If you’re looking for a city escape with someone special, McLaren Vale is a fantastic destination for couples.
Just 45 minutes from Adelaide City, you can spend a few days surrounded by stunning vineyards, delicious wine, great restaurants, luxurious accommodations, and nature.
We’ve spent our lives living in McLaren Vale & Willunga, so we’re sharing our top tips for a romantic weekend getaway in McLaren Vale.
After deciding on a location, accommodation is often the first thing to book, especially for romantic couples weekends. Some of our favourite accommodation providers offer luxury and privacy but with all the trimmings so you can relax.
The complete pamper package:
Mulberry Lodge Country Retreat, just a few minutes from Battle of Bosworth in Willunga, have couple-luxe sorted. They host just one couple at a time to ensure complete privacy. Their Garden Retreat Retreat has everything you could wish for, including a gourmet breakfast hamper delivered to your door daily. Opt for their Couples Pamper Package, which includes accommodation, local wine, homemade treats, a 90-minute couples massage at a local spa, a romantic meal at the famous Salopian Inn & more. www.mulberrylodgewillunga.com
Stay amongst the vines:
Shadow Creek McLaren Vale takes care of every possible detail. Nestled amongst vineyards, it is luxuriously appointed, including a fully stocked fridge of local wines & beers & a luxury kitchen. So, you only have to go as far as the double-sided fireplace or onto the deck to watch the sunset over the vineyards. They can even arrange a masseuse to visit you in-house. The best part? It’s almost walking distance to Battle of Bosworth. www.shadowcreek.com.au
Make it organic:
The Farm Willunga is a 15-acre organic olive grove & vineyard overlooking the coast with luxury self-contained accommodation and an onsite organic café. Wander in the gardens, relax in your beautifully appointed apartment with local wine, wander to the café for breakfast or have it delivered to your room. www.thefarmwillunga.com.au
Intimate Tasting Experiences
For a special weekend, we recommend avoiding being overwhelmed by the crowds and choosing intimate cellar doors designed for couples and small groups. Here are some of our favourites:
Battle of Bosworth (of course), stop into our heritage cellar door for a tasting in converted stables or relax on the lawn amongst the beautiful gardens with a build-your-own local cheese & charcuterie picnic. www.battleofbosworth.com.au. 92 Gaffney Road, Willunga. Open 7 days.
Bekkers Wine for a truly personalised experience, you’ll be hosted by our friends Emmanuel & Toby Bekkers in their intimate tasting room and treated to tastings of their signature French-style wines. www.bekkerswine.au. 212-220 Seaview Road, McLaren Vale. Open 10am-4pm, Thurs to Sunday.
Samson Tall Wines’ cellar door is in a tiny 1854 pug church surrounded by gardens and vineyards. You’ll be invited to tinkle on their piano while you taste wine. www.samsontall.com.au. 219 Stroad Road McLaren Vale. Open 11-5, 7 days a week.
Berg Herring Wines book in here for a tasting pod experience in one of two converted gigantic vintage wine barrels for a unique & cosy wine experience www.bergherringwines.com.au. Lot 21 Sellicks Beach Road, Sellicks Beach. Open Friday -Monday 12-6pm.
Dowie Doole’s unique cellar door comprises four shipping containers, offering intimate, hosted tasting experiences. For an extra hit of romance, try the chocolate & wine flight. www.dowiedoole.com. 695 California Road, McLaren Vale. Open 7 days, 10am to 5pm.
Take A Stroll
Take the decisions & the driving out of your tasting experience with the Willunga Wander Trail. This self-guided walking trail includes a map and tastings at tastings at Hither & Yon, Battle of Bosworth & Shifty Lizard Brewing. Starting & finishing in Willunga village, it’s a relaxed way to combine tastings & nature. www.battleofbosworth.com.au/experiences/
Make the Dining Fine
Every romantic trip away needs a memorable dining experience. McLaren Vale has many icon experiences, but these are two of our favourites, especially for those seeking an intimate restaurant away from big groups.
Lunch at The Currant Shed. Situated in McLaren Flat in an early 1900’s currant drying shed, chosen for its charm, history & stunning views. We recommend the degustation menu; sit back & let their team take care of the decisions. www.currantshed.com.au. 104 Ingoldby Rd. McLaren Flat. Open 6 days (closed Wed)
Dinner at Salopian Inn. An icon in McLaren Vale’s fine dining scene focusing on sustainability & showcasing fresh, regional produce. This is a dining experience you won’t forget. Surrender control & hand yourself over for the Feed Me menu. www.salopian.com.au. Cnr Main Road & McMurtrie Road, McLaren Vale. Open for lunch 7 days & dinner Fri-Sun.
Get in some Retail Therapy
Historic and charming Willunga Village is a wonderful spot to spend an hour or two getting your window shopping fix and collecting a memento of your weekend away.
On Saturdays, the Willunga Farmers Market is the spot to feed the soul and the eyes with all manner of locally grown produce. It’s also a great spot to pick up breakfast or supplies for a romantic picnic or night in by the fire. www.willungafarmersmarket.com.au
Other stores we love include:
Willunga Gallery on High Street is an art space showcasing the work of Australian artists, designers, makers and creatives. www.willungagallery.com.au
Whatever at Willunga is the pick for retro & vintage lovers. They stock a collection of vintage homewares, artwork, records and fashion. www.facebook.com/WhateveratWillunga
Kookery is heaven on earth for foodies, stocking every accessory a chef could wish for and a fantastic array of cookbooks. You can’t walk away without something new for your kitchen or dining room. www.kookery.com.au
The Jewellery Room will top off your romantic stay with a piece that will last a lifetime. Melissa Proust showcases her handcrafted works and celebrates the creations of other local jewellers. www.facebook.com/TheJewelleryRoomWillunga
I am Tall Poppy, which stocks an eclectic range of fashion and accessories exclusively sourced from Australian companies. This is a great destination for beautiful gifts and homewares. www.facebook.com/iamtallpoppy
Jungle in Willunga is one for the green thumbs. A tropical oasis where you can wander and browse a huge array of plants for your garden and home. www.jungleinwillunga.com.au