Romantic Escape

Trendy cafes, restaurants and bars, locally made fine art, tranquil river views and a lush green landscape, love is in the air in Maitland. Escape daily routines for a romantic weekend and make lasting memories with just the two of you. Whether you prefer stylish accommodation or something a little more boutique, spending time in galleries, shopping or indulging in delectable food, wine and chocolate, Maitland has the recipe to let you reconnect, relax and ignite the heart.

If the rustic vibes of yesteryear and the echoes of history are your thing, then playing Cupid, I recommend Morpeth. Swan Street was once the hub of a prodigious colonial river port and the past survives in its incredible heritage buildings.

For a luxurious retreat stay at the William Arnott Hotel. This boutique accommodation is set within the Historic Arnott Bakehouse with each rooms design taking inspiration from the famous Arnott’s biscuits Sao, Iced Vo Vo and Monte Carlo’s.

Once you have settled in, stroll hand in hand down the cobbled stone sidewalks. Enjoy the fabulous shops specialising in antiques, designer clothes and some unexpected curiosities.

For something special, jump onboard a Historic Morpeth Cruise with NOVA Cruises and watch the world pass you by as you cruise along the Hunter River.

After your voyage, Boydell’s Cellar Door and Restaurant will make you feel as if you’ve died and gone to heaven. It was a night to remember when I recently tried their four course dinner paired with a full bodied Merlot.

At the heart of the action is Maitland and the first thing you will want to find is a bed but after that, coffee and Central Maitland has no shortage of a fine roast. Also centrally located, Quest Apartments Maitland offer relaxed accommodation and exceptional service. From the Quest, it’s a short walk to historic High Street. For a breakfast treat, try The Bikesmith and Espresso Bar. This is a truly distinctive space with a gorgeous café that is a top pick of local coffee connoisseurs. With a small but superb selection of fresh pastries and sandwiches, you will be ready to explore.

Bordering High Street is the Riverside Walk. Sneak down one of the many little alleys near The Bikesmith and emerge on the spectacular Hunter River. Take in the peaceful flow of the river and then meander back to the street through the iconic new building The Riverlink to discover The Levee.

This shared space is the social hub of Central Maitland, combining bespoke shops with specialty stores, cafes and more. Before you know it, it will be time to eat again and, as the saying goes ‘the key to the heart is through the stomach.’

Luckily, Maitland has a plethora of dining options. Highlights include Coquun with its stylish interior, views of the Hunter River and distinctly flavoured menu which utilises local and native ingredients. You have to try the authentic homemade pasta at Fratelli Roma. Settle into the inviting interiors of this family owned restaurant and be transported to Italy.

In the evening things get pumping with the ultra cool Cult of the Scorpion specialising in delightful cocktails and the close by The Pourhouse provides the latest craft beers on tap.

Looking for a quiet rural escape? Maddies of Bolwarra is perfectly described as ’intimately romantic.’ This country home built in the 1800s offers relaxed privacy in impressive garden surrounds.

Swan St Deli and Larder offer gourmet selections of delicatessen products. Select what you love for the perfect hamper and head to the nineteenth century come nature reserve, Walka Water Works for the perfect picnic spot to indulge in your goodies al fresco style.

While staying at Bolwarra, explore Lorn. A leafy suburb with gorgeous heritage homes and amazing gardens. Lorn is famous for the decadent treats at Icky Sticky Patisserie. Be sure to get to this local favourite early to bag some of their ridiculously good looking handcrafted delights. It will not disappoint.

Violets may be blue but roses come in more colours than red. Discover this at Lorn Rose Farm providing the best rose bouquets around, it’s also a destination for the senses. While you’re picking up your bouquet be sure to take a stroll around the pretty garden.

For a charming experience take a short scenic drive to Ducks in the Field. This cracking tea room specialises in a refined high tea. A selection of sweets and house made punch is all served on quirky crockery that will make you smile.

A couples escape in Maitland will recharge your batteries, enliven your senses and fill your heart with romantic memories shared with someone special. Take the time to explore this glorious region which promises to delight and pull at your heart strings, excite your passions and leave you wanting more.

Story by Genevieve Graham


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