Satisfy your senses with a short break at Spicers Peak Lodge
AS WE drove along a steep dirt track for almost 12km to the top of a hill in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, it dawned on me that this weekend would be one where the outside world disappeared.
After crossing the final cattle grid with a nod to the newborn calf at its mother's side, we knew we had entered paradise. We'd arrived at Spicers Peak Lodge.
Located about two hours drive from Brisbane towards Warwick, but in its own world entirely, Spicers Peak Lodge is a retreat where intimacy and relaxation are key, the food is paramount and getting back to nature comes easily.
Spicers Peak Lodge is Australia's highest non-alpine lodge sitting 1100m above sea level on the Scenic Rim overlooking World Heritage listed Main Range National Park and the Great Dividing Range.
The views in every direction are breathtaking.
As we pulled up at the reception for our two-night all-inclusive stay and looked back out over the mountainous terrain, we took a big breath of fresh air and slipped into "Spicers mode".
We were checked in to our suite, one of 10 in the main lodge, after a welcome drink.
The lodge has been created to complement its pristine high country setting with large wooden panels, a stone fireplace and luxurious furnishings in muted natural tones.
The main room is scattered with books, comfortable couches and an open bar.
Upstairs you can play it out on the pool table, get lost in a mini-library or gaze at the clear night sky through two telescopes.
Our upstairs suite looked out over the infinity pool and to unspoiled bush land, as far as the eye could see.
If canapes by the fireplace were not calling our name, staying locked in our plush room all night would have been easy.
But cocktails and an array of intricate delicacies awaited us.
Spicers Peak Lodge really took canapes to the next level, followed by the five-course degustation dinner.
One of the drawcards for Spicers Peak Lodge, aside from the stunning location, is definitely the food.
Guests come especially to eat, drink and chill out. And why wouldn't you?
Dining at the in-house restaurant appeals to all the senses with cozy, ambient surrounds, aromas drifting from the kitchen, perfectly presented meals and a culinary taste sensation to top it off.
My husband and I tasted all sorts of delicious and unusual dishes from Esk Shire veal loin with goat's curd ravioli and Jerusalem artichokes to cheek of bass grouper, parsnip, fresh herbs and wild rice.
Desserts included chocolate mille fueille with salted caramel and coconut, and, soft cheese croustillants with a ricotta and walnut filled dumpling accompanied by coffee and honey sauce.
Each dish was served was expertly matched wines.
The experience was unforgettable. Our first morning began with a two-course breakfast complete with house-made crumpets and honeycomb.
For lunch we dined at the Northern Lookout with a gourmet picnic with only the birds (and a curious goanna) in sight. It was a truly romantic and peaceful experience.
And the amazing seven-course degustation dinner on our second (and sadly last) night boasted an entirely new menu. Head chef Ashley Martin prides himself on never serving the same thing to a guest twice.
If the five-star food is not enough to tempt you, the complete serenity will get you.
At Spicers Peak Lodge you can do as much (or as little) as you want. You can take a horse ride, or a guided bushwalk, go mountain bike riding, play tennis and more.
We wanted to see the property so we went on one of the many self-guided bushwalks, past wallabies, cattle and picnic spots.
Then the infinity pool and outdoor spa tempted us so we sat and sipped a glass of champagne before lazing around on the sun beds until the time came for even more relaxation - a treatment at the Spa Anise.
When you enter the spa you are calmed by soothing sounds and scents.
Spa Anise was built using the same materials as the lodge including 100-year-old Scottish bluestone, making it a true visual delight.
My husband and I chose to do an hour massage with a qualified therapist.
It was bliss and we drifted off into oblivion as skilled hands kneaded away our stresses.
It was the icing on the cake that is Spicers Peak Lodge.