Whenever Sydney life gets too much the answer is the Blue Mountains. It used to take the first Europeans weeks of treacherous journey to reach them, they were so impenetrable , but these days it’s only an hour and a half drive . R&R destination : Lilianfels hotel perched on a cliff with beautiful vistas .
This place is like going to visit your rich , slightly crazy aunt . It’s a little bit of luxury, a little bit of kitsch and a whole lot of homely. I got myself a room with a view, read all the papers while eating scones, jam and clotted cream, had a nap by the pool, got a massage, watched people play tennis with a pimms in my hand, went to Darleys’ for a delicious, dizzily expensive dinner then took my tipsy overindulged ass to bed.
Like a starfish I woke up stretched over the bed . Birds chirped and sunshine invaded the room. Beyond the windows the valley was enveloped in the famous blue mists and the air smelt fresh and crisp. I jumped out of bed and went on a long trek through the bush, then came back to a large cooked breakfast. All I wanted to do was go back to my room for a long nap, but it was time to get back to the grind. On my way back I mourned all the other great things to do in the mountains- a visit to the Leura village and a cheeky lunch at Silk’s Brasserie , homemade dessert at Katoomba’s Common ground cafe, a ramble through for fur and old books at vintage stores, cable car ride across the valley, that great jewellery find at an antique store , picking apples at a farm , or my favourite : doing nothing at all.