Smell the roses: Lindenwarrah at Milawa

Arriving at Lindenwarrah in Milawa in North East Victoria, it feels like you are settling into sophisticated yet distinctly Australian accommodation to explore the well-known gourmet food and wine in the region. Gravel stones underfoot at the tree-lined entrance, the first glimpse of the reception at Lindenwarrah is of a spacious entrance foyer with a large urn – it’s understated but eye-catching. It sets the tone for the stylish, European-influenced interiors throughout the property.

Lindenwarrah is managed by The Lancemore Group, with sister properties in Mornington Peninsula and Palm Cove, among others. The interiors are thoughtfully curated by the property’s founders Jan and Peter Clark. Jan’s extensive travels and architecture and interior design background are reflected throughout Lindenwarrah.

I am visiting on one of the most popular weekends in the region – the 28th annual Brown Brothers Spring Wine Festival held each November. Brown Brothers, which celebrated 125 years of winemaking as one of Australia’s most pioneering, family-owned wineries, is literally across the road – a convenient five-minute stroll to its cellar door and highly regarded Epi.Curious restaurant where you can try their premium Patricia range of wines named after the matriarch of the Brown family. It was Ross Brown, during his time as CEO at the company, who approached Jan and Peter Clark to establish premium, boutique accommodation in the region to help promote tourism and the numerous activities it offers visitors. Along with Brown Brothers, there are some 30 wineries within 60 kilometres of Lindenwarrah to explore, along with other gourmet attractions including the Milawa Cheese Factory, olive producers, Beechworth Bakery and wineries in nearby Rutherglen, King Valley and Beechworth. The hilltops of the King Valley also provide dramatic vistas – cycling is popular here but a picnic basket of wine and cheese may be more to your liking.

Roaming around the grounds of Lindenwarrah, it’s hard not to be taken by its European-influenced elegance and simplicity. A drawing room on the first floor with comfortable wing back chairs by the window, couches, a fireplace, reading materials and bookcases of antique pottery and artworks make this space inviting to kick back with a newspaper or a good book.

Outside a terrace off the bar and Merlot restaurant provides a Tuscan-influenced courtyard overlooking the property’s own vines from which Lindenwarrah make their own range of wines, with the vineyards managed by Brown Brothers vignerons. With the trickling and soothing sounds of the outdoor water features; the ponds surrounded by soft, green lawns; the smell of roses and lavender in the air and the chirping of birds, you can’t help but relax and unwind.

At the Lindenwarrah onsite spa, you can book a number of treatments or simply hide away in the sauna or outdoor solar heated swimming pool. The 40 guestrooms are all spacious with balconies overlooking either the Brown Brothers vineyards or the Lindenwarrah vineyards. I appreciated the block-out timber blinds for a slow, relaxing sleep-in on the crisp white bed linen. A jar of colourful macaroons in my room was a treat for this sweet-tooth. Cups of tea or a coffee made from your in-room K-fee coffee machine are best enjoyed on the rustic wrought iron chairs among plants sprouting from wine barrel pots, wearing a cotton, waffle gown. All rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi, though you may not wish to access it  – instead simply languishing in the calming, rural surrounds or enjoying a bottle of locally made wine and matching cheese.


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