After the mad rush of squeezing a full day’s worth of work into a half day on Friday, my girlfriend and I got on the road just in time to beat the rush of traffic from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. We arrived with ample daylight and were welcomed and shown around the grounds by Christine and Anton (the owners of Montville Country Cabins). Christine suggested dinner options, walks, picnic spots, mountain views, lakes, waterfalls and more. There is an abundance of things to see and do in Montville, and Christine and Anton can help you make the perfect ‘to do’ list.
We made a booking for dinner, but… when we entered our cabin “Harmony”, we soon changed our mind and decided to settle in and soak up the cabin atmosphere. With a fridge full of the fixings from our gourmet BBQ hamper, we lit the fire, started the balcony gas BBQ and had a relaxing night in. The cabin soon warmed and with candles, music, a spa bath and flowing vino, the working week felt like an eon ago.
The unexpected surprises that we enjoyed the most that night were the fresh mountain air that comes from a cabin adjoining a national park, the stars and the silence. They all combined to make you feel as though you were miles away from the stresses of the world.
Saturday began with morning birds gently waking us from our slumber and we slowly began our day with a trip to Montville to see art and do a little shopping, which culminated in a lunch at an English pub with amazing mountain range views and award winning pints of home grown lager. The afternoon was spent meandering around the gardens, taking photos and watching the sunset over the lake.
The highlight of the weekend was without a doubt the Reserve Degustation which was by far and away one of the best dining experiences of our lives. We were greeted with a warm welcome from the owner Stephen Heffernan who talked us through each accompanying wine with the enthusiasm that comes from a passionate Sommelier with 25 years’ experience. And the wines were amazing. The Pinot Gris especially was truly sensational, but the standout experience was the food. The 6 course menu went:
1. Seared Snail
2. Pumpkin soup with Escargot
3. Pork Belly & crackling
4. Beef medallions
5. Marsh mellow sorbet
6. Chocolate honeycomb golden leaf
The wines were a steady flow of Champagne, Sherry, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and a desert wine to finish. Not only were the combinations of food and wine perfectly matched and wide in variety, the portion sizes were also generous and satiating… almost too much so. By the end of course four we were struggling but the Marshmallow sorbet cleansed the palate, and with the help of an espresso we completed all courses…
After enjoying a dining experience that could hold its own anywhere in the world, we sat back and enjoyed our short trip back to the cabins with Stephan at the wheel. We had been thoughtfully driven to the restaurant by our hosts at Montville Country Cabins so we could really relax and enjoy the full degustation experience! Back at Montville Country Cabins, we enjoyed the stars as we walked through the gardens by the lake and back to our cabin. And again the fire was lit and we finished with a Port nightcap…
Sunday morning was a slow affair. Sleeping in never felt so good and with no pressure to check out till 2pm, we didn’t get out of bed till about 10… When we eventually made a move, we started the BBQ for another bacon and eggs breakfast with fresh coffee and juice. I’m sure some people would have loved to get up at sunrise and walk around Lake Baroon or Kondialilla falls but we were happy to sit and just do absolutely nothing… Until it was time to depart but not before one last and stop at the Flame Hill winery, just a few km’s down the road for a late indulgent lunch with a couple more wines.