Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas and new year!
I can’t wait to share another beautiful year with you all!
As most of you probably know, 2017 for me was a year about challenging myself to embrace change and to live more spontaneously, as such my goal for 2017 was to travel once every month – and if you guys have been following my Instastories on @whitneylouise you’ll know that I hit my 2017 goal with a bang!
I’m so excited to share with you my final getaway for 2017 – a design driven trip away to 2017’s Hotel of the Year – Jackalope – thanks to INFINITI and the luxurious INFINITI Q50.
As you know, my life is definitely driven by design and the little details in life – being in the design industry means that my day to day life is all about minute details and the little things that enhance our experiences.
For me, driving has always not only been about function, but also about the experience. I’ve always believed that a journey is enhanced when your mind is focused on the fundamentals – which the Q50 makes incredibly comfortable and stress-free with its personalised recognition of the driver’s seat, navigation preferences, climate, audio preferences and performance settings – customised and tailored exactly for you.
Having previously had the experience of being behind the wheel of an INFINITI Q50, I was extremely excited to take this baby down the coast for a bespoke luxury getaway.
Our journey started in the bustling streets of the Melbourne CBD as we stopped by Vacation Coffee for a quick pourover before we embarked on our 90minute drive down to Red Hill.
For those of you who live close to the inner city, you’ll know what I mean when I say that city drivers can be a tad intrusive (at the best of times)… I’ve always appreciated the technology that goes into the vehicles that we spend so much of our lives in. For me, having Predictive Forward Collision Warning, 360 degree cameras and forward emergency breaking have always enhanced my driving experience as it takes (most) of the worry out of driving and allows you to take a breath and worry that little bit less – I can promise you the amount of times that forward censored emergency brakes have saved my life and insurance bill is honestly a tad bit embarrassing… We can only control our own behaviours and react proactively to the behaviours of others – which is made incredibly easier when technology is 10 steps ahead of us.
Our familiar drive down the coast to Red Hill brought us some inner peace and tranquillity from form bustling urban lifestyle. The sky is brighter, air is fresher and grass is definitely greener in Australia’s renowned wine region. As we pulled into the lush vineyards of Jackalope, we were greeted with a 30ft art form of a geometric Jackalope.
We were promptly greeted by front of house and given a tour of the grounds – my gosh it was breath-taking. Every façade of Jackalope is carefully considered, from the decadent bar at entry to the extensive attention demanding wine cellar as you walk into the 30,000 bulb chandelier dining room. The guest suites are tucked behind the main dining area for a bit of privacy and tranquillity.
We were lucky enough to have booked the ‘All the Guilty Pleasures’ package that included a beautiful caviar and vodka martinis on arrivals, a five-course tasting menu with matched wines at Doot Doot Doot and all the bells and whistles. I would definitely recommend booking this package to enhance your experience at this beautiful regional gem.
Our weekend was filled with gastronomic experiences at both Doot Doot Doot and Rare Hare, strawberry ice creams at Sunny Ridge Strawberry farm, massages, enjoying a dip in the pool, a drive down the coast to pick up some olive oil at Cape Schanck and a lot of lounging around doing a whole lot of nothing!
Now having spent three days and two nights at this boutique hotel, my number one advice is to go with no expectations and be blown away by the intricate details and thought put into every facet.
I do recommend booking the vineyard facing rooms that give you a gorgeous panoramic view towards the beautiful lush vineyards.
As we walked into our beautiful room, we noticed straight away the minimal design and appearance (interiors and architecture by Carr Design Group), the room was sleek in appearance and only contained the essentials, nothing more nothing less. The philosophy behind the design at Jackalope is one that I can resonate strongly with – everything was designed and placed with purpose and intent, luxurious in experience but minimal in appearance. We noticed small sample sized Le Labo perfumes that were delicately placed on the bed – the scent itself was musky, woody and its idiosyncrasy with nature was at one. There was also a beautiful welcome note alongside a bottle of wine and our caviar and wine. Having stayed at decadent boutique hotels across the world, my benchmark has always been set very high for accommodation experiences, yet small but thoughtful gestures like these always go a long way in my book.
We began our Saturday morning with a complimentary breakfast at Doot Doot Doot, the variety of delicious yet considered options available made us feel very happy on the inside – we tried a range of cuisines ranging from conventional eggs and bacon to an Indonesian inspired rice breakfast. Following our bright and beautiful first meal of the day, we drove down to our friend’s farm only minutes away and then visited Sunny Ridge for a gorgeous strawberry ice cream. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious the fresh strawberries from Sunny Ridge were! You really do have to try them for yourself! And they were ginormous too!
After a lazy morning, we headed back to Jackalope for a five-course tasting menu at Doot Doot Doot – my expectations for tasting menus have always been set quite high, with recent trips to Port Phillip Estate and Lindenberry absolutely taking my breath away. Doot Doot Doot did not disappoint, every ingredient was considered and articulately placed to enhance the other ingredients – I am also a big believer in the philosophy of paddock to plate, whereby kitchens grow their own produce. The matched wines also complimented each course perfectly, I remember thinking how detail oriented and well informed the sommelier was about each delicate wine that was being served.
Following a slow and lazy lunch, we were both more than ready for a long and relaxing massage facing the gorgeous vineyards – I remember the massage beginning, followed by me waking up as it ended – which in my opinion is the best indicator of a relaxing massage!
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the grounds and driving aimlessly around the surrounding neighbourhoods in search of nothing but peace and tranquillity. What I love about driving in the countryside is the amount of freedom you feel and the ability to really test the performance of the engine. After hours of driving past cute farm animals and fruit orchards, we made our way back to Jackalope for long baths and a relaxing nights’ rest whilst star gazing, which is exactly what one needs nearing the end of the year.
I really can’t quite put words to accurately describe both the experience at Jackalope and driving the INFINITI Q50 – all I can say is that the actual experience of both, will blow you away. So find some time or make some time in this new year to allow yourself to enjoy the little pleasures in life, to enjoy the little intricate details that enhance your way of living.
As mentioned, my philosophy in life and in the way I consume experiences and products is that everything should be designed with purpose and intent, luxurious in experience but minimal in appearance. There is a rewarding tactile sensation with every press of a button, the detailed level of craftsmanship and the sensation you feel when the engine roars in sports mode - the INFINITI Q50 ticked all of those boxes. I can’t wait to explore more places in this beautifully tailored driving machine.
“You sense. Hear. See. You are whole and inspired to move boldly, without any boundaries. Our actions are the ultimate expression of who we really are.” – INFINITI Australia
As usual, all opinions in the above are purely mine and those of my experiences. All experiences for every individual may differ, and as always, I urge you to do your own research before making any decisions.
A collaboration with INFINITI Australia.