Luxury stay at Spicers Peak Lodge in Maryvale, Queensland
Four courses into our seven-course degustation dinner, I begin to struggle. So far, we have had a dish consisting of celeriac with mushroom, another made of veal tongue with whey shallots and parsnip and a salmon dish with black sesame, watercress and creme fraîche, otherwise known as soured cream with butterfat.All are served with matching wines, which the sommelier describes in detail.To me, each carefully crafted and colourful dish looks more like something you would expect to see on the wall of a modern art gallery than on a plate.As I tuck into the pork belly with scallops, corn and avocado, I feel my stomach start to expand.But there is still another meat dish to come. Next up is the beef, which has been slow cooked for four hours, served with beetroot and grains.
To my relief, after that we have a “pre-dessert” mango dish, served with lavender.”If you were somewhere fancy you’d call it a palate cleanser”, says our 21-year-old chef Mark Collings, who is from New Zealand.Finally, it comes time for dessert: banana with yoghurt and chai.Exhausted from my own gluttony, I practically roll down the corridor to my room and contentedly drift off to sleep to the sound of the crackling open fire.The 12-suite Spicers Peak Lodge is one of seven Spicers properties – six in Queensland and one in the Hunter Valley in NSW.Before my stay at the lodge, in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, I had heard the properties described as “restaurants with beds”. From my experience, it would certainly seem apt.
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