There’s nothing quite like hopping in the car and hitting the open road. This week, Christina and I went country, visiting a new part of regional New South Wales.
We love exploring our own back yard, especially when it turns up so many pleasant surprises.
The Hunter Valley town of Maitland might not be on many people’s radars yet, but mark our words, it won’t be long before this little town is making big impressions on folks looking for a weekend escape from the city.
We’ll be telling quite a few stories from our time in Maitland over the next few week, so here’s just a snapshot of some of the places we visited and things we did while we were there.
And keep reading for news on how you can score great savings on your shopping with American Express until September 12th.
We hope you enjoy this Weekly Edition.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
About 15 minutes outside Maitland, which is a couple of hours’ drive north of Sydney and only 30 minutes from Cessnock and the Hunter wine region, is the village of Morpeth.
Morpeth is full of history – including this old wooden-based bridge, which as you can see from the sign, wasn’t designed for modern vehicles.
This is also where we’re based for the weekend. Check out our hotel:
One of our favourite things to do when we’re in small country towns is check out the antiques stores. You’re guaranteed to find some absolute treasures you’d never see in the city.
True to form, Morpeth has some great shops with all kinds of things. It’s a fair reflection of a town with such a lot of history to it – Morpeth used to be one of the most important ports in the country in the mid-1800s.
This is just one room of one level of the old Campbell’s Store, which is home to Morpeth Antique Centre. There’s just so much stuff here, but it’s also probably the most organised shop we’ve ever been in.
The Dr Morse’s Indian Root Pills barn is an iconic landmark of the area around Maitland. The cows certainly seem to like this strange bit of history.
They’re not so keen on having their photo taken though. Shortly after Christina gets this shot, the cow in the foreground freaks out and runs off into the field!
Dinner tonight is at The Rigby in Maitland. This place is very impressive and has more of a Melbourne feel than regional NSW. Quietly confident and very cool, this is a hot spot to visit when you’re here.
The food’s amazing, the service is great and the atmosphere makes for a wonderful dinner.
We stop for another shot of the Indian Root Pills barn and decide we need to shine a bit of light on our noble steed for the trip!
This is a brand new Subaru Forester that Hertz has rented us (only 1000kms on the clock) and it’s got some cool features. I’ve never driven a car that keeps you in your lane before.
If the car starts to get too close to the edge of the line, you feel the steering wheel tug a little and push you back on course. A bit unnerving at first but great for longer drives. Rather impressive.
We’re all checked out of the Bronte Boutique Hotel and have said goodbye to Morpeth. We’re now back in Maitland and enjoying the excellent coffee at the tongue-twistingly tricky Cunning Culinarian! More on this place later, however…
…I do have to show you the ultimate brekky roll they do here. Absolutely magnificent!
The American Express Lounge (free access for Amex card members) has a cool, NYC block party vibe this year. We grab a glass of Mumm and a bagel and watch the world go by.
As part of the partnership between Vogue and American Express, card members can activate an incredible deal that’s going until Thursday 12th September.
When you spend $50 or more at any of the 600 participating retailers – big and small, you get $20 back! Not bad.
The deal’s valid for the first 10,000 card members, so get in quick.
Here’s cheers to a great week. We hope you’ve enjoyed this Edition.
Jim & Christina xx