Next to Bliss, Bright review: Bliss not to miss

Read our writer's views on this property below

This stylish and spacious apartment is the perfect fit, writes Sue Wallace.

T-shirts, swimmers, nightdress, books and newspapers have been dumped unceremoniously from my bag minutes after arriving at Bright's newest accommodation, Next to Bliss.

Planning to cycle to a popular berry farm, I am frantically hunting for shorts to go over my stretchy, hide-no-sins bike shorts.

To me, Lycra is a "dirty" word and, while I am happy to breathe in and pull them on, it's my good old-fashioned shorts worn over the top that hide the results of a tad too many desserts.

Ten minutes later, I have to concede those old faithfuls must be on top of the washing machine at home and I am faced with baring my Lycra-clad body or grabbing my nightdress.

Pride swallowed, I venture out on the popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail that skirts the foothills of the scenic mountains and as the kilometres clock up, my Lycra phobia vanishes.

Beautiful plump blueberries and blackberries are our reward as well as "an impossible-to-say-no-to" homemade raspberry ice-cream.

It's a 26-kilometre round trip and, once back at Next to Bliss, I collapse on the cream leather couch in the open-plan living room and gaze out over tree-covered hills and mountains.

Just like its next-door sister property, Bright Bliss, which was finished last year, the just-opened, stylish two-bedroom apartment boasts that wow factor when you unlock the door.

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The light and spaciousness impress, as well as attention to detail. Cream and pastel colours work well with the red-hue polished timber floors and chic furnishings. The galley kitchen is well-equipped with everything you need for a great meal and there's an espresso machine for a quick caffeine fix.

Guests can dine at the breakfast bar or timber dining table or head outside to the deck, where you can throw a steak on the electric barbecue.

A retractable awning provides shade in summer and striped deckchairs beckon you to put your feet up.

The spacious main bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows opening to the deck has a king-size bed dressed in fine linen. The second bedroom also has a king-size bed, which can be converted to two singles. Attractive artwork adorns the walls and there's plenty of wardrobe space.

And then we ate We stroll to Bright's newest restaurant - Tani, where chef Hamish Nugent, of Dinner Plain's Tsubo fame, offers an impressive menu with Japanese influences. An eight-course degustation features delicacies such as Harrietville hot-smoked freshwater salmon with buttermilk and dried orange potato, spanner crab with egg custard, salt bush air-dried bonito and puffed rice as well as two praise-worthy desserts.

The dealmaker The oversize bathroom with a free-standing spa bath is perfect for daydreaming while checking out the nearby gum trees. There's also a "rainforest" glass shower.

Stepping out Lace up your runners and follow the meandering Ovens River as it weaves its way through Bright.

VISITORS' BOOK

Next to Bliss

Address 2A Blue Wren Close, Bright.

The Verdict Bliss out among the gumtrees.

Cost For two people (one bedroom) weekday $275 a night, weekend — $295 a night. Extra tariff applies in peak periods and for the second bedroom.

Bookings Phone 0407 614 232; see nexttobliss.com.au.

Getting there Bright is a three-hour drive north of Melbourne on the Hume Highway. Turn on to the Great Alpine Road to Bright or take the gourmet food and wine route through Milawa.

Perfect for A romantic getaway, couples' retreat or family break.

Wheelchair access No.

While you're there Take a cruisy ride on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail amid spectacular scenery. Bright is home to excellent restaurants such as Simone's and cafes including Ginger Baker. Enjoy a spot of wine tasting at Boynton's Winery and try a brew or two at the newly renovated Bright Brewery.