Hunter Valley Anniversary Trip Pt 1: Our First Night at Tatler Vineyards

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A little while ago, I spoke about how happy I was that Jared got a new job. Well, as a little surprise to him, I organised a weekend away for us at Tatler Wines to celebrate! I had originally intended for us to go in early September, but some things came up and we had to move it to last weekend instead. It worked out perfectly though, because it was our 4 year anniversary just a few weeks ago, so we  decided to merge the two events and celebrate both the new job and our anniversary!

On Friday, I had the day off work to pack our bags and get some stuff done around the house before we had to leave. Jared started work a little earlier that day so he could finish early, and by quarter past 4, we were on the road and heading to the Hunter Valley. 

From Sydney to the Hunter, it’s about a 2.5 hour drive. We like to take the route via Freeman’s Waterhole as it’s nicer and you avoid a lot of traffic. I was distracted however, and told Jared to take a turn thinking it was for that route. And of course, it wasn’t! It was a long, windy, often too narrow, scenic road through Peats Ridge. It didn’t add much more time to the trip, and it was beautiful being able to the sun setting on the country side, but I think Jared was just a bit nervous driving through it!

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We arrived at Tatler just after the sun set, and it looked so serene and peaceful. I couldn’t stop smiling, I was unsure of what the place would be like, but at that moment I knew I’d made a good choice to book this spot! 

Tatler has a wine cellar, tapas restaurant/cafe and accomodation all in the one location. We stayed in the Loft apartment, which was located above the actual cellar and restaurant. 

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Because it was a loft style apartment, I was expecting something small. But boy was I mistaken! It was incredibly spacious, with two bedrooms (each with it’s own ensuite bathroom), large dining/living area (with a gas fireplace for the colder months), kitchen (equipped with fridge, freezer, microwave and dishwasher) and a balcony that overlooked the Brokenback Ranges. Amazing! 

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We paid $110pp per night, and I honestly think it was worth every dollar. So many wineries in the Hunter region charge well over $300 per night for their accommodation, so it was really nice to find a spot that fit into our budget!

After we put our bags down and ogled at the view on the balcony, we walked downstairs to the Tapas restaurant for some dinner. After an almost 3 hour drive, the thought of tapas was very much welcomed! And the fact that we didn’t have to leave the property was even better!

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It was a cute looking cafe/restaurant, very casual atmosphere and the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. We started with a bottle of the 2014 The Butler Shiraz, and the crusty bread with warmed olives, olive oil and caramelised balsamic, all of which was fantastic!

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(Do excuse the no make up and messy hair business!)

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For our tapas, we ordered the Smoked Salmon Roulade, Chorizo Sausage Rolls with Homemade Chutney and the Lamb Cutlets with Tzatziki and Capsicum relish. 

The Salmon Roulades came out first. They were stuffed with a lime and herb crème fraiche filling and topped with salmon roe. This one was Jared’s pick (he loves his salmon) and it was a good one! The salmon tasted fresh and the filling was creamy and perfectly flavoured. I only had one, and let Jared have the rest as he was enjoying them so much!

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The Chorizo Sausage Rolls were also delicious. The pastry was crunchy and flakey, and stuffed with smokey chorizo. My favourite part of this dish though was the homemade chutney!

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The last plate to arrive was the Lamb Cutlets and this was the favourite for the both of us. The meat was tender, juicy and rubbed a delicious mix of spices. It was wonderful on it’s own, but even better dipped in the tangy tzatziki and sweet relish! 

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There was really nothing we could fault about the food, service or location. Everything was great!

After we finished up, we paid, thanked the staff and walked back upstairs to relax for the night. It was such a nice, relaxing way to start to our weekend away!