Read our writer's views on this property below
Sue Wallace finds bliss in Bright.
Tucked away in a quiet courtyard in north-east Victoria's popular tourist haven of Bright, Aalborg, a self-contained couple's retreat, oozes Scandinavian style with uncluttered lines and plenty of light. Huge panoramic windows bring the distant tree-covered hills and mountains closer. It's a short 700-metre walk to the town centre.
The owners, German-born Lars Paulsen and wife Gil, fell in love with Bright 20 years ago because it reminded Lars of his childhood spent in the historic German village of Hohenlimburg. They named the retreat after the northern Denmark university city of Aalborg and their love of contemporary Scandinavian interior design. Opened last year, it reflects their "clean and green" environmentally friendly and energy-saving ethos.
Step inside the smart one-bedroom retreat and the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows definitely take centre stage. A clever design has scenic vistas framed in every room - even the bathroom. The timber ceilings and polished concrete floors work well together.
The small kitchenette with local mountain ash benchtop and table has a microwave and mini ceramic cooktop, and is well-equipped to whip up a meal or heat a takeaway.
There's an Italian capsule coffee machine and a small fridge. The open-plan living room has a comfy couch perfect for flopping on and watching television or a movie. A high-pile rug, striped cushions and interesting artwork feature, and Wi-Fi is available.
From the king- size bed, complete with quality linen, you can lay back and enjoy those alpine views, or slip into the timber-framed bath or rainwater shower and gaze out. Wrap yourself in a fluffy bathrobe, put your feet up on a custom-made knitted pouffe and enjoy the serenity of the cool Scandinavian retreat.
Bright has a buoyant food and wine scene, and we head to Tani Eat & Drink in Gavan Street, where Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed provide an outstanding Japanese-inspired menu combined with fresh seasonal produce.
The "Feed Me" option on the new bar menu features a selection of flavour sensations such as okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), tatsuta-age (fried soy chicken) and Sher wagyu bresaola with yuzu and Mount Buffalo olive oil. Tani was named best new regional restaurant in The Age Good Food Guide 2014.
Simone's of Bright and Ginger Baker are other standouts on the food scene.
Chocoholics will be in heaven in the new Bright Chocolate shop in an old brick stable perched next to the Ovens River on Riverside Avenue, where craft chocolate is made from bean to bar in small batches using artisan equipment.
We taste local drops at the picturesque Boynton's Feathertop Winery at nearby Porepunkah; it also offers great deli platters and lunch.
If you want to eat in at Aalborg, there's an electric barbecue on the private deck that overlooks the garden, complete with an outdoor lounge setting, and there's an outdoor shower for cooling off.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
One of the best ways to enjoy Bright in all its glory is on two wheels - take your own bike or hire one. The popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail takes in spectacular scenery with Mount Buffalo in the background. Drop by the Bright Berry Farms on the ride from Bright to Eurobin for a delicious berry cup.
If you are into river strolls and splashes, Bright is perfect, with the Ovens River meandering through the town.
For a bird's-eye view of the area, try paragliding or take to the water on a canoe on Lake Catani.
The town is known for its glorious autumn foliage and jewelled colours.
Scandinavian design-savvy retreat with a cool interior and drop-dead-gorgeous views.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bright is about 326 kilometres, or a 3½-hour drive, from Melbourne. Follow the Hume Freeway then take the Beechworth-Bright exit.
Aalborg Bright, 6 Orchard Court, Bright. Two-night minimum stay, Monday-Thursday, $200 a night; Friday-Sunday, $220 a night. Bookings: 0401 357 329. See aalborgbright.com.au.