Read our writer's views on this property below
Cranky with the weather at home, Ashleigh Bonner heads south to find a place that can satisfy a foodie and skiier's desires.
NSW, I love you, but you're bringing me down. After Sydney's wettest June in six years and an unseasonably mild July, I don't know whether to grab the gumboots or pull out the beach towel. It's time for a change.
The Victorian high country is a spectacular pocket of Australia, and the perfect spot to dabble in interstate infidelity. And this love story starts at the Kilnhouses at Porepunkah, near Bright.
The trip from Sydney is just under seven hours, though it's easier if you fly to Albury then jump in the car for the hour's drive to Porepunkah.
Once we pass Gundagai's famous Dog on the Tuckerbox and navigate our way through Albury, the drive into Bright is breathtakingly beautiful. Blue gums shadow the road so only flickered sunlight passes through and the muted colours of winter and frost-tipped pine trees are captivating. The historic corrugated-iron tobacco kilns, which are synonymous with the area, can be seen in abundance among the verdant paddocks.
Once one of the country's most important tobacco-growing areas, the high country is dotted with tobacco-drying shacks.
Most remain derelict, but the owners of our digs, Jim and Clare Delany, have re-purposed some into luxury accommodation.
After the long drive, we find the Chinaman's Kilnhouse. As dusk sets in, the temperature has dropped to a brisk seven degrees and the first thing we notice upon entering is the heated, polished-concrete floor radiating warmth.
Named after a nearby waterhole, which in turn was named as a reminder of the influx of Chinese prospectors during the gold rush of the 1850s, the pad is styled with a perfectionist's touch.
With two huge bedrooms both with king-size beds, and a fabulously equipped kitchen and dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the views, the space is right for four guests.
However, the living area is the place we want to be. With Scandinavian minimalist chic informing the decor, we decide it's more Eames than Ikea.
The Kilnhouses are a great base for foodies exploring the bounty of the high country. If food is the way to the heart, then we just fell head over heels in love. Nearby, there's Beechworth Honey, Milawa Cheese Company, Boynton's Feathertop Winery, the Bright Berry Farm and artisan butter aplenty at the Myrtleford Butter Factory.
And no gourmand's visit would be complete without an Italian cooking class with local chef Patrizia Simone, one of the most renowned personalities in the region. Last year, she opened her own cooking school in Bright. We sign up and tackle a menu of cauliflower and hazelnut lasagne with a taleggio and gorgonzola sauce, made from scratch.
Patrizia and her husband, George, are as warm as their cosy kitchen and they fill our glasses as we cook, leaving us with extra cooking skills, a taste for left-field lasagne and the feeling we have a new Italian mama.
If you would rather someone else do the cooking, you can still sample Patrizia's dishes in the family's one-hat restaurant, Simone's of Bright, just across the road.
We opt to spend our second day skiing at Falls Creek, an hour's drive through the valley. The new electronic Snow Pass dramatically cuts waiting time for lifts.
Break-ups are seldom easy, and leaving this stunning area is heart-wrenching. I may be parting ways with my winter fling but my love for the Victorian high country will span a lifetime, like all good love stories should.
WHERE The Kilnhouses, Cavedons Lane, Porepunkah, Victoria. 0400 733 170, kilnhouse.com.au.
GETTING THERE Drive the M3 to Albury. At Myrtleford turn right onto the Great Alpine Road. Or fly to Albury then hire a car at the airport and drive to Porepunkah.
STYLE STATEMENT Perfectly presented Scandinavian chic, yet cosy.
HOW MUCH Chinaman's Kilnhouse from $325 a night for two people.
PERFECT FOR A foodies' winter break with a side dish of skiing.
COOKING THERE Classes start at $150 a person. simonesbright.com.au.
TAKE THE KIDS? Definitely. The Kilnhouses are big enough for a family of four.
KUDOS A breakfast basket brimming with fresh local produce.
MORE INFORMATION visitvictoria.com
The writer was a guest of Tourism Victoria and the Kilnhouses.