For being a collection sleepy country towns, there’s so much to do, see and eat in Bowral, Mossvale, Mittagong and Berrima! While we haven’t done everything on the list, here are a few of our tried and tested favourites. Scroll on to see where to stay, eat and what to do for your perfect weekend away in the Southern Highlands.
WHERE TO STAY
Annandale: the guest wing of this 1876 classic weatherboard home features vintage furniture, textiles and artworks. It’s a cosy, beautiful guest house and is typical of a Southern Highlands cottage and is conveniently located in the heart of Bowral.
Berida Hotel: originally built as a home in 1925, Berida Hotel is set amongst established gardens just moments from the main street of Bowral. Featuring 42 newly refurbished, fully air-conditioned guest rooms, an indoor heated pool, spa and sauna, gym, tennis court and Endota Day Spa, it makes for the perfect weekend away in either winter or summer.
Bendooley Estate: what started as a winery has expanded into luxurious cottages. Individually designed, featuring upholstered furniture, bespoke wallpaper and deep free-standing baths, these studios and cottages enjoy glorious vistas of the serene lake, valley and groomed gardens. Also - they’re only steps away from a fabulous restaurant and bar!
WHERE TO EAT
The Press Shop: The Press Shop Cafe is located behind a stunning blue curved door on the main street of Bowral. Housed within the flagship store of the world famous and locally owned Bespoke Letterpress, The Press Shop combines our love of fine stationery, with specialty coffee, wonderful service, and an incredibly delicious menu.
Highlands Merchant: a beautiful space to enjoy fresh, handmade meals and beverages in the main street of Moss Vale.
Gumnut Patisserie: you can’t go past a good pie, and Gumnut Pattiserie’s are award-winning! They have multiple outlets through the Highlands, too.
Bendooley Estate: if you’re not staying at the cottages, it’s certainly worth stopping by for a meal. Sit in the bookshop or by the fire in the stone restaurant and enjoy a glass of the Bendooley wines and a gourmet pizza. Bookings are essential.
Harry’s on Green Lane: Opening onto the leafy boulevard called Green Lane, this cafe is worth the visit alone. It’s a café by day and wine bar by night, and is named for horticulturalist Sir Harry Veitch, who sought out exotic plants from faraway lands for his wealthy London clientele. They’ve filled the venue with plant life and travel memorabilia. There are white wicker chairs, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stocked with antique reads, marble tables, bamboo lampshades and, in winter, a roaring fireplace.
Biota Dining: Biota Dining has brought high-quality food and service to the Southern Highlands, with a menu that's as modern as its Scandinavian-inspired decor
Ludo: the perfect destination for bringing friends and family together. The atmosphere is warm and vibrant, with a touch of sophistication.
Horderns Restaurant: Set on a secluded private estate, Horderns Restaurant nestles in the Milton Park Country House Hotel, a grand mansion built at the turn of the 19th Century. Rich fabrics, high back chairs and soft lighting give a distinctive feel of great French restaurants.
THINGS TO DO
Green Lane: Green Lane Bowral is the new dining and shopping precinct nestled between the famous Dirty Janes Markets and the impressive new redevelopment, The Acre. It’s worth wandering down the laneway for an Instagram shot, with an abundance of plants, flowers and sights to see.
Wineries: More than 50 vineyards and a dozen cellar doors call this picturesque region home. Some well-known wineries are Artemis Wines and Tertini Wines near Mittagong, Centennial Vineyards and Diamond Creek Estate near Bowral, Joadja Estate near Berrima, Eling Forest Winery and Southern Highland Winery near Sutton Forest, and Cuttaway Hill Wines and St Maur Wines near Exeter.
Belmore Falls: if you need to walk off all that good food and wine, Belmore Falls offers magnificent views and walking tracks. Allow at least an hour, but there are plenty of information boards and parks available along the pathway.
WHERE TO SHOP
Bespoke Letterpress: Bespoke Letterpress is one of the world's leading letterpress studios designing and printing fine letterpress and hot foil stationery. They print the old fashioned way, using antique cast iron machines, letterpress printing on imported luxuriously thick cotton paper, mixed with patience, perfection and a whole lot of love.
Banyette St stores: there are a couple of beautiful clothing stores close to Green Lane. Apart from some cosy cashmere knits, they also have gorgeous accessories which we haven’t seen elsewhere.
Made By Others: a colourful, vibrant shop in Moss Vale selling a range of goods from around the globe. Representing independent designers and makers, this store prides themselves in stocking unique homewares, accessories, jewellery, clothing, gifts for babies and kids, stationery and books. With many goods from North America, Europe and the UK, Made By Others is often the first and only store to represent them in Australia.