When I was little we would drive into the country, up the mountains, past this magnificent hotel that marked the top of the Blue Mountains. My Uncle would take my Grandmother and Great Aunt there for tea. I thought to myself ‘when I’m older I will go there, it will be the most glamorous thing I will do as an adult. The height of sophistication’.
It was the jewell of the mountains, a place of decadence beginning life as a health retreat owned by Mark Foy. He was an eccentric department store tycoon. The Hotel is rich with history, guests ranged from Dame Nellie Melba to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (for whom the Blue Mountains were the inspiration forT he Lost World) and most famously Australia’s first prime minister Edmund Barton died in one of the hotel’s suites. It was also used as a troop hospital in WWII.
After it’s dazzling years, and after bushfires, neglect and lack of funding it devastatingly closed it’s doors in 2008 to undergo renovations hese weren’t to be completed utntil 2014. But I had moved to London and would need to wait until I could return.
I was finally able to return for my 28th birthday. It was wonderful. Before our High tea overlooking the megalong valley we did a fantastic history tour with the hotels manager. We learnt about the rollercoaster walk way of cats alley where women at the turn of the century would gossip, the imported mineral water from Germany for the health spa, is said to have had electricity and a working telephone four days before metropolitan Sydney.
and I truly believe it is a gem, and I reached the height of sophistication I always dreamed of.