The alternative hen

Wine barrels at Campbells Winery, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

Ever since I got engaged, I’ve maintained I’m fairly clueless bride-to-be. I never really dreamed about my wedding day and although Adam and I are really enjoying putting together a day of celebration for family and friends, we’re trying to make it a low-key, intimate affair.

So when it came to discussing a ‘hens party’ I was completely stuck.  I definitely wasn’t keen on a boozy night with a heap of friends.  Thankfully my sole bridesmaid knows me very well and suggested a night away.  So this past weekend we headed south to wine country…

It’d been two years since we’d seen each other.  We’d met in Wagga Wagga, then I moved to England and she moved to Tasmania, so there wasn’t just my wedding to celebrate. We were both so looking forward to our reunion and hanging out, just the two of us, like we did so often in our 20s.

We arrived in Rutherglen mid afternoon, booking in at the delightful La Maison St Arnaud in the heart of regional Victoria.  This beautiful grey and white weatherboard cottage pays homage to all things French and our room was warm and inviting, with its two single beds, side-by-side.

La Maison St Arnaud bed and breakfast, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

Single bed at La Maison St Arnaud bed and breakfast, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

After freshening up we hit the road paying visits to three local wineries: Campbells, Pfeiffer Wines and Cofield Wines. We had a lovely few hours sipping samples, driving amongst the still bare vineyards and making a few purchases to bring home with us.

Barrels of wine at Pfeiffers Wines, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

Ravenous after our afternoon of indulgences we popped into The Pickled Sisters Cafe, where we ate our way through a beautiful grazing plate made up of terrine, pâté, cheese, smoked trout and of course, lots of pickles!

Grazing plate at The Pickled Sisters Cafe, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

After popping back to our accommodation for a restorative nap, we spent the evening at local wine bar, Thousand Pound, nibbling on shared small plates and sipping on cocktails and more local wine.

The following morning we ate the most delicious cooked breakfast in the B&B’s open plan kitchen and dining room, which is surrounded by bookshelves full of cookbooks and pretty little things. The view out of the cottage’s floor to ceiling windows was also just divine.

Bookshelf at La Maison St Arnaud bed and breakfast, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

View from La Maison St Arnaud bed and breakfast, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.

It was the most perfect hens gathering a bride could ask for. Sure it was small and staid but it’ll be a weekend away I treasure forever.  Thanks L.

Have a wonderful weekend. x





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