Arriving At Lilianfels Resort & Spa On A Very Foggy Day In Katoomba

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Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa review by White Caviar Life. A foggy day at the Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa.
Lilianfels Resort & Spa was covered by a blanket of fog on the day we arrived. Photo credit: Vivienne She

It’s late summer 2022. With its inviting outdoor pool and picturesque mountain location, the Lilianfels Resort & Spa drew an idyllic picture in my mind. Its convenient location is so close to the Echo Point lookout and the weathered sandstone peaks of the Three Sisters. Looking at the weather forecast for our 10-day mountain retreat at the Lilianfels, delivered us a whole week ahead of none stop heavy rain. I had wanted to go to the Blue Mountains during the Australian winter of 2021; however, we were forced to cancel our trip due to a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. So this time around, I was eager to have a break despite how the weather might turn out. So, postponement or change of our plan was not an option.

A Train Ride From Central Station To Katoomba

We went by train, as we have done in many other countries. From Sydney, the train ride from Central Station to Katoomba is about two hours, in a luggage rack and toilet-equipped version of a suburban commuter train. After settling in his seat and preparing to read a book, Kent looked up and said: ‘If you are lucky, you might get to see a fog or two up the mountain!’ ‘Oh, well, we shall see…’ I thought, but I didn’t give it much thought. The rain covered almost our entire journey; until we reached our destination. A shy sun came out to say hello, together with a friendly local lady we had met who also alighted at Katoomba railway station…

‘Are you visiting the Blue Mountains? I hope you enjoy a pleasant time here!’ she said, with a warm smile.

Her warmth and welcoming attitude reminded us that we certainly left the notorious grumpiness of Sydney! The friendliness did not stop there. Paul our taxi driver was apologetic about the damp weather, and during our short ride, recommended where to dine and what restaurants to avoid.

An Early Check-In To Our Charming Deluxe King Room

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa review by White Caviar Life. The Deluxe King Room of Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa.
Our charming and elegant Deluxe King Room. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

We were one hour early than the resort’s 3pm check-in time. I was delighted that we didn’t need to wait for our Deluxe King Room to be ready. Since we were about to call this room our temporary home for the next 10 days, I was hoping it’d be cosy and… photogenic! Well, you know us, Kent and I will certainly turn it into our photographic studio! From the moment we opened the door, it did not disappoint… Matching Wedgwood wallpaper and drapes. A half-canopy bed with gold-and-black brass and iron headboard. Two tall door-size windows with views of greenery, classic timber furnishings; a marbled bathroom, and most importantly for me, a full-sized bath.

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa review by White Caviar Life. The marbled bathroom of the Deluxe King Room in Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa.
Our marbled bathroom with a full-sized bath and a separate walk-in shower. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

The interior of this room reflects a bygone era. I think the use of the colours: pink, red, beige, and white made it so charming and elegant. A bowl of fruit, a bottle of sparkling wine, and a welcome card written by the hotel manager rested on the desk. All of these set us in a holiday mood and made us feel welcomed.

‘A Fog Or Two’ Turns Out To Be A Blanket Of Fog

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa review by White Caviar Life. A foggy day at the Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa.
‘A fog or two’ turns out to be a blanket of fog! Photo credit: Vivienne She

After our routine Day One hotel shoot, which always begins with the unused bathroom. Kent and I decided to take a walk back into Katoomba to look around and buy some snacks. By the time we stepped out, the shy sun was long gone. As far as our eyes could see, everything was covered by a blanket of fog. ‘What did I tell you? If you are lucky, you might see a fog or two!’ said Kent. I was astonished by the scenery, imagining I was on the set of Wuthering Heights. Even Kent admitted that he had not seen the Blue Mountains in such heavy fog. If this was the result of the exchange from a sunny holiday, then I did feel lucky to settle for this rarer, moodier, and more mysterious scene.

Writer and blogger Vivienne She at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa. Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa review by White Caviar Life. A foggy day at the Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa.
Wearing a scarf and a coat over a jumper in late summer at the Blue Mountains. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

A Stranger In Katoomba

Katoomba RSL All Services Club. Katoomba RSL Club. Katoomba travel tips.
Light showers had replaced the fog when we were about to reach Katoomba town centre. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Kent has been to Katoomba many times. As we strolled along Katoomba Street, Kent recalled how he used to come to Katoomba as a kid and as an adult, for days out, a wedding, and even attended its Winter Magic Festival. Whereas my 30-year gap (well, almost) between my last visit and this time, made me feel like a stranger in town. All I remembered was Three Sisters and that’s about it. When we reached Katoomba town centre, the drizzle had replaced the fog.

Katoomba town centre. Katoomba street view. Katoomba travel tips by White Caviar Life.
A very quiet Katoomba. Photo credit: Kent Johnson
Katoomba town centre. Katoomba street view. Katoomba travel tips by White Caviar Life.
Dark clouds were covering the town by the time we found a restaurant to dine in. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

‘It is very quiet here!’ I said to Kent. Surely it was way passed the shops’ opening hours, but we met only a handful of people walking on the main street. COVID-19 played a big part in this as we knew, to rub salt into the wound, the week-long heavy rainfall in New South Wales also put off people’s desire to travelling. And that’s why we felt good about not cancelling our trip, especially at a time when regional towns need tourists most.

Dinner At Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese Restaurant

Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant in Katoomba. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant review by White Caviar Life.
The nostalgic feeling we had for the typical old-style Australian Chinese restaurant allured us to this place. Photo credit: Kent Johnson
Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant in Katoomba. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant review by White Caviar Life.
A lineup of cute animal ceramics, Lion-Dance-theme stuffed toys; a lucky bamboo, and colourful ice pops packages on the counter caught my eye. Photo credit: Vivienne She

The nostalgic feeling we had for the typical retro Australian Chinese restaurant in nearly every country town allured us to Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese Restaurant. Besides its decor we liked, I craved duck, and they had Cantonese Roast Duck. The menu is full of mouth-watering dishes such as Salt & Spicy Pork Ribs, Honey Eggplant; Chinese Hot & Sour Soup, Prawn Dumplings and more. But for me, nothing beats a plate of Roast Duck with Plum Sauce. And to accompany that, we chose a lighter dish: Stir-fry Scallops with Vegetables. There was a very generous amount of meaty scallops on the plate, but I found the roast duck just a little chewy for my liking. Overall, good serviceable Chinese food at a friendly price.

Roast Duck with Plum Sauce. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant in Katoomba. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant review by White Caviar Life.
Nothing beats a plate of Roast Duck with Plum Sauce if you ask me. Photo credit: Kent Johnson
Stir-fry Scallops with Vegetables. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant in Katoomba. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant review by White Caviar Life.
We appreciated a very generous amount of meaty scallops on the plate. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Kent and I enjoyed our last sips of Chinese jasmine tea before we headed back to our hotel on foot. The drizzle had become rain, and the temperature had dropped even further. While in Sydney I was wearing a T-shirt; here I put on a scarf and a coat over a jumper. ‘A perfect night for a hot bath!’ I thought and I loved the idea. Our bellies were full and we knew our room awaited us would be dry and warm. Our drenched holiday had just begun, and we were enthusiastic to make it interesting and memorable.

Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant in Katoomba. Three Sisters B.B.Q. Chinese restaurant review by White Caviar Life.
A cosy Cantonese meal in a retro Chinese restaurant was a highlight of our Day One in Katoomba! Photo credit: Kent Johnson
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Vivienne is a traveller, author; story teller and sometimes a muse. She seeks a balance between travelling in comfort and style with value; perhaps being the daughter of a hotelier helps there. Through White Caviar Life, you will share in her travel experiences, stories and tips that she hopes to help enhance your own travel.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I just read your blog post about Katoomba! I was very happy to see you chose to dine at Three Sisters BBQ Chinese. ❤️ I’m a local and it’s our favourite! 🥢☺️
    Glad you enjoyed your stay despite the weather.

    • Thank you for your read and feedback RCR. I have also checked out your IG account and am rather impressed by your sharing of retro Chinese restaurants. They are disappearing fast and definitely worth to be documenting! 🙂

  2. I remember one I loved in the Gabba, Brisbane in the 80s. Great won ton soup – always a good barometer of the rest of the menu – Formica tables, large airy space – wonderful!

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