While we were in the Barossa Valley we stayed at a bed and breakfast called Almond Hill. We found it by a random internet search and it seemed nice, and it was a decent price so we booked it. It turns out that it was hands down the best place we've ever stayed at. It's a family home that happens to have an adjacent space, essentially a mother-in-law suite, that sits on a hill overlooking the Yalumba Valley. We were the only guests and had our own mini-house basically- really nice! They also had a family cat who roamed around all over the grounds. She was super-friendly, and since we were missing out kitties we were more than happy to give her a home. We named her Talulabelle.
Now, this B&B was different in one fundamental way than every other one we have stayed in. Generally, the managers cook you breakfast. This place didn't. They just provided fresh eggs, cheese, bacon, butter, tomatos, mushrooms, and home made bread and an outdoor range to cook on, along with a fully stocked pantry. Here's what the little kitchenette looked like.
It seemed like a hassle at first, "Wait. I have to come out here and pay money to cook my own breakfast?" But it was totally awesome, and really a lot of fun since it was winter. We got up, put on our robes, and then made an epic breakfast. Cheddar cheese scrambled eggs with diced tomatos and mushrooms, cooked bacon on the side, toast and jam, and yogurt and muesli. Oh, and fresh-squeezed orange juice (we didn't make that though). All eaten out in the fresh air, looking out over the beautiful Barossa morning. How good does this look!?
Needless to say it was a fantastic room, and I haven't even talked about the fireplace yet. It's very rustic. A lot of Australia hasn't really caught onto insulation yet, and this place was essentially a log cabin. If it was freezing outside, it was going to be freezing inside. But we had a fireplace, so we could go to sleep with a roaring fire and little tea candles to light the night. Pretty romantic stuff.
Both mornings when we got up and when we came home at night Talulabelle came to greet us. We think it's because she loved us more than any other guest there ever, but it probably had more to do with Laurel putting out a saucer of milk every time we saw her.
Almond Hill had about an acre of property which was devoted to a few animals to graze on. They had two donkeys, two sheep, and an alpaca name Uncle Rupert. We loved Uncle Rupert. Here's Laurel feeding him some oats.
And here is one of the sheep. Greg tried to pet him but he was too shy.
Like I said, we were big fans of Uncle Rupert. He was not as big of a fan of us until he realized we had oats.
Along with the oats, they provided carrots to feed the donkeys. Greg thought the donkey was just going to take a bite of the carrot and he could feed them for awhile. The donkey had other ideas. The carrot went out, and he sucked the entire thing into his mouth. If Greg hadn't let go, fingers might have also been on the menu.
So, as you can tell, we are kind of in love with this place. So, if any of you are ever planning on vacationing in the Barossa Valley, you have to stay at Almond Hill!