When In-Laws Come To Visit
A 48-hour itinerary to keep the outlaws busy and you (relatively) sane.
Whether you moved to the Highlands to escape your in-laws or not, you know that at some point they will roll up, set up camp in the spare room and look to you to play tourist guide, right?
Because we know how busy you are, especially as your house is turning into a B&B for the weekend, we’ve popped together an itinerary to keep the in-laws busy, you delightfully witty and engaging at all times, and the grandkids entertained.
Drinking in the sunset (literally) with a quick pre-dinner tipple is a darn good way to kick off a weekend with the in-laws, we reckon - take them to the Berida Hotel! Grandma can partake in a refreshing aperitif at the Gin Trading Co and Grandpa can sneak into Aspinall's Whisky Lounge for a wee dram before moving into Berida's fab restaurant, Bistro Sociale for some contemporary European cuisine. The rib eye with Pommes Frites (fancy fries - yay!) is our fave.
Check out all the choices, so many choices!
If the in-laws are lucky enough to be here on one of the weekends the stunning Retford Park is open to the public, this is a must-see. The gardens are open on the first weekend of every month (except January), with house tours and special events available throughout the year.
Sutton Forest’s Red Cow Farm is paradise for green thumbs (or black thumbs pretending to be green thumbs). Stroll through the beech walk, cottage garden, woodland, orchard, the walled sanctuary and the kitchen garden, or by the lake. Open from late September to May, Red Cow Farm is a horticultural marvel.
Or if your strategy is to divide and conquer, while the green thumbs wander around Red Cow Farm, you can send the golfers to Mount Broughton Golf and Country Club - also in Sutton Forest - a beautiful course where visitors are welcome. Perfect for a quick nine holes.
Head back into Bowral for some lunch and a wander through the shops, galleries and antique stores this town is so well known for. Pop into Harry's On Green Lane for a crisp white wine and plate of Harry’s salad or a bowl of crab linguine (so yum!). If the weather is nice, sit outside for a bit of alfresco action in the citrus grove.
Walk off the linguine with a mosey through the iconic Highlands shopping experience that is Dirty Janes Emporium, then work your way up Bong Bong Street for some serious retail action and window shopping. Duck into Flour Water Salt or Bendooley Estate Larder for some Sunday morning brekkie supplies (we're talking things like organic, hand crafted artisan sourdough and housemade jams for breakfast anyone? You will die and go to heaven…. because…. bread is life. Ironically….
Bowral’s art galleries are also worth a sneaky peak if your in-laws prefer to peruse paintings rather than shop windows. They'll get their fix from any of our fab galleries including the Bowral District and Art Society gallery. In fact, there are always interesting exhibitions on around The Highlands, so it's worth a look here to plan an afternoon touring the galleries. Bliss!
And if your in-laws are cricket fans, swing by the Bradman Museum. It's an interactive and fun way to celebrate The Don and all things cricket. Wander out onto the hallowed turf of Bradman Oval too (if there's nobody playing, of course!).
Now it's time to treat them to an amazing meal, don't you think? We recommend a visit to the Highlands best-kept secret, Ethos Restaurant at Links House in Burradoo. Head Chef Jason Hughes showcases seasonal and local produce, which is plated up beautifully - it's the perfect combo of contemporary and traditional. Honest, delicious food done right with friendly service.
Links House has such a charming vibe too - your in-laws will love it. Take some pre-dinner bubbles into the garden overlooking Bowral Golf Course while the sun goes down and finish dinner with a post-meal cocktail in the elegant lounge....it's so lovely here.
After your yummy breakfast of goodies from Flour Water Salt – we told you their sourdough was the business, didn’t we?? – pop the in-laws into the car and head out to the historical village of Berrima. This place is a bustling hive of activity on weekends thanks to the wonderfully quirky stores, kickbutt cafes, fine dining spots for foodies and traditional architecture.
Wander around Harper’s Mansion, a colonial Georgian residence built in 1835 surrounded by two acres of rose bushes, fruit and vegetable gardens and a woodland walk. Plus a maze! (They have been closed intermittently thanks to COVID, so touch base with them first to see if they're open).
Now, you know how grandparents are allowed to buy the kidlets billions of lollies even though you grew up on Vita-Weats? Direct them into the Lolly Swagman, a traditional lolly store literally bursting at the seams with anything and everything sweet and delicious. Let the sugar rush commence in 3….2…..1…. then over to the marketplace park so they can burn off that sugar.
There are some lovely shops for them to browse. There's everything from antiques through to clothes; it's all there in Berrima, including lots of yummy stuff for the foodies. Popping into The Little Hand-Stirred Jam Shop is a must so the in-laws can take some delicious jams, relishes, sauces.... you name it... home with them. Our tip? Do not leave Berrima without picking up their Aussie Gentleman’s sauce. Thick, chunky and crazy delicious sauce that you need in your life – stat.
And if your in-laws fancy channelling their inner foodie, Eschalot and Josh's Cafe are open for Sunday lunch - both do fab food, slick service and awesome wine lists. Speaking of wine, if the in-laws are in the mood to taste test some of our finest local wines, swing by PepperGreen Estate Tasting Room and other local wineries and distilleries nearby - Bendooley Estate, Joadja Estate, Joadja Distillery and Tertini Wines - they won't be disappointed and can happily top up their home cellars!
And... you're done! Send them up (or down) the Hume late afternoon…and then you can duck into Australia’s oldest continuously licensed pub – The Surveyor General Inn – for a stiff drink. Just for you!
You've earned it......