Lilianfels and Darley’s
Lilianfels is fance-ay. It has toile wallpaper and tasteful black and white lino cut prints on the walls and delightful staff that are all polish and no spit. The grounds have hedges and fountains and all the things that indicate ‘quality and prestige’ to people who drive high-end 4WDs.
But here’s the thing: the rooms were kinda meh. The water pressure in the bathrooms was dreadful, the WiFi was weak and there was very little phone reception (which I know isn’t their fault but still, NO RECEPTION).
I am sceptical about luxury because I often think we are duped into paying way too much for something wrapped in pretty paper. I think the accommodation at Lilianfels is a little bit like that. I would definitely go back in summer to laze around the outdoor pool that overlooks the Megalong Valley and enjoy the gardens but I would be reluctant to stay inside for too long.
Now that’s out of the way, let me tell you about Darley’s, the on-site restaurant where I had one of the best meals of my life.
There’s an open fire roaring away in one of the rooms, the chairs are plush and the luxury price tag is justified. Darley’s is pure elegance. From the white uniformed staff to the monogrammed china, the whole place reeks of refinement. The maître d’ is the embodiment of charisma and the food? Well, the food. I had the degustation which kicked off with an amuse bouche of cucumber jelly and moved through courses of beetroot, quinoa and goat’s cheese salad, scallops, a 60 degree egg, Patagonian toothfish, venison and quite simply the best dessert I have ever had that featured apple sorbet, crumble, apple crisp and a marshmallow. I loved ever skerrick of it.
Have you stayed at Lilianfels? What did you think?