First published on 25 Jul 2011. Updated on 24 Apr 2013.
The Grand Mercure offers up apartment-style lodgings just a five-minute walk from the town’s main drag. In the mini village-style complex, spacious rooms house a kitchenette, spa bath and a (faux) fireplace (Bowral is a great romantic winter getaway for snugglers). After a big sleep-in, stroll into town and grab a coffee at Rush Roasting Co, tucked away in one of the classic small arcades. They make a mean coffee and supply their fair-trade Peruvian organic blend to a bunch of hot cafés throughout Sydney, including St Jude in Redfern. (The coffee in these parts is so good you can be tempted to skip local sites like Bradman Oval in favour of a weekend spent on a bean crawl.) If the weather is fine, pop on some comfy walking shoes, pack a picnic and take a 40-minute drive to Carrington Falls. After a short bushwalk through Budderoo National Park you’ll find a picnic area and beautiful freshwater falls cascading into a gorge in Kangaroo Valley. Not feeling so energetic? The friendly staff back at the Mercure can recommend one of the many wineries nearby where you can try some local drops.
Grand Mercure Bowral, 9 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral 2576. 02 4861 4348. www.accorhotels.com. Rates: $179-$379.
Scooping up the Best Outta Town Restaurant at our 2011 Food Awards and winning runner up in 2012, Biota is the sort of restaurant you wished was in your hometown. Keeping things local, they have their own greenhouse, kitchen garden and plenty of regional wines on the list. The menu changes, but if you can, try the potato cooked in smoked buttermilk, scattered with mustard seeds and sitting atop a tiny bit of blackened beetroot puree, covered in gently sautéed bitter greens. Biota, 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral 2576. 02 4862 2005. www.biotadining.com.
Time Out Tip
Hit up the gigantic Salvo’s (4/87 Kirkham Rd) with its ten-metre long clothes racks or Father Chris Riley’s Op Shop (Shop 8, Bundaroo St) for rare vintage gems at prices
that you’d never
see in op shops
back in the big smoke.