The Adelaide Hills is a popular tourist spot and we have much to offer up here in the way of scenery, food and some wonderful wineries. While there are tons of charming B & B’s, guest cottages and three star hotel/motels, we have been a little short of luxury beds, with fairly limited options for those who want to really spoil themselves – or someone else. My friend Clare, of the hugely popular Sticky Rice Cooking School, has put on her clever pants and done something about that!
Clare and her husband established Sticky Rice, in Stirling – just ten minutes up the freeway from the city, in 2008 and her school has become something of a mecca for food lovers, both local and visiting. She offers a range of cooking classes which encompass all the Asian cuisines and also classes on Spanish, Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. All the classes offer excellent tuition by highly experienced chefs, but she aims to teach more than just a recipe or technique. Clare wants her clients to come away from her school with new skills and culinary achievements, but also with a deeper understanding of their chosen cuisine and full of inspiration from the carefully designed and crafted surroundings she has created.
With this in mind, she has extended the experience by creating three stunning luxury villas on the premises. Each villa is architecturally designed, individually styled and seamlessly blends their distinctive interiors with the private walled gardens by the use of floor to ceiling glass. Guests can choose from the tropically inspired “Bali”, the stylish monochromatic “Zen” or the clean lines of the Japanese inspired “Yoko”. Each is fabulously appointed with correlating, comfortable furnishings, underfloor heating, seductive bathrooms and truly exceptional kitchens.
As is only fitting in accommodation attached to a cooking school, the kitchens in each of these villas is, as far as I was concerned at least, enviable. Fully fitted out with top-of-the-range appliances from Electrolux, Clare has been a little surprised to find that many of her guests arrive with large boxes of produce and announce that they are staying in for the evening to cook in the kitchen of their dreams!
Of course, for those who are a little more inclined to be indulged (like me) there are plenty of great dining options in the Adelaide Hills and in the immediate surrounds of Sticky Rice, or it is a very short drive down the hill to Adelaide’s many fabulous restaurants. Alternatively, take a gourmet tour or one of Clares fascinating classes, completely immerse yourself in the experience (along with a glass or three of fine South Australian wine) and amble casually back to your villa to relax and rest, possibly even waking up unsure of what country you are really in.
These absolutely gorgeous villas fill an accommodation gap in the Adelaide Hills and their design and attention to detail is a credit to Clare and her family. Her vision has created a truly landmark attraction which adds significantly to the appeal of the Adelaide Hills as a holiday destination – and, I suspect, not just for those from out of town.