We turn off the main highway and wonder if we are on the right track. The bush is so open and secluded, in a way that feels like it’s part of nature, but I don’t think a retreat could be located here.
The gate is the only sign that we are about to return. It’s the only way we know we’re on the top of Spicer’s private Blue Mountains retreat, Sangoma.
It’s hard to believe that there are only five rooms. Even if you just come for a meal at the restaurant, Amara.
We are taken to the balcony to enjoy the birdsong and panoramic views. Then we moved to the dining room to have our delicious meal.
Amara, led by Will Houia as head chef (who was also a delight), creates seven-course degustations every day ($125) for dinner and five-course lunches from Friday to Sunday. That’s what we came for today.
The restaurant takes pride in using only the best organic, seasonal beef, cheese, and hero products from the same area (in fact, the majority of the produce is sourced within an hour’s drive). This restaurant’s food philosophy is “a simple and natural approach to cooking.” It’s good.
The five-course vegetarian degustation lunch was $105, and every course was amazing. I love to eat, but I hate to cook. My favorite course, for example, was the King Edward potato sandwich with sour cream and apple. The sound is batty, but the taste is *chef’s kiss*.
A retreat with such a small tasting portion size and an exclusive degustation made me think it would be, let’s say, a bit snobby. The truth couldn’t have been further from the reality.
The staff made the experience. Whether they were waiting on us or just happened to cross our path while working in the retreat, they are friendly, down-to-earth, and respectful of privacy while being super friendly. The experience was very cozy.
You can spend a day in luxury with the $ 265 Luxurious Day Trip package. This includes a two-course lunch at Amara and a 60-minute treatment at Spa Anise.
You’ll probably be the most chilled person in the world by the end of the day.