Kingsford Homestead, South Australia
South Australia is renowned for world class wine regions, chefs preaching the joys of eating farm-to-table foods and a countryside where the pace is slow and laid back. An accommodation that immerses you in the lifestyle is Kingsford Homestead, located on the edge of the Barossa Valley. This iconic wine region is one of the oldest in Australia and it’s where you’ll find the oldest commercially producing grape vines, originally planted in 1847, and fabulous wines that you’ll be able to sample at the hotel.
As soon as you walk through the slate flagged entrance of the 5-star boutique homestead—once part of the set for the popular television show, McLeod’s Daughters—you’ll be transported back in time. Commissioned in 1856 by British colonist Stephen King, the two-story building in the Georgian style, still showcases original features like sandstone tiles from Edinburgh and a Gothic cedar staircase and buffet table.
Although the table is cluttered with magazines and fruit bowls, once you lift the edge of it you realize it opens a secret passageway down into the property’s expansive stone wine cellar. This is where you’ll find over 400 local and international wines. Because Kingsford Homestead is all-inclusive, guests can enjoy sampling any of these free of charge either in the cellar during a structured tasting or at a candlelit degustation dinner. Additionally, refrigerators fully stocked with wine, beer and spirits are in the living room and kitchen for guests to help themselves.
Their food and wine program emphasizes the culture and history of the area with three or five course pairings that highlight Kingsford Homestead’s signature Barons of the Barossa labels. Top local winemakers like Rockfords, Hentley Farm, David Franz and Peter Lehmann are poured and all dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients. Devised by Chef Stuart Oldfield and his team, the menu also features special “Kingsford on a Plate” creations that reflect upon the history of Kingsford but with a modern twist. One signature dish is a six hour slow cooked daube of beef. At one time this meal would have been a simple meat and vegetable stew but today Chef Oldfield adds some flair with a Barossa Shiraz reduction. Other stellar items include poached South Australian king prawns, a slow roasted Barossa lamb with a Cabernet jus and a parfait of duck with aged Barossa port.
Kingsford Homestead welcomes just 14 guests to one of six well-appointed suites or the self-contained Stonemason’s cottage at the rear of the property. Many of the rooms boast encompassing views of the property’s gardens as well as the surrounding countryside and vineyards and the small number of guests allows for an intimate social experience. Before dinner, innkeepers Pat and Sally Kent, encourage guests to get to know each other over cocktails and canapés as the sun sets. While each of the seven accommodations is uniquely designed with charming old world touches, all offer modern amenities like a choice of pillows, fine linens, sumptuous robes and slippers, free Wi-Fi and L’Occitane en Provence amenities in the bath.
Kingsford Homestead tries hard to be an experiential property, not just a place where people drop their bags for a night or two. One truly indulgent experience is their Outdoor Bush Bath. Located in a secluded wooded corner of the 225 acre property is a deep standalone al fresco bathtub—big enough for two—where you can relax with a glass of wine, listen to the rustling of leaves, the singing of birds and the trickling of a nearby stream. Additionally, Pat and Sally enjoy taking guests on guided nature walks to spot kookaburras, parrots, eagles and kangaroos or if you choose they’ll happily give you a map to wing it alone. And for those who want to explore the vineyards and beyond, the innkeepers will tailor a customized itinerary based on your wishes that includes activities like winery tours, hot air ballooning, gliding and golf.
Above all, Kingsford Homestead is a luxury accommodation for those who want to feel like they’re far away from city life but also want access to some of Australia’s top attractions.