gastronomic gusto, photografii, travel

The Royal Mail Hotel.

M is a major procrastinator when it comes to planning holidays. I think he secretly prefers for me to just go ahead and plan the lead-up to the trip – sieve out the best airfare and accommodation deals – so that he can be in charge of the trip itinerary instead.

So, resigned to the knowledge that trip-sniffing comes down to me, it’s about time to start looking around for our year-end vacation. (Sort of, a honeymoon I guess? I don’t really know how to define this anymore.)

And I’m really tempted – irrationally so – to go to The Royal Mail Hotel in the Grampians ranges, Australia, a 5 hour drive from Melbourne (or an affordable AU$50 return train trip – I checked!).

I first saw this amazing place on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, when he visited the hotel’s restaurant, The Royal Mail restaurant. (Start watching from the 2nd minute or so.) Dan Hunter, the restaurant’s creative and culinary mind of Mugaritz fame, has an artistic take on food that emphasizes purity of flavor, seasonality and freshness. Having a vegetable garden with 150 varieties of vegetables, leaves and herbs, as well as an orchard and olive grove certainly helps things, I’d think.

As dear Anthony put it, “It’s so good, it’s depressing.” And hey, if it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it’s good enough for me.

Also, M and I mused that one day, we wanted to be rich enough – and crazy enough – to set up our own little restaurant in the middle of nowhere, complete with expansive veggie garden and seasonal menus too. (Not that anyone would come, since we’re no Dan Hunter. Well, I’m not at least.)

Oh, and check out the view! Oh, the view.

And perhaps if we do make the trip out there, some of it or none of it will be anything like this is… but for now, I’m just going to assume it’s as dreamy and amazing as the pictures tell me it is, and hang on to that.

{source : The Royal Mail Hotel}

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