after, I highly recommend dining at Eucalypt for the evening.
But in the end, regardless of what dinner option you choose, once your bellies are full and the wine glasses are empty, there’s nothing left to do but snuggle up infront of the open fire place and devour roasted marshmallows till you pop! The perfect end to a cozy evening in the mountains.
Are you a huge fan of bite sized delicacies like me?
Well then you’re in for a treat with High Tea at the Jamisons Restaurant. With a mouth watering selection of everything mini, fresh made scones with jam and cream, tropical fruits and some of the most deliciously creamy pastries I have ever tasted, delicately created on site by the in house french pastry chef. It was all so amazingly delicious that I’m now fairly sure there is a teeny lemon meringue pie sized hole in my heart that can never be filled. Ohh I was indeed in mini cake heaven!
But hang on I’m forgetting one of the most amazing features of the Fairmont High Tea… With wide open windows, spanning the length of the terrace you may elegantly stuff your face whilst gazing upon the Blue Mountains and beyond. This was certainly one incredible high tea experience that will be hard to top!
Feel like getting out and about for something a little different? Well don’t forget your gourmet lunch, as it’s time for a picnic with a view.
On day two of my stay, we were also treated to a cliff side dining experience, with a range of goodies all packaged up into an adorable little hamper by the very talented chefs in the Fairmont kitchen.
Talk about an insta worthy experience! Sipping champagne atop a cliff, whilst consuming my body weight in freshly dipped, chocolate coated strawberries.
Ahhhh… epic scenery, a dash of adventure and a never ending supply sweet treats – you now know the way to my heart!
Last but certainly not least, lets talk about the adventure, as we sure did manage to cram a lot into the 3 days spent in the beautiful World Heritage listed Blue Mountains.
On our first night there was no question about where to head for sunset, with Sublime Point only a couple of minutes from the Resort! We arrived to find fiery skies developing above the iconic Three Sisters. This spectacle was then further enhanced as smoke from a nearby fire floated into Jamison Valley and engulfed us in a delightful peachy haze! Talk about putting on a show for the eyes, we couldn’t have hoped for a more beautiful sunset.
Early on day 2 we were picked up by the incredibly friendly and knowledgeable Mark from Blue Mountains Guides. This local family owned and operated business offers private and personalised tours around the Blue Mountains, for what ever suits your adventure style. From bush walks, 4Wd-ing to Abseiling and Canyoning, or if you would like something a little more low key, then simply hop in and let Mark take the wheel.
Which is exactly what we did and for over two hours were treated to the very best lookouts in the National Park (all tourist free I might add). It was a wonderful experience to hear all about the history and locations around the Blue Mountians from a local who had spent his whole life in this iconic region. And lastly, we finished up with a creamy hot chocolate and TimTams – this is definitely where he won me over!
Next up was a unique experience with Fantastic Aussie Tours and you can only imagine the look on our faces when we were picked up in this head-turning Retro Blue Bus. If only I could take this baby home and live in it for the rest of my days, I would be a very happy lady.
The lovely crew took us on a commentated driving tour of Leura and Katoomba, then through to our next stop at Scenic World. And we certainly did arrive in style, with everybody stopping to check out this beautiful blue beauty!
Finally the last item to tick off the itinerary was a visit to Scenic world. An absolute must do during a trip to the Blue Mountains.
This unique attraction offers a range of experiences which are unlike any others on earth. With four different ways to explore the park, we were treated to an afternoon of history, incredible scenery and a little bit of an adrenaline rush for those afraid of heights!
During a trip to scenic world you’ll find yourself dangling 270 metres above an ancient ravine as you glide between the cliff tops and take in the sites of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters and the rainforest canopy below. Next you can hop on board the steepest passenger railway in the world, descending 52 degrees through a cliff-side tunnel and onto the Jamison Valley floor. From there you can explore the rainforest via the scenic walkway and learn a thing or two about the history of the coal mine that once operated here.. Lastly catch a ride back to the top on the steepest and largest cable car in the southern hemisphere, taking in one last look at the picturesque blue mountains as you glide back to reality.
So that about sums it up; a jam packed 3 days of both lavish luxury and scenic adventure. The three days flew by and in no time I was hopping back on the plane for Cairns. Whilst I was looking forward to the shorts and t-shirt weather again, I really must admit that the whole experience was now my favourite way to embrace the winter chill.
For more information about how you can enjoy your luxurious own escape to the mountains head to fairmontresot.com.au
Click here for the full photo gallery from the trip.
P.S. For the camera buffs out there – All of these images were shot using my Canon 6d and Canon 5d mk 3 with either a 50mm prime, 24-70mm f2.8 or 16-35mm f2.8. Please let me know if you have any questions. I always love talking cameras!