Red wine, open fireplaces and the need to share body heat make winter one of the most romantic times of year. Celebrate it by booking you and your significant other into one of these dreamy escapes.
Cobblestoned streets, cosy small bars and impressive restaurants mean Sydney neighbourhood The Rocks ticks all the boxes for a romantic getaway. Stroll hand in hand through the maze of historic alleyways, take in the soaring views from the Harbour Bridge, stroll the galleries at the Museum of Contemporary Art, catch an intimate performance at Rosslyn Packer Theatre or indulge in a four course dinner at Quay. If you find yourself there on a Friday, take the time to meander through The Rocks Friday Foodie Market, picking up creamy cheeses, cured meats and freshly baked bread for a romantic picnic on the foreshore. For something truly romantic, book yourselves in for a stargazing session at the Sydney Observatory before settling in near the baby grand piano at Push Bar for a lingering nightcap.
On the other side of country, Perth has more than its fair share of romantic drawcards. For starters, there’s those over the ocean sunsets which, in winter, are best enjoyed from the comfort of a beach side venue. Il Lido is one such venue, pairing its views with handmade pasta, and Bib and Tucker is another, well-loved for its exceptional food and drinks list. If you’re a couple who really loves their food, try gourmet favourite Wildflower or cosy French cottage Budburst Small Bar. Day trips are another thing Perth does really well, whether it’s the short ferry ride across to Rottnest Island where you and your partner can explore beautiful beaches and wilderness on bikes, the short drive to the boutique wineries and rolling hills of the Swan Valley, or the 40 minute trek to the Perth Hills where you can while the day away at quirky galleries, tiny coffee shops and on beautiful bushland walks.
Down in Melbourne, local businesses are well prepared for the onslaught of winter, with roaring fireplaces, hot chocolates and mulled wine at the ready. For one of the best fireplaces in town, head to Blue Bonnet BBQ, a cosy little venue that specialises in smoked meats and American whisky. For something a little more refined, a visit to The Grace Darling Hotel is in order. It’s Melbourne’s second oldest pub, has two roaring fireplaces, a candle lit bar, plant filled atrium and an undeniable ambience. For hot chocolates, try the traditional Italian version at Brunetti on Lygon Street or a modern, deconstructed version at Hash Specialty Coffee and Roasters. For a warming cup of mulled wine, head to the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market where you can also buy each other thoughtful little gifts and enjoy a selection of short films. If it’s a romantic day in the vines you’re after, the beautiful Yarra Valley is only an hour’s drive from the city and offers plenty of beautiful vistas and enticing cellar doors.