Vacations & Travel - - Tried & Tested - By Avi Melniker park­

I lead a busy city life, some­times far too busy for my own good, and with a mile­stone birth­day to cel­e­brate, I found my­self crav­ing an es­cape to the Blue Moun­tains for some much needed R&R. It’s an ef­fort­less 90 min­utes’ drive from Syd­ney to the Park­lands Day Spa, set amid the pic­turesque Grose Val­ley, yet it feels like a world away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the big city. Cruis­ing slowly down the tree-lined drive­way to the charm­ing coun­try es­tate, I pass seven lux­ury gar­den cot­tages set among sprawl­ing Eng­lish gar­dens and beau­ti­fully man­i­cured grounds, flooded with win­ter sun­shine and a sym­phonic pot­pourri of but­ter­flies, cock­a­toos, geese and ducks. I’m es­corted to one of the five dou­ble treat­ment rooms up­stairs with a per­fect view of the back gar­dens and a heav­enly ar­ray of white fluffy cush­ions and an­gelic flow­ing cur­tains. I find my­self ex­hal­ing al­ready and all I’ve done is lay down on the ta­ble. My mas­sage ther­a­pist en­ters the room and pro­ceeds to give me what can only be de­scribed as one of the best mas­sages I have ever had in my life. There was magic mov­ing through her hands and ra­di­at­ing across the ta­ble. I could feel the ten­sion in my back and shoul­ders melt­ing away like freshly churned but­ter, while na­ture’s sym­phony con­ducted its per­fect har­mony out­side in the gar­dens. Next time, I am def­i­nitely com­ing back to Park­lands as an overnight guest.

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