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  • gillianvann

Piney Ridge Estate, our story

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

Our story begins in 2012, when some friends of ours in Brisbane quietly, privately had a conversation with us about perhaps, maybe, possibly, relocating to a small village on the outskirts of Adelaide. what?! We were flabbergasted. Since when did Queenslanders move south, and to Adelaide?? Actually, not even Adelaide city. As we sat chatting in the inner-city Queenslander home, comfortable in our chic postcode, it seemed very strange that someone would want to live *gasp* 17kms from the city centre.

So my hubby had a work conference outside of Adelaide and he suggested I fly down just to visit Adelaide, as we'd both never been before, and we thought we would check out this rando village our friends has spoken of.

Stirling, Adelaide Hills.

My memory is hazy but i think it was early winter, and it was charmingAF, still with some hint of autumn colour, and like nowhere else I'd been. We stayed at the Stirling Hotel, which blew our minds with its charm, style and the butter.

Butter, I kid you not.

We were having dinner in the fine dining restaurant at The Stirling Hotel and out came some fresh warm bread and some hand churned organic butter from Paris Creek. That butter changed our life. We already considered ourselves foodies, but to be honest, looking back now, us Queenslanders had no clue what that even meant. Little did we know we were about to embark on what i later called "our university degree in real food". Everything you see out there in socailmedialand #realfood #seasonaleating #farmtotable #paddocktoplate #slowfood #eatlocal All of those concepts were to become our reality.

The city that time forgot

It's like someone put Europe in the bottom of Australia, and then forgot about it.”

Say what you will about Adelaide, or what you think you know, because have you even been here? Yes, it seemed a little slower and behind the times, and we loved that, being such hip inner-city Brisbanites. (Actually we were never hip, I can't stand pretentious hipster culture.) More on that later. Adelaide is a lovely city, and feels more European than any other capital city in Australia, they have roses growing on the verge! Roses grow effortlessly in Adelaide, the way jacaranda and bougainvillea do in Brisbane, or magnolia in Sydney. There is an old-world vibe, with a dash of Australia to keep it from getting too up itself. Again, in the Olympics of being super snobby, my money is on the Old Adelaide Familes - OAFs - against Sydney or Melbs, this town is such a contradiction, down to earth, hipster, snobby, country people and classic bogans. Who knew.

The Adelaide Hills are a delight to drive, with the quiet winding roads through tall gum trees, losing yourself in the pines and the fog (we thought fog was charming that first visit), and the whole vibe of the place felt like a foreign country to us Queenslanders. And it was, as we were to discover, there's a bit of a different culture to Adelaide society, one that i've never really gelled with. They don't know how to welcome outsiders, poor dears, because it's not something they've really had to deal with much. In Brisbane 70% of my mum friends were from interstate or overseas, and no one thought a thing about it, nor considered them outsiders, never once caring what school you went to. Adelaide is a tougher nut to crack, more on this later, if I dare. But there we were, driving around the Hills, eating and drinking and being thoroughly charmed by South Australia. I won't say we were charmed by Adelaide city itself, although a very lovely city to be sure, but a seed had been planted in us, and we returned home somewhat changed.

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