It’s lovely to welcome Naomi back on the blog who is sharing with us the luxury birthday weekend she went on with her partner Bryce in Perth’s Swan Valley…
Happy Birthday Bryce!
Since we started dating, Bryce and I made a pact to not give each other gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas. Instead, every year, we make a promise to spend quality time travelling together. For Bryce’s birthday this year, we decided to organise a little luxury staycation in Western Australia’s Swan Valley.
After doing some accommodation research on the Swan Valley website, I decided to take a closer look at The Swan Valley Retreat and I was pretty much sold on the fact that they had an on-site day-spa and the rooms come with a king-sized bed.
The Swan Valley Retreat
Located just off West Swan Road, The Swan Valley Retreat was a beautiful escape from our usual weekends at home.
When we first arrived, we walked down the timber ramp, that took us past an outdoor sauna, which guests are encouraged to use, before reaching the veranda, where we watched koi fish swimming in the undercover pond.
Usually, we wouldn’t arrive at our accommodation until our room was ready, but we had a good reason to be arriving at 11:30am.
It Was A Day-Spa Kind Of Day!
After dropping our bags off, we were whisked away to enjoy a couple’s massage for 90-minutes, followed by a 60-minute facial. Bliss!
But that wasn’t all.
We finished our pamper day with a thermal full body deep clay mask.
This included a clay treatment being applied to the whole body, along with fine pink Himalayan sea salt. All of this took place inside a hydrotherapy capsule. The steam helps to cleanse the body and to open up the pores.
Finally, the session is completed by the vichy rain shower – a therapeutic water spray massage.
At the end of our pamper session, we enjoyed some downtime in our fluffy white hotel robes, while sipping on a complimentary bottle of Little River Brut de Brut.
The Merlot Room
There are only two rooms available at The Swan Valley Retreat – Merlot and Cabernet.
Along with the king size bed, the other highlight was the bathroom.
But we didn’t have too much time to just sit around doing nothing. Bryce’s birthday spectacular hadn’t quite ended.
Upper Reach Twilight Concert Series
The whole reason we were in the Swan Valley was that, while we were at the 2019 Swan Valley Gourmet Escape, our dear friend Stephen from Upper Reach Winery told us that they were again hosting the Twilight Concert series, the first which was to fall on Bryce’s birthday. Perfect, birthday plans sorted.
There are a couple of options when buying our ticket.
- General Admission: $40pp, or
- Dinner & Show: $99 includes Concert Entry, Two Course Dinner (Entreé and Main) in RiverBrook Restaurant, overlooking the festivities
We opted for the general admission ticket and brought along a little picnic to enjoy together.
The venue is strictly no BYO alcohol. But you’re in a winery. With fabulous wine!
If you do forget to bring along your own glasses, the venue hires out glasses for the night for a $4 deposit which is refunded when you return them.
Music for the night was by Nueva Salsa, a nine-piece high-energy salsa band that had the dance floor pumping all night.
Our first bottle for the night was the 2013 Upper Reach Chardonnay and what a delight she was!
I reached out to Stephen who works at Upper Reach Winery for a tasting note for this ripper of a wine.
This Chardonnay is intense. Packed full of toasty, nutty flavours. The primary fruit notes of peach, nectarine & green apple still thrive in this wine.
It is the aftertaste that makes this wine so special… A persistent, warming taste of toasted cashews will stay with you for ages & ages. If you are a lover of big buttery Chardonnays, this will knock your socks off!
It is as smooth as silk with a rounded mouthfeel, after seven years ageing in the Winemaker’s Cellar all the flavours have come together perfectly. This is Chardonnay as its supposed to be.
Colour: Deep Gold
Aroma: Buttered Toast | Nectarine | Cashews | Honey
Palate: Butterscotch | Baked Peaches | Lemon | Toast
Food Pairing: Steamed Lobster with Truffle Butter
We then opted for a second bottle of wine – 2018 The Gig Grenache.
Stephen again shared his tasting notes for the Grenache which he describes as the quintessential Swan Valley summer red.
Light, fresh & bursting with ripe red fruit.
Carbonic maceration softens the tannins & adds a bright candied strawberry note with an earthy finish. Light, fresh & bursting with ripe red fruit such as strawberries, raspberries & cranberries.
We add in whole bunches of Grenache into the fermentation.
Carbonic maceration softens the tannins & adds a bright candied strawberry note with an earthy finish Light Ruby
Aroma: Strawberry, earth, licorices, and cherry
Palate: Cherry, mocha, earth, and raspberry
Food Pairing: Moroccan Harissa Lamb Shanks or Duck with Plum Sauce
What a way to cap off a birthday extravaganza. I hope you had a wonderful day Bryce. I know I did!
If you too would like to head along to an Upper Reach Twilight Concert, there are still three more concerts in 2020:
- Velvet Playboys & Adam Hall: 29th February
- The Aretha Franklin Experience: 14th March
- Adam Hall & Soul Playboys: 21st March
Have you been to The Swan Valley Retreat or attended one of the Upper Reach Twilight Concerts?
Lets us know in the comments.