Treat Yourself

From the Hunter Valley to Tasmania, travel editor Winsor Dobbin has some suggestions for gourmet getaways. 


Been looking for an excuse to visit the Hunter Valley?

With spring just around the corner, the team at Bimbadgen winery is hosting Songbirds and Semillon on Sunday, September 10, from 11am-4pm, at its sibling property Emma’s Cottage. 

The plan is for a relaxing day on the lawn showcasing five of the best female music artists who call the Hunter home.

Songbirds and Semillon will feature the original music of award-winning country artist Max Jackson, Anna Weatherup, who has moved on from The Voice with her new single Crossing the Sea, Piper Butcher’s roots rock, and songs from Amy Vee and Chloe Gill.

Songbirds and Semillon is billed as a micro-scale music event in keeping with the boutique Emma’s Cottage vibe.

“We are thrilled to bring together five fabulous female singers from the Hunter to celebrate springtime in true Hunter style, with some great alfresco food and wine amongst the vineyards,” said Mulpha Hospitality GM Belinda Stapleton. 

” At Emma’s Cottage the hills really will be alive with the sound of music this spring.”

The event will also feature the opportunity to sample the semillons under the Alter Wines label created by Bimbadgen winemaker Richard Done. 

The complete range of Alter Wines, as well as a selection of beers and spirits, will be available to purchase on the day. Food items will also be available for purchase on the day and BYO picnics are welcome. 

Or you can pre-order an Emma’s Cottage Hamper for two people when you book your tickets. Each hamper contains a bottle of Alter sparkling blanc, baguette and crackers, aged cheddar, spinach, olives, feta frittata, roast pumpkin and quinoa salad, lemon meringue tart and macarons.

Tickets are available through and are priced at $49 for adults, $19 for teenagers 13-17, and free for children under 12.


Rathmore House is a delightful slice of rural Tasmania. Think a sandstone Georgian country manor house, shearers quarters and a cottage, all located on a working sheep farm just one hour north of Hobart.

Rathmore has a large lawn oval, a heritage-listed wool shed, a big shed, quaint old barn and other venues for weddings, parties, family gatherings corporate functions, workshops, seminars or retreats.

I’ve hosted some wine tastings at Rathmore to accompany the regular rural lunches with guest chefs that are held there. Check the website for future events.

Kids love the resident animals, which include sheep, ponies, ducks and chickens

Rathmore House Heritage bedrooms are available from $215 per night. Suite deals for families and small groups of friends with exclusive use bathrooms are available. There are also stay three/pay two deals and Platypus Experiences that include a campfire meal.

The shearers quarters bedrooms with en suites start from $140 per night. Rathmore Cottage rustic accommodation is from $280 per night for up to four people.



Sometimes a night at Sydney Airport is a necessity, particularly if you have an international flight departing at the crack of dawn.

The hip Moxy Hotels group, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 31 different hotel brands, recently opened the doors to its first hotel in Australia – at the airport (top image).

It is the first of a collection of hotels that are designed to appeal to the young and young-at-heart with their casual vibe. I’ve stayed at Moxy properties in Glasgow, and at Milan’s Malpensa airport, and enjoyed both stays.

The new 301-bedroom hotel is close to the international terminal with Moxy’s pink airport shuttle bus set to greet guests as they arrive.

Sean Hunt, area vice president of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific for Marriott International said: “We have been fiercely focused on introducing new lifestyle brands to Australia that will appeal to the changing needs of modern travellers.

“The debut of Moxy’s disruptive hotel experience at Sydney Airport does just that, ringing in an exciting new era for Marriott International in the country.”

​​​​​Moxy Sydney Airport’s design is inspired by the Mascot’ area’s industrial and art-deco heritage.

The lobby has exposed ceilings, wrought-iron beams, and natural materials to create the open, airy feel of a converted warehouse.

Designed as a multi-functional work and interactive social space, the lobby is centred around the hotel bar where guests check in with a complimentary “Get Moxy” signature cocktail. Within the lobby, guests can also enjoy the hotel’s ​​​​Living Room, a laid-back communal space.

The industrial-chic bedrooms are said to “combine functionality and flexibility with edgy detail”. The rooms feature modular furniture including Moxy’s signature Stellar Works foldable workspace desks and chairs, as well as smart features like peg walls to allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs.

Tech-savvy touches include motion-activated LED lights, keyless entry, 55-inch flat-screen TVs, and complimentary wifi.

Bar Moxy is designed for working and connecting during the day and transforms into a social hub at night. Local brands including Archie Rose and Young Henry are showcased, while the hotel’s street café, Little Baxter, offers grab n’ go bites or coffees and pastries for those looking to linger.

There are also five meeting studios for private events.

Moxy Sydney Airport offers rates starting at $209 per night. See

See more of Winsor’s travel tips at