The Art Deco-inspired five-star Playford Hotel is opening its gilded arms to locals with a variety of luxurious short-stay packages, making for the perfect romantic getaway that doesn’t stray too far from home.
One such package is the Playford’s Artisan Food and Wine Package, which includes a sumptuous seven-course meal with matched wines in the hotel’s glittering restaurant, one night’s accommodation in the luxurious surrounds of a Playford Guest Room, and, of course, a full buffet breakfast for two.
The seven-course meal is what lends this package its ‘artisan’ moniker, and with good reason. Kevin Martell, Playford’s executive chef, constructs a menu every season based on the best in local Australian produce, matched with delectable local and international wines.
At present, the menu rolls through an Australian journey of locally-inspired and composed dishes, including an Australiana appestiser of Kangaroo, macadamia cream and puffed quinoa accompanied by Champagne, which swings effortlessly into a plate of wasabi tinged crab, prawn and avocado with a seductive little McLaren Vale Vermentino to boot.
From there, we jump to succulent pork belly with an Old Vine McLaren Vale Grenache, followed by a palate cleansing finger lime sorbet to clear the slate for the plates to come. First past the post is an eclectically oceanic dish of Barramundi beside seaweed and Tasmanian Sauv Blanc, which is only outdone by what’s next.
The ‘pièce de résistance’ of the evening is a Thousand Guineas MSA Beef Fillet that Martell cooks to sublime perfection beside an appropriately cutting Adelaide Hills Cabernet Franc.
The dinner concludes with a theatrical element normally reserved for the pointy end of televised cooking challenges. After a blood orange sorbet to wash the palate clean, it arrives: a truly decadent glass half-full of hazelnut and crumb, capped by a chocolate disc. Martell verbally dissects the dish for diners before pouring hot chocolate over the disc which then collapses inward, bathing the inside with rich, sweet cocoa.
Following the fabulous freight train of a dinner, guests retire to their Playford Guest Room, or retreat to use the hotel’s relaxing subterranean pool and spa facilities. Eminently appointed, the Playford Guest Room possesses all that one expects of a five-star accommodation, along with luxury pillow menus, waterfall showers and other top quality amenities.
The room also adjoins a peaceful courtyard, complete with a lightly tinkling fountain for when one seeks more natural serenity. While other Playford Guest Rooms also step out into the courtyard, all rooms are fitted with thick curtains to cut out any undesired light or sound, providing for a perfect sleep-in.
In the glow of the following morning, guests return to the restaurant for a full buffet breakfast. Replete with trimmings, this buffet caters to all tastes, with the requisite lashings of bacon and other fry pouring out of the kitchen, plates of lovely fruit, table-service coffee, jugs of fresh juice and glasses of yoghurt, among many other offerings.
While North Terrace’s Playford Hotel is solidly embedded into Adelaide’s landscape, a romantic visit feels like a trip away from the CBD’s hubbub. Such an experience would make a perfect Valentine’s Day getaway.
The writer was a guest of Playford Hotel MGallery by Sofitel