Enter as strangers, leave as friends at Bishop’s Court Estate, Bathurst

Thinking of some time away?  What about somewhere that is an easy drive and perfect for a mid-week or long weekend getaway?  The New South Wales city of Bathurst and a stay at Bishop's Court Estate is a the perfect choice.

Just less than a three hour drive from Sydney, the historic property of Bishop's Court Estate provides the perfect haven and, if you can tear yourself away from all the luxury, relaxation and delicious food the estate offers, the Bathurst area also has so much for you to see, do and experience.

Think historic buildings, interesting museums, delicious dining, wineries and lovely walks, and of course, no trip to Bathurst would be complete without taking a little drive around the Mt. Panorama racetrack.

As we arrive at Bishop’s Court Estate we are greeted at the front door with a cheery “Good morning, I’m Christine and welcome to Bishops Court Estate.  Let me grab your bags, I can’t wait to show you around this gorgeous property, your home for the next 3 nights.”

Firstly we are shown to our stunning room, ‘Botannica’ which is on the ground floor and nestled between the library and formal dining room. This suite has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the properties sweeping, parkland like gardens.  The room is stunning with everything you might need, including crystal bowls filled with tempting hand made chocolates, a large selection of magazines, soft fluffy his and hers robes and a welcoming crystal decanter of port. 

After depositing our bags into this extra spacious suite we are led on a tour of the property by owner, Christine LeFevre a former renowned interior designer, and passionate cook.

We start in the kitchen where we are offered a glass of local bubbly and appropriately the conversation turns to food. “I really love to showcase local products and everything I can source locally, I do," says Christine.   "From the cool climate wines right through to the bacon we serve at breakfast, they all come from Bathurst or the immediate region.”  

"The kitchen really is the heart of the home and our food is such an important part of a stay at the estate.  It is prepared from the heart, it's seasonal, regional, cooked with passion and, our visitors tell us it’s delicious.”

Christine uses the kitchen to also host regular cooking or coffee appreciation courses.

Before moving on Christine explains that anytime we feel like stopping by for a coffee or something a little stronger we are most welcome.  “We want you to feel at home so the kitchen is always open and we don’t mind guests dropping by for a chat with us as we prepare meals,” she says.

Just off the kitchen is the bar area with fridges stocked with cold glasses, wines, beers, local ciders and soft drinks.

A walk around the beautiful gardens reveals many a spot to stop and admire the vegetation. Christine has recently just completed a little  ‘Chooks Estate’ within the grounds of the property.  Here her very own chickens, known affectionately as the ‘Spice Girls’ lay fresh eggs daily.  "You really can taste the difference when eating a truly fresh egg," she explains.

Next, as the property's other rooms are not booked for the first evening we arrive, we are afforded the opportunity to see them.  Each are unique and decorated exquisitely with individual pieces.  The carefully currated pieces – trinkets and collectables – totally enhance each rooms themes which are a delight to discover.  However, I’m glad we were allocated our room upon arrival as it would have been extremely hard to me to choose one room over the other.

The rooms all have their own marble bathroom and some suites also open up onto a beautiful upstairs deck, which as it turns out, is also the perfect place to relax in the early morning with a coffee and the papers or on warmer evenings enjoy some pre-dinner cocktails.  The views across the gardens are exquisite.

Bishop’s Court Estate is a unique property and one of only a few in Australia that boasts a private chapel.  The chapel is accessed off the main lounge room and this area can host events or conferences by day, and dinner for two 12, 20 or 30 at night.  If you are traveling with friends and want to celebrate a special birthday or occasion this stunning venue is just the place and Christine and her team will design a food and beverage menu to suit.

Each morning during our stay we are treated to a leisurely gourmet breakfast set up in either the formal dining room or kitchen, as guests prefer.  We tried both ways and suffice to say Christine and her team certainly spoil you – and yes the eggs are delicious!

The two-storey grand Victorian-style mansion dates back to 1870 when it served as the home of the area’s first Anglican Bishop.  Christine, who purchased the hilltop acreage in 2010 has meticulously refurbished it and she and her team will ensure a stay will far exceed your expectations. (Address: 226 Seymour Street, Bathurst NSW 2795, Australia)

Our verdict: This is the place in Bathurst to stay and a wonderful place to explore and spend time in.  If you are looking for things to see or do in the area Christine has a wealth of knowledge and she will happily point you in the right direction. Bishop’s Court Estate is an entirely luxurious experience and Christine’s friendliness truly makes you feel like a friend rather than a guest. We will be back.

Goddess Tip: If and we mean if, you can bare to leave the property here are just a few of our must do’s:

Vale Creek Wines: About a 15 minute drive away from the estate you’ll find Vale Creek, a vineyard that specialises in Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Vermentino. (438 Cow Flat Road, Cow Flat NSW)

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum: So much more to this museum than you might initially think.  It is a must do and will leave you fascinated. The Museum houses the lifetime collection of Warren Somerville AM whose Somerville Collection of fossil and mineral specimens features some of the finest and rarest examples from around the world and scientifically significant fossils from Australia. Children will especially love to see the Tyrannosaurus Rex and how minerals are used in our everyday lives. For instance, the heart of your computer (the processing chip) and the material you use to seal up gaps around the house are both made from silicon which comes from the mineral quartz.  Glass is made from quartz too.  Don't miss this museum. (224 Howick St, Bathurst NSW 2795)

Legall Patisserie Café: Please don’t leave Bathurst without indulging in some of this cafe's delights – their coffee and pastries are simply divine.  Also you must try the lemon tart – simply magnifique! (56 Keppel Street, Bathurst, New South Wales 2795)

Editors note:

Bathurst has turned out to be such a wonderful city and we will take a look at the area in more depth so stay tuned for more stories on Bathurst shortly. #Amazing Bathurst

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