“Routes du Bonheur” the French catchphrase describes the art of creating your own personal “Road to Happiness” by journeying around the countryside. Sixty guests were given a glimpse of three new Relais & Châteaux “roads”, recently at an elegant Sydney cocktail party at The Mint with an exquisite menu by Executive Chef Hugh Whitehouse from one of Australia’s newest Relais & Châteaux hotels, Saffire Freycinet, on the east coast of Tasmania, with wines from Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks in Otago, New Zealand, and Pommery Champagne. And then there was the surprise guest: actor Sam Neill.
Sam Neill’s New Zealand
In his “Routes du Bonheur” Sam Neill traces a route from the wilderness of New Zealand’s Huka Lodge at Taupo to Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet in Wanaka, Otahuna Lodge in Canterbury and to his own winery, Two Paddocks in Otago.
Sydney’s celebrated Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Tetsuya Wakuda takes us on a journey from his best fishing spots near Hamilton Island’s qualia resort to the Wooden Boat Centre on Tasmania’s Huon River, the oyster beds of Wineglass Bay and a few nights at Saffire Freycinet resort.
Julian Robertson’s Tour
US hedge fund manager and hotelier Julian Robertson’s itinerary takes travellers on a journey to his three magnificent properties – The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs by the Bay of Islands, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers at Hawke’s Bay and his newest creation, the 11-suite Matakauri Lodge, just 7km from Queenstown’s centre.
The Launch at The Mint
He was such splendid company: I’m afraid I might have monopolised the time that night of Justin King, General Manager from one of Australia’s newest Relais & Châteaux hotels, Saffire Freycinet. He’d flown to Sydney with his Executive Chef Hugh Whitehouse, who created the scrumptious food for the soiree using some of Tasmania’s best produce: sugar-cured ocean trout with Shima wasabi, Huon Valley roasted root vegetable frittata and Flinders Island lamb. We even saved a little bit of room for dessert.
The itineries are available on relaischateaux.com