Six Ways To Live Your Bridgerton Dream In The Southern Highlands

Promenade back in time as Netflix’s Regency-era romp returns for Season Three, escorted by the elegant Bridgerton in Bowral extravaganza from 16-23 April. And whether you’re visiting The Ton for these enchanting festivities or simply searching for a sophisticated sojourn, all year round the Southern Highlands offers decadent feasts, opulent stays, charming countryside and more – all just 90 minutes from Sydney. Read on, Gentle Reader, to learn why the Southern Highlands is the Diamond of the Season and beyond.

  • Make your grand entrance
    Emerald hills garnished with vineyards, grand estates and a bewitching village atmosphere… Bowral’s highlights harken back to a most refined moment in history – and now they’re celebrating Bridgerton’s greatly anticipated return with a host of soirees. As befits such a momentous occasion, Empire Cinemas Bowral will host four exclusive screenings for The Ton before the new episodes hit Netflix (from May 16). Plus, you’re cordially invited to a Regency-themed Garden Party amid the stately grounds of the Milton Park Country House Hotel, where you’ll see and be seen in sprawling formal gardens, and enjoy a host of Bridgerton-themed entertainment. Nearby, Retford Park also entices with a picturesque 1887 homestead, self-guided art trail and a picnic-perfect historic garden for all seasons
  • A most sumptuous banquet awaits
    Exchange meaningful glances across luxuriantly-laid tables as local eateries level-up the culinary indulgences. Savour the region’s finest fare as Harry’s on Green Lane and Plantation Café serve provincial cuisine beneath dramatic high ceilings fit for a Regency repast. Let your curiosity lead you through The Press Shop’s famous blue door for colourful lunches starring seasonal produce, and taste the sweet life with bites and brews from the Gumnut Patisserie, Highlands Merchant, Franquette Creperie or Nick’s. For a fine-dining feast for the senses, take your high-backed seat at Hordern’s as Executive Chef Ben Bamford’s delectable menu features the likes of Duck Wellington, Black Angus Carpaccio and Beetroot Bombe. In nearby Berrima, loosen your corset for award-winning Eschalot, where regional flavours sing in everything from Maugers Lamb Rump to Hibiscus Onions, and the interior styling pairs antique and modern touches for effortless decadence.
  • Sip your way around The Ton
    Raise a toast to Lady Whistledown’s long-awaited new chapter with Sohi’s mouth-watering tipples – their premium gin, vodka and vermouth are available to quaff all over town, including at Hearth by Moonacres, Bistro Sociale and The Royal Hotel. And, let your thirst for discovery lead you along the Southern Highlands Wine Trail, where you’ll sample the region’s cool-climate drops at more than 60 vineyards and 15 cellar doors. Swill Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier, Albariño, Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer at Centennial Vineyards; unwind between the vines at the grand Bendooley Estate; and clink glasses at Mount Ashby Estate, where red, white and culinary delights are served alongside French antiques and lashings of bucolic charm.
  • Shall we promenade?
    Whether you’re courting a suitor or slipping out of the drawing room for fresh air, a gentle wander is one of life’s simple pleasures. Take a leisurely turn through historic Berrima; Australia’s best-preserved Georgian village unveils an intriguing selection of Regency-era relics, including the 1830s Courthouse, convict-built Surveyor General Inn and the National Trust-listed Harper’s Mansion. Bask in the majesty of manicured gardens in Bowral, Mossvale, and Robertson, where lavish plantings reveal nature’s extravagance – especially during the Tulip Time festival each spring. Afterwards, assemble your favourite dukes and duchesses to while away the day with croquet, cycle between quaint villages, or saddle up your trusty steeds for a relaxing meander along the Canyonleigh Trails.
  • Discover the talk of The Ton
    Bowral boasts a bounty of treasures old, new and noteworthy if you’re seeking a modiste-crafted frock for your society debut, exploring the arts, or collecting key pieces to makeover your manor. Start with a visit to Dirty Janes, a unique marketplace where 90 individual sellers peddling all manner of retro, vintage, antique and artisan-made finds. Indulge your guilty pleasure for scandalous storytelling at Books Ever After, a romance-genre specialist home to an impressive selection of special editions to tantalise your imagination. And, take your cue from Bridgerton’s elite and let your impeccable taste in art and furnishings do the talking. The Ngununggula Southern Highlands Regional Gallery, Bowral Art Gallery and Milk Factory Gallery showcase the cultured art and soul of this inspired region, while Suzie Anderson Home has an impressive selection of premium style essentials to create your own Regency-influenced sanctuary.
  • Retreat to elegant chambers
    From plush private residences to luxe suites catering for your every whim, the Southern Highlands offers a host of auspicious accommodations worthy of society’s highest echelon. Revel in the prestige of a grand estate to call your own on the grounds of The Rift Estate. This palatial 19th Century mansion presents a self-contained Coach House to accommodate 13 people, complete with cosy fireplaces, claw-foot bathtubs and lush lawns perfect for croquet and bocce. For a gracious stay amid rustic vistas reminiscent of the English countryside, look no further than the five-star boutique hotel, Osborn House. Nearby, the chic comforts continue at the Georgian Moss Manor, where thoughtful creativity and interior design unite for an exclusive art-hotel experience. Around the town, the historic flair also rolls into the early 20th Century, with the Berida Hotel, Peppers Craigieburn and the Links House Hotel delivering memorable stays where modern amenity and heritage flourishes converge. Wherever you choose to rest your tiara-toting head, you can find your own Bridgerton in Bowral all year round.

Shall We Promenade?

Bowral is the perfect backdrop to enjoy your own Bridgerton-inspired adventure. Suggested promenade below:

  • The Press Shop: Start your day at the iconic blue door of Bowral’s most photographed cafe. Take in the florals and pop inside for a spot tea and a decadent treat.
  •  SoHi: Step next door for a refresher at SoHi, Bowral’s boutique spirits supplier. Explore a world of refined tastes and sophisticated pleasures, don’t miss the carriage parking out front.
  •  Dirty Janes: Pass through the wrought iron gates of Green Lane and step into a treasure trove for vintage enthusiasts and collectors alike. Dirty Janes will have you swimming in Regency-inspired fashion and decor, curated to whisk you away to a world of aristocratic design.
  • Green Lane: Take in the topiary, country citrus and lush greenery of this beautiful outdoor arcade. Stop by boutiques for a whiff of an exotic perfume and pick up a ceramic treasure. Drop into Harry’s for lunch in the library and take in the impressive art collection.
  •  Coach House Collective: Step through the iconic ivy-covered doors and into a collection of artfully curated furnishings and treasures.
  •  Books Ever After: Is this Australia’s only romance bookstore? A search for this hidden gem will be rewarded. Visit over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April to soak up a classical string musical performance. To get there you will pass a floral staircase of dreams. 
  •  Gumnut Patisserie: Stop by the award-winning Gumnut Patisserie for a Regency-inspired sweet treat.
  •  Corbett Gardens Rotunda: Set yourself up for a picnic or take shelter under the floral rotunda and behold the beauty.
  •  Retford Park: This stately home is a 5 minute drive from Bong Bong Street and a must-see on your day out in Bowral. The romantic pink estate is surrounded by hedge mazes, blanket gardens, sculpture and water features and is the perfect backdrop for your regency portrait. Open from 10am – 4pm daily (speciality hours for the week), you can enjoy a spot of croquet and skittles on the front lawn or promenade through the elegant rolling gardens. Please note Retford Park is a part of the National Trust of Australia: a $15 entry fee applies and goes towards the conservation of this historical property. 

Be sure to stop by The Parting Glass for a pre or post-screening cocktail! Other not-to-be-missed favourites include Bespoke Letterpress to join the letter writing society and pen a letter to your loved one and Bowral’s Sweets and Treats to sample regency confectionery including violet & rose creams and lemonade fizz balls. 

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