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COUNTRY AUSTRALIAN

MARCH/APRIL 2018

YOUR CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Off the beaten track ON WA’S CORAL COAST IN THE ARCADIA VALLEY BELLINGEN & BEYOND

NO. 126 VOL. 21 NO. 2 AUS $8.95* NZ $8.90 (both incl. GST)

A 19th-century manse reborn HIGH-STAKES FASHION FOR AUTUMN LOVING LIFE IN PROVENCE | MEANDERING IN MUDGEE

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In 2015 the questions were:

Have you heard about Australian Craft Gin?

Have you tried any? “Australian gin makers are showing the world how it’s done” - The Daily Telegraph, April 2017

“Australia is experiencing a gin boom led by small distilleries...” - Max Allen, Australian Financial Review, June 2017

“Australia’s appetite for gin is nothing short of insatiable right now.” - The Age goodfood, September 2017

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In 2018, gin lovers are asking:

How many have you tried and which ones do you like? With over 200 Aussie Craft Gins, try some now and discover which ones are for you.

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See these and more at gintonica.com.au S

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contents

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In this issue ... in each issue 6 8 12 102 136 142 144

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Editor’s letter Diary notes Baker’s dozen Out and about You beauty Off the shelf Mailbag

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profiles

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14 A resurrected manse A crumbling but glorious relic of 19th-century architecture has been born again in Queensland’s oldest provincial city, Ipswich

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The Bloss menagerie Bloss Hickson has a passion for almost everything and everyone and an uncanny knack for sweeping all around her up in her enthusiasm Naturally inspired A much travelled couple has put down roots in a beautiful bushland setting in the heart of Victoria’s spa country High stakes From stable door to trackside, our fashion pages are inspired by the cooler weather ahead and looks that travel from work to casual country socialising Bellingen bounty Susan Weil believes in the power of simplicity and these days she makes a living sharing her home with visitors Coastal collaboration It was a meeting of like minds when a WA couple teamed up with an interior designer in their hometown of Geraldton A Provençal life Queensland-bred Adi Bukman is living our dreams, one sun-kissed day at a time

98 Sweet sensations Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery shares some of its celebrated recipes 104 Camp equality Canberra Grammar School students give up holiday time for a community project 116 Alliance Françiase Helen Matthews indulges her passion for all things French on WA’s south coast

gardening 108 Pleasing Prospect Having developed three large gardens in Victoria, John Jones and Doug Neale decided to do it all again in Tasmania

travel 84

Meandering through Mudgee With fine food, loads of wineries and some intriguing accommodation options, Mudgee provides a great short break

product news 138 Store strolling 146 Stockists

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contents

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66 26 Subscribe today

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Receive a 12-issues subscription to Australian Country magazine for $53.70. That's HALF PRICE for two whole years’ reading pleasure. See page 140 for more details of this fantastic offer.

COUNTRY AUSTRALIAN

MARCH/APRIL 2018

C V

Y LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE YOUR CONTEMPORARY COUNTR

21 NO 2 MARCH/APRIL 2018

Off the beaten track

ON WA’S CORAL COAST IN THE ARCADIA VALLEY BELLINGEN & BEYOND

NO. 126 VOL. 21 NO. 2 AUS $8.95* NZ $8.90 (both incl. GST)

A 19th-century manse reborn

NO. 126

AUTUMN HIGH-STAKES FASHION FOR G IN MUDGEE

australiancountry.net.au

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LOVING LIFE IN PROVENCE | MEANDERIN

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EDITOR'S LETTER

They say it takes a village to raise a child and pretty much the same applies to a magazine. In the hurly burly of getting each issue to press it’s easy to overlook l k the h many ny hands that are involved in its production. We start with the fascinating people who let us disrupt their lives and homes with photo shoots and interviews. In this issue alone the AC team has travelled to the Arcadia Valley in central Queensland, Hamilton in Tasmania, the Coral Coast in WA, Bellingen on the mid-north coast of NSW, and Victoria’s Spa Country. We’ve also been to Mudgee for our travel story and once again, Bob and Wendy Lapointe generously allowed us to use their horse-training facility, Muskoka Farm, on the Hawkesbury River as a location for our fashion shoot. When we get all this material in, it then goes to our wonderful designer, Rachel Henderson, who selects the best images and designs the pages, then to our production, proofreading and prepress people, who finesse the words and make the images sing. Meanwhile, our ad reps are beavering away, encouraging clients to support our endeavours with their advertisements. Behind the scenes, there are yet more folk working in our circulation, marketing, subscriptions and online departments. As always, my heartfelt thanks go to each and every one of them. And, of course, to our readers, who so kindly buy the magazine and provide the most wonderful feedback on each issue. Each and every one of you is vital to Australian Country and we appreciate your support. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have putting it together, and we look forward to bringing you the next one, which goes on sale April 26.

KIRSTY MCKENZIE, EDITOR kmckenzie@universalmagazines.com.au

helping out on this issue are ... KEN BRASS PHOTOGRAPHER Ken has spent his entire career on the road in Australia and overseas as a journalist and photographer. He has been busy again this issue with shoots in Queensland, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. He brings his inimitable enthusiasm and sense of humour to our autumn fashion shoot and beauty pages.

MIRIAM VAN COOTEN HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST Miriam started in the make-up and hair industry 20 years ago in film and television and has worked on fashion pages for magazines across Europe and Australia. She has won many awards for bridal work and does many weddings the Sydney region. She teaches at one of Sydney’s elite make-up schools and tutors personal makeup and hairstyling at her studio on Sydney’s northern beaches.

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Australian Country cover photography by ANASTASIA KARIOFYLLIDIS

facebook.com/AustralianCountry zinio.com

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2017 2

2018

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ver Medal

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don't miss ...

DIARY NOTES

c omp i l e d by k i r s t y mc k e nz i e

Make a date to celebrate these diverse events around the country. A PR I L 2 8 - 29 ( Q L D )

COUCALS OPEN GARDEN Coucals Garden at Mount Crosby on Brisbane’s southwestern periphery should be bursting with colour for its autumn opening. Chrysanthemums, salvias, dahlias, golden lycoris and gladioli are among the many plants flowering in the two-acre garden, which is open from 9am to 4pm on both days. Entry is $8 and all proceeds are donated to the Red Cross. coucalsgarden.com

Clockwise from above: Coucals Garden; Trundle’s ABBA Festival; John Williamson and Jessica Mauboy headed for Winton; Julia Creek’s Dirt n Dust.

A PR I L 1 3 - 1 5 ( Q L D )

DIRT N DUST FESTIVAL The population of the tiny outback town of Julia Creek swells from 300 to 3000 during the weekend of the annual Dirt N Dust Festival. See triathlon teams in action, back a winner at the Artesian Express Outback Horse Races and enjoy a bush feast at the Country Tastes lunch. There’s live entertainment every night including a PBR bull ride. dirtndust.com

A PR I L 1 9 - 2 2 ( Q L D )

M AY 5 ( N SW )

WAY OUT WEST FEST

TRUNDLE ABBA FESTIVAL

To celebrate the reopening of the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the western Queensland town of Winton is hosting the Way Out West Festival with a program of music and other entertainment including bush poetry recitals, a bluegrass breakfast and an official opening lunch. Highlights of the musical line-up will include The Black Sorrows, John Williamson, Jessica Mauboy, The Living End and Russell Morris. There will also be a recovery concert by Busby Marou at the jump up near the Age of Dinosaurs attraction. wintonswayoutwestfest.com.au

Dancing queens around the country are dusting off their platform heels and lycra suits for the annual ABBA festival in the central western NSW town of Trundle. Organisers expect more than 6000 festival goers to converge on the town’s Berryman Oval to catch the entertainment, which is headlined by tribute band Bjorn Again and will also included performances by Rhonda Burchmore, Lara Mulcahy, Amitie, Kotthi Groove and dancers Alana Patience and Tristan Macmanus. trundleabbafestival.com.au

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Neil Donovan

don't miss ...

M AY 1 1 - 2 0 ( WA )

ORD VALLEY MUSTER Clockwise from above: Mirima dancers at the Ord Valley Muster’s Kimberley Moon Experience; the Big Red Bash; Bluesfest Byron Bay; Historic Winton; Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival.

A black-tie dinner for 600 guests on the banks of the Ord River is one of many highlights of the Ord Valley Muster held each year in Kununurra in WA’s Kimberley. The action-packed program for the nine-day event includes a country rodeo, rugby matches, indigenous food, culture and dance, a challenging bike ride, and what’s billed as the the district’s biggest party, the Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience, an outdoor concert that attracts more than 3500 people. ordvalleymuster.com.au

J U LY 1 0 - 1 2 ( Q L D )

BIG RED BASH Billed as the world’s most remote music festival, the Big Red Bash returns to a massive Simpson Desert sand dune near Birdsville in south-western Queensland. This year’s stellar cast is headlined by John Farnham and includes the Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels, Russell Morris, Busby Marou, Daryl Braithwaite, Adam Brand, Cate Ceberano and The Wolfe Brothers. The three-day feast of music and entertainment includes desert drag races, indigenous craft workshops and all the fun of camping in the outback. bigredbash.com.au

M AY 1 7 - 2 0 ( Q L D )

BLUES ON BROADBEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL

Joseph Mayers

The Robert Cray Band, the Screaming Jets, the Backsliders, Lloyd Spiegel and Jon Stevens are among the headline acts at the annual Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival on the Gold Coast. More than 160,000 visitors attended the festival’s indoor and outdoor venues last year. While all the concerts are free, seating is allocated for The Star Gold Coast’s Jon Stevens show, so check the website for more details. bluesonbroadbeach.com

M AY 26 - 27 ( V I C)

HISTORIC WINTON

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M A R 29 – A PR 2 ( N SW ) Terry Wright

Australia’s longestrunning historic motor racing event clocks up its 42nd year in 2018 with three days of non-stop entertainment for motoring enthusiasts. The event, which is held at the Winton Motor Raceway near Benalla, is hosted by the Austin 7 Club and will feature more than 400 historic racing cars and motorbikes from the 1920s to the 1980s. There will also be a display of veteran and vintage vehicles including a section devoted to heritage emergency vehicles. The weekend kicks off with the Benalla & District Classic Car & Motorbike Tour, which gives participants and spectactors a chance to see all the vehicles on the road. historicwinton.org

BLUESFEST BYRON BAY From modest beginnings in 1990 Bluesfest Byron Bay has grown into Australia’s premier blues and roots music festival attracting more than 100,000 patrons during the Easter long weekend. Bluesfest showcases music from around the world on 120 hectares at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just north of Byron. Expect more than 200 performances across seven stages over five 12-hour days, as well as camping for up to 6000 people, licensed bars, more than 100 food and market stalls, undercover food courts, beer gardens, and children’s entertainment. bluesfest.com.au Let us know about your forthcoming event by writing to us a Locked Bag 154, North Ryde NSW 1670 or emailing kmckenzie@ universalmagazines.com.au.

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HERITAGE ORDERS

A resurrected manse Chance led a couple of history buffs through the creaky front door of a heritage-listed manse in Ipswich, Queensland’s oldest provincial city. so began a new chapter for a crumbling but glorious relic of 19th-century architecture. By Ta mar a Simone au, photogr a phy Ana sta si a Kari ofylli dis

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HERITAGE ORDERS

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HERITAGE ORDERS

Clockwise from right: An inviting spot to take five after picking citrus in the backyard. Cushion and cake stand from magnolialane.biz; the kitchen benches were fashioned from support beams that had to be replaced; a butler’s sink in the kitchen; the chimney was restored to its original brick.

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Andrea and Peter Ferrando never know who might knock on their front door. Their home has stood since 1883, built as a manse for the Central Congregational Church during the pioneering days of Ipswich. It has sheltered scores of people in its time, some who can’t help opening the rustic front gate to take a trip down memory lane. “We had a man who was in his 90s visit us, and he had lived in the home in the 1930s as a young boy,” says Andrea of one particularly memorable guest. “In fact, he and his family were the last to live in the building as a manse. His dad was a pastor and after his family left, the house was turned into flats.” The old man’s visit soon turned into a journey back in time for the couple and their three kids, Emily, Alice and Henry, who were all intrigued with his tales of days long gone within the walls they now call home. “He even remembered the camellia bushes [at the entry] and told us how he and his brother used to pull the buds off the bushes and throw them at each other,” Andrea says. “He gave us a photograph of him and his dog at the front of the camellia bushes — just as they are today. He also sent us photographs of his family outside the house and told us many stories about life in the street and which room was which.” His stories, and any part of the old manse’s history that Andrea and Peter can manage to dig up is cherished,

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HERITAGE ORDERS

Clockwise from right: Henry at the piano; William Morris wallpaper matches the era; a plush velvet sofa in the living room; an antique gramophone and chaise in what was the pastor’s office.

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and woven into their quest to bring the home back to its former glory. They’ve embraced every time-worn imperfection — opting for restoration over renovation. “We want the house to look its age and to capture the narrative of the home,” Andrea explains. “We have repaired where we can. We have had to resist the temptation to follow the latest trends and let the house guide us.” Paint scrapings from heritage architects have been colourmatched, floors have been stripped on hand and knee to their original boards, and wallpaper and drapery sourced from the archives of the Victorian-period design kingpin, William Morris. Even weathered and rotting supports that had to be replaced have been reborn as kitchen benches. “We have treated the house as if it is an antique — don’t remove the patina and just repair where absolutely necessary,” Peter says. “We have remained true to the home’s design, respecting the architect’s original intent and the features of the Victorian period.” The home was designed and constructed by a member of the original church, architect Samuel Shenton, who later became the mayor of Ipswich. His brief was to create something that would be a credit to the denomination — the first of its kind in Queensland, joining several similar faiths to form one parish due to the low population

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HERITAGE ORDERS

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HERITAGE ORDERS at the time. In the 1930s it was sold and turned into flats, later housing returned soldiers after World War II. Rooms were rearranged, and Andrea and Peter have found telltale signs on the old timber floor. “There were markings in the floor where there was a bath in the big lounge and many little rooms were created,” Andrea says. “We have had many people come by saying they lived in the house when there were flats here and one gentleman told us that he was one of the people who removed the original stairs to build an airraid shelter in the backyard. Another guy told us that he had a tiny room under where the stairs had been.” Remarkably, the exterior has endured, and it was heritagelisted in 1992. Decades on, and the interior has become a living tribute to the architecture, resourcefulness and design trends of the time, thanks largely to Andrea and Peter’s passion and persistence. And thanks to a fateful day seven years ago when a meeting with a builder to discuss the beginning of a renovation on another home fell through at the last minute. With their morning now freed up, the couple made what turned into a life-changing decision. “We went to see the manse for its first open house. Peter

Clockwise from above: Inky blue walls and bedlinen from Domayne make for a moody master bedroom; a handmade vase by Mel Lumb Ceramics sits on the antique bedside table; knick-knacks on display; a quiet spot on the verandah.

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HERITAGE ORDERS

Clockwise from right: Alice and Henry on the tyre swing; the Ferrandos frequently host al fresco harvesttable meals with their relatives and friends.

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walked through and said, ‘Let’s buy it’,” Andrea recalls. We offered the asking price that day and that was it.” They’ve been toiling away on their diamond-in-the-rough ever since. “The kitchen floor was 70mm out of level from one side to the other,” Peter says. “There was a lot of rot and some rotten boards on the verandah had been overlaid with tiles and some of the handrails downstairs were metal.” They’ve sought out specialist tradespeople to right the wrongs of the decades of adjustments, and spent countless weekends stripping, repainting and polishing. “We have a philosophy of peeling back and revealing the house’s original finishes, along with its scars,” Peter says. It’s a process that has captured the imaginations of Andrea and Peter’s children along the way, and forever stamped the names of a tireless and dedicated couple into the pages of a piece of Queensland history. “We are just passing through,” Andrea says. “There will be just as many people living in the house after us, as have lived in it before us.”

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Roving rounded bobbin, $35, scout house.com.au, 03 9525 4343 Garden Bloom wallpaper, in teal, $218/roll, kingdomhome.com.au 0404 882 663

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Tango Loop occasional chair, $680, globewest.com.au, 1800 722 366

Haymes Interior Expressions, in Vivid, $39.80, haymespaint.com.au

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Lyon mantle clock, in bronze, $16.95, schots.com.au, 1300 693 693

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OUTBACK LIFE

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The Bloss menagerie Bloss Hickson has a passion for almost everything and everyone and an uncanny knack for sweeping all around her up in her enthusiasm. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

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OUTBACK LIFE Central Queensland farmer, environmentalist and artist Bloss Hickson says she built her first cubby house at the age of six, and has been building houses ever since. The most recent “cubby” is a rock retreat on Huntly, the cattle property she runs alongside her brother, Rhu, in the Arcadia Valley midway between the tiny towns of Rolleston and Injune. Bloss shares her property with a loose affiliation of fellow creatives, international backpackers and environmentally concerned friends. During the week her husband, Rodney Perrett, lives 80 kilometres away on his station, Bungawarrra, and they spend weekends and holidays together.

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The self-appointed president of the Anti-Rectangle Society explains that it took her 17 years to complete her new home, which is off the grid and runs on solar power and water stored in tanks and dams. “It’s a form of adobe construction,” she says. “You start with a steel mesh frame and fill it with rocks. Then you nail chicken wire to the frame and render it with a mixture of cow manure and ant hill. This was the fast part as we invited family and friends to dung throwing parties and we all became quite adept. To maintain the surface you coat it with a milk paint made by mixing milk powder and carb soda.” As Bloss lived in another house she had built on the property, there was no pressure to complete the rock house.

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OUTBACK LIFE But a big birthday party last year gave her the impetus to employ a local builder to timber line the interior and install the recycled windows and doors, which had been passed on by people who no longer had use for them. “It took me as long to sand and glaze the windows as it took the builder to finish the house,” Bloss recalls. “It was a bit of a challenge for him as he had to work with a crooked foundation.” As Bloss explains her backstory, she has always marched to a different drum. At the age of 16 she stunned the staff at her conservative boarding school in the NSW Southern Highlands by announcing she intended to become a carpenter. “Frensham girls weren’t supposed to be carpenters,” she says. “So I went to uni to study

architecture, but was kicked out after two terms. So I went to the Northern Territory to become a station cook. I didn’t lose my love for building though.” When her mother passed away suddenly, she returned to her family property at Cloncurry. Always artistically inclined, she developed her talents when she inherited her mother’s paints and gradually her passion for painting and mosaic and “just about every other form of creative expression” developed. At the same time, Bloss and her brother, Rhu, were entering ballots for government subdivision of brigalow blocks in the the Arcadia Valley and they were both successful. “It was pretty much unheard of for a woman

Clockwise from above: Bloss’s stone house is clad in locally milled timber; Bloss and Rodney at Huntly; the splendid landscape of the Arcadia Valley.

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OUTBACK LIFE

Clockwise from opposite: All the windows and doors in the house are recycled; the Huon pine table set for tea; Bloss has filled the home with her own and friends' artworks and splashes of colour.

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to go in the ballot,” Bloss recalls. “In fact, the application form had male applicant, where you were supposed to put your name. So I amended it with a little ‘fe’ in front of the ‘male’. I’d actually forgotten all about the ballot and was telling my other brother, Bood, about my plans to go to India because I had been studying Asian philosophies. He said ‘you’re going to need a lot of money when you get back because you and Rhu have both won blocks’. I was doubly lucky as my block had already been drawn by a peanut farmer from Kingaroy who gave it back. Needless to say, I skipped India and Dad and Rhu helped me build my first house.” While Rodney drew his land as one of the first brigalow

blocks in 1966, Bloss was one of the lucky last in 1986. “The deal was you had to live on the land, have it fully stocked within three years and keep the brigalow under control,” she explains. “Rodney abided by that one, but I was less scrupulous.” Bloss’s love of the land grew as she started farming cattle and gradually she has become more and more interested in organics and permaculture. These days everything she does aims at touching the earth lightly and improving her land. She scored a major win when a local coal mine wanted to expand its operation and she successfully applied to plant more trees as carbon offset for the development. “I think I became the first farmer in the district to actually plant trees rather than pull them out,” she says. “Now that the land is regenerating it attracts lots of birdlife and ecologists come out every year to monitor the new birds. The golden-tailed gecko was endangered and it has now returned to its homeland. There is nothing more satisfying than riding my horse through the bush and monitoring all this progress.” Bloss has also developed a significant plant nursery on the farm and cultivates local trees including the dreaded brigalow and ooline, which is an endangered remnant rainforest tree. She met Rodney through his first wife, Tricia, as they shared a passion for the arts and attended painting camps together and even had a joint exhibition in Brisbane. Bloss moved off-farm for a while and headed off to Palm Beach in Sydney, initially to study environmental science. “Unfortunately that was just depressing so I moved over into film making,” she recalls. ”After three years I missed home too much and when I came back we had great fun with the local school kids making Rolleston the Rollywood of the Outback.” Not long after her return there was a move afoot to build a dam which would have flooded her tiny hometown. “There seemed to be an attitude that nobody would

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OUTBACK LIFE

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OUTBACK LIFE

Below: The bedroom is a loft suspended above the open living area. Below right: Even the toilet has been given the mosaic treatment.

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miss Rolleston,” Bloss recalls. “So I became determined in my own little way to make Rolleston a place that would give people passing through a reason to stop and have a look around. We started by updating a park in the centre of town and moved the old post office and the Purbrook Hut, an old boundary rider’s hut, into the park as an exhibition centre for local artists. Then I had the bright idea of putting a commercial kitchen into one of the buildings, but that gave the council the shudders, so we bought a coffee cart instead.” In true Bloss style, the cart was soon covered in mosaic

tiles and during the tourist season (from Easter until October) it is manned every day by a band of local volunteers, who turn barista and serve home-baked goodies. Profits from the venture go towards more community projects. “Bloss is the ultimate networker,” Rodney says. “She has an idea, then gets everyone behind the project.” Another major achievement has been restoring the local cemetery, which had fallen into serious disrepair. “A couple of locals didn’t have headstones, so we started out intending to fix that situation,” Bloss says. “Then it just snowballed and we ended up restoring about 30 headstones, putting in gates and big rocks to create an entrance. If Rodney has an artform, it’s headstones. He’s genius at it.” Meantime Bloss has been busy filling her house with her own and friends’ artworks. The bathroom is a montage of mosaics and paintings and sculptures are everywhere. Pride of place in the dining area goes to a massive Huon pine table. “Rod and I picked it up when we were on holiday in Tasmania,” Bloss explains. “The grain tells you it was cut down by convicts in Strahan. It had a few defects, but it makes a perfect tabletop. So we put it on the top of the troop carrier and drove it back to Queensland.” And that pretty much sums up life according to Bloss. Carpe diem, make the most of the opportunities that come your way and have a jolly good time taking friends and family along for the ride.

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

Naturally inspired A much travelled couple has put down roots in a beautiful bushland setting in the heart of Victoria’s spa country.. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

They say you have to travel to better appreciate what you have at home. For Victorian couple Max and Tania Irsic the adage proved true after an extended period travelling around Australia. “We’d lived in some amazing places including the Daintree and Airlie Beach,” Tania recalls. “But eventually we missed our family in Melbourne too much, so it just made sense to move closer to them.” As life-long nature lovers, they weren’t prepared to dive back into the full-on hurly burly of the city, so they settled on a property at Hepburn Springs in the heart of Victoria’s spa country. ”We used to come up here as kids to collect mineral water from the spring pumps,” Tania recalls. “The Swiss Italian migrants who came here during the goldrush brought with them a tradition of taking the waters, so the springs have been an attraction ever since. The Hepburn Springs Bathhouse was built in 1895 so bathing in, and drinking the mineral-rich waters, are tourist drawcards. The water from each spring tastes slightly different, so people either have a favourite, or walk from spring to spring collecting from each of them.” The Irsics add that the founding migrants also brought a rich food culture to the district. These days Alla and Alan Wolf-Tasker’s Lake House restaurant and accommodation and Sault restaurant are beacons on any food lover’s map of the region and there are many other bistros, pub

Clockwise from left: Max and Tania collect water from Hepburn Spa springs; carp and ducks happily coexist in one of the ponds in the garden; the property backs onto a conservation zone and it was this proximity to unspoilt bushland that attracted them to the block.

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

Their land backs onto a 16-acre (6.5-hectare) rural conservation zone that leads into a golf course, so there is no chance that they will ever be built out. Clockwise from above: A firepit in the backyard is a great spot to sit around and enjoy visiting wildlife; the house has been designed to touch the earth lightly.

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

Little wonder then that six years ago, Max and Tania were delighted when they found their block of land for sale in the hills behind Hepburn Springs.

dining rooms and cafes catering for locals and tourists. Everyone is keen to take home Istra smallgoods, fresh organic vegies, Holy Goat cheese, olive oil and chestnuts from Lavandula farm, Tuki trout, Loddon Valley cod and wines from the nearby Macedon Ranges. Little wonder then that six years ago, Max and Tania were delighted when they found their block of land for sale in the hills behind Hepburn Springs. Their land backs onto a 16-acre (6.5-hectare) rural conservation zone that leads into a golf course, so there is no chance that they will ever be built out. Although they are only one and a half hours from Melbourne, the place is wildlife central, with a colony of kangaroos, echidnas, wombats and possums frequent visitors and all manner of birds availing themselves of the bird baths in the water devices dotted around the garden. Tania, who studied but never completed an architecture degree, and Max, who was a plumber in a previous life, decided to build their house as much as they could on their own. And so, with Max as a very patient foreman instructing Tania as his apprentice, the couple embarked on one of the biggest challenges of their more than 30 years together. “I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t hard work,” Tania says. “We did sub-contract trades such as plastering and electrical, but apart from that we did it all ourselves. It is very satisfying to be able to look at the completed house and say we hand built it.”

Clockwise from left: The living area in the guest apartment has a fireplace for the chilly winter months; the property enjoys lots of visitors; the master bedroom; the kitchen in the main house is part of the living area and big windows provide great outdoor connection.

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

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OUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY

“I’ve got at least 10 more houses in me. There’s an overwater house, a treehouse and a snow house, just for starters. But we won’t build ourselves again. I’m afraid our backs are broken.”

Mindful of the need to earn a living, the Irsics incorporated a self-catering apartment into their plans. While their home is all about blending with the natural environment and maximising views of the surrounding bush, the adjoining apartment is designed for hunkering down in luxury and cosying up around the fire. There’s a kitchen with all mod cons for those who choose to stay in and cook for themselves and a huge bathroom with a spa bath for two for luxurious soaking. One wall is filled with a fish tank to make bathing there an even more mesmerising experience. Max and Tania say running the B&B has been an enriching experience, with many guests leaving as friends. “It also gives us the freedom to continue to travel when we wish,” she says. “If we want some time out, we can always take it off the website and put it back up again when we return.” While the Irsics add that they couldn’t be happier with their lifestyle choice and location, they’re not entirely ruling out the possibility of another move or even another building project. “I’ve got at least 10 more houses in me,” Tania says. “There’s an overwater house, a treehouse and a snow house, just for starters. But we won’t build ourselves again. I’m afraid our backs are broken.”

Clockwise from left: A bathroom with a view; tropical notes in the living area; a hunting trophy; a rainwater showerhead and native grasses continue the indoor/outdoor connection that extends throughout the house and its adjacent guest accommodation.

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fashion

High stakes From the stable door to trackside, our fashion pages are inspired by the cooler weather ahead and looks that travel from work to casual country socialising. P h oto g r a p hy by K e n Br a s s, h a i r & m a k e- u p Mi r i a m Va n C o ot e n, A s s i s t e d by k at n a gy

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fashion Smitten Merino Oatmeal roll neck top, $189, with Smitten Merino chunky sleeveless wrap, $299, Thomas Cook stretch moleskine, slim-leg Wonder Jean in Sand, $99.96, Akubra Tablelands hat in Brown Olive, $185, and Thomas Cook women’s Tarndanya boots in Light Tan, $169.95.

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fashion

Above: Goondiwindi Cotton navy and white shirt, $149, with Goondiwindi Cotton navy quilted vest, $179, and Goondiwindi Cotton white Pocket jean, $129. Left : Smitten Merino Ellie dress in Flame, $249, with Smitten Merino orange Multi-Stripe poncho, $199, and Thomas Cook Tarndanya boots, $299.95. australiancountry.net.au

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fashion

Above : Smitten Merino Teal boat-necked, ž-sleeved, striped Audrey dress, $269, with Thomas Cook Jagger wool felt hat in Fawn, $69.95 Right : Thomas Cook Naomi shirt, $99.95, moleskine Wonder Jean, $99.95, Pat vest, $169.95 and Chelsea boots, $169.95, with an Akubra Traveller hat, $200. 46

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fashion

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fashion

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fashion

Above : Thomas Cook Maisie print shirt, $99.95, Mary Vest, $159.95, Wonder Jean, $99.95, and Chelsea boots, $169.95, with Akubra Coober Pedy hat, $220. Left : Birds Nest Bird Keepers navy and white striped High Low Midi dress, $89.95, worn with Thomas Cook Everyday pink, horse motif scarf, $29.95. australiancountry.net.au

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fashion

Above : Goondiwindi Cotton fine Merino and cotton spotted print jumper in charcoal and white, $159, with Thomas Cook Lynda slim-leg jean, $99.95. 50

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Sup∞rfin∞ m∞rino wool fashion

Emerald Green Pinstripe Scarf & Black Kowloon Maxi Dress

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Smitten Merino Emerald Green wide scarf, $139. smittenmerino.com

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Thomas Cook Chelsea twotone belt, $24.95. thomascook.com.au au

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Akubra Traveller pliable felt hat in Rust, $200. akubra.com.au

Smitten Merino Paprika wide sc scarf, $139. smittenmerino.com smittenm

Thomas Cook Kimberley belt, $69.95. thomascook.com.au

Thomas Cook Chelsea ea boot in Tan/Leopard, $169.95. .95. thomascook.com.au

Akubra Coober Pedy felt hat in Santone, $220. akubra.com.au

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Thomas Cook Chelsea two-tone belt, $24.95. thomascook.com.au

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Thomas Cook Chelsea boots in Dark Brown/Cow, $169.95. thomascook.com.au

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Bellingen bounty Susan Weil believes in the power of simplicity and these days she makes a living by sharing her home and its sub-tropical largesse with visitors from all round the world. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

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MY COUNTRY LIFE

Clockwise from opposite: A repurposed Indian bullock cart serves as a bed on the verandah; horses also love living at Bellingen; Susan with Sass and Sahara in one of the recycled timber chook houses.

There’s a daybed at Susan Weil’s farmhouse that has travelled with her most of her adult life. She spotted the remodelled Indian bullock cart in a shop in Bellingen on the NSW mid-north coast as a 21-yearold on a road trip with friends. Then she paid what at time was an extravagant amount to buy it and ship it back to her home in Sydney. Whenever she’s moved, the daybed has been the piece of furniture that’s been first on the truck. Now, more than 25 years later, it’s come home to roost on the verandah of her farmhouse in the Bellingen hinterland. Susan was born in Capetown in South Africa and migrated to Australia with her family as a nine-year-old. She went to school on Sydney’s north shore and chased a professional tennis career for a while before she became a marriage counsellor. “I was living in a beachhouse at Palm Beach when my first daughter was born,” she explains. “My then husband and I had a desire to get out of town, so we bought a shed at Putty in the bush north-west of Sydney. When we weren’t using it, we rented it to like-minded people who also wanted to get away from it all. The deal was that guests would leave it as they found it, or in better condition and it worked amazingly well. This was my first experience providing affordable, community-based accommodation and the place became so popular that we had to hire a manager to maintain it.” Then the shed burnt down, Susan’s marriage dissolved, and with one-year-old Sahara in tow, she started looking for a more permanent move away from the city. “I went australiancountry.net.au

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MY COUNTRY LIFE

“I extended the farmhouse by adding a barn at the front. It was a brutal build and it took the best part of a year.”

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searching for a small, child-focused place that had a good sense of community,” she recalls. “The far north coast was a bit too latte for me, and eventually I hit on Bellingen, which has a long history of people living sustainably, responsibly and supportively.” No stranger to renovations, the next task was to find a house that she could do up. “I knew I wanted something north-facing, that captured sea breezes and was close to town,” Susan says. “That proved more difficult than I imagined. Eventually the agent brought me out here. The bottom house was a total wreck, the driveway was almost impossible to navigate, there was not a plant in the garden and the studio was a derelict shed. It was just after big floods and it was pissing down rain and it really looked like a dump. But then the sky cleared for a minute and you could see McGraths Hump in the distance and I was sold. It really was a case of location, location.” Susan gutted the existing house and remodelled it to improve its passive solar performance. Then she asked a builder friend to quote for a new house further up the hill, so she could rent the bottom house as an income stream. But that proved beyond her means, so she found a 1920s farmhouse and had it relocated to the site. “Basically they cut it in half and pulled it up the hill with a bulldozer,” Susan says. “Then the real work began with me wearing my owner builder’s hat. I extended the farmhouse by adding a barn at the front. It was a brutal build and it took the best part of a year.” Susan bought recycled timber for the floors and ceilings from a Sydney floor broker. Three-hundred-year-old

Clockwise from right: A dining table made from recycled floorboards; the kitchen reflects Susan’s passion for good food; a relaxing space in the study; room to lounge in the living area.

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MY COUNTRY LIFE

Susan bought recycled timber for the floors and ceilings from a Sydney floor broker. She economised by upcycling fixtures and fittings and judicious op shop purchases and second-hand finds.

Every room frames views of the outdoors through recycled windows and French doors.

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French doors from a local recycling centre were a major splurge, but elsewhere, she economised by upcycling fixtures and fittings and judicious op shop purchases and second-hand finds. A neighbour had a timber yard, so I was able to buy old beams and boards from him to build the sheds and chook houses,” Susan says. “Then I set to work on the fences and gates and building a garden. As the property covers eight acres [three hectares], it was a massive job, and I don’t think I’d attempt anything similar again. But now that it’s done, it is extremely rewarding to look around and know I made it all happen. Even with such a tight eye on the budget I couldn’t have afforded to do it in Sydney.” The build was completed just in time for Sass’s birth and Susan was then able to rent out the bottom house. Guests enjoy fresh produce from the garden as well as the company of a menagerie of animals including two sheep, two dogs, three horses, 120 chooks and Daisy the cow. “Sharing food with family and friends has always been important to me,” Susan says. “Since moving here, I’ve become more interested in biodynamics, permaculture and growing food organically. Until recently we sold our produce at an organic market, but that has closed now, so local restaurants are my main outlet now. Plus we sell our eggs at the local supermarket and providore. Our orchard produces lots of citrus including oranges, mandarins, lemonade fruit and limes as well as mangoes, Davidson plums, lychees, olives, figs, Brazilian cherries, guavas, custard apples, papayas, and three varieties of bananas. The garden gives us snake beans, green beans, garlic, capsicum and tomatoes. But our main thing

Clockwise from right: Vintage fabrics and retro crochet throws are features of Susan’s oeuvre; candles and flowers by an outdoor bath; distressed finishes in a guest room; Susan is a talented upcycler.

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MY COUNTRY LIFE

Clockwise from left: The kitchen in the vintage farmhouse; the rustic bathroom at the Hernani hideaway; the hut opens to splendid isolation; Sass cuddles a chicken; Susan surrounded by salad mix.

is a 15-leaf heritage salad mix, which has proven very popular.” The desire to get away from it all is never far from Susan’s mind, so when she heard that a rustic hut in the hilly wilderness an hour away at Hernani was for sale, she couldn’t resist the opportunity. She and the girls use this bolthole, which runs on a hybrid of solar power, a slow combustion stove, tank water and a composting toilet, whenever they can escape on holidays, and relish the chance to cook outdoors, explore the surrounding national parks and feast on the fruit that an old orchard provides. In between times, Susan also rents out this property, which is located right beside the National Bicentennial Horse Trail and provides great riding opportunities for horse lovers. With three houses now at her disposal, she has also decided to offer the farmhouse as another accommodation option. “We just move between the houses as they are rented,” she explains. “The girls are home schooled so it’s easy for us to pack up and move as required. Of course we need to keep up with the chooks and the garden, so we’re never far away if guests need us. We love sharing the place with visitors and they are welcome to help feed the chooks and the animals and collect the eggs. I’ve always believed that you should never overlook the power of simplicity. It’s amazing how many people tell us they are going home to start a vegie garden after staying with us.” The vintage farmhouse accommodates four adults and two children and the main farmhouse, up to 12 guests. The wilderness hut sleeps nine and guests are also welcome to pitch a tent in the grounds. For more information on Susan’s properties visit weilhouseliving.com.au. 64

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VIEW FROM THE WEST

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VIEW FROM THE WEST

Coastal Collaboration It was a meeting of like minds when Kristy and Matt Fong teamed up with interior designer Tess Beagley in their Western Australian hometown of Geraldton. By Kirst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy C arri e Young, st yling T es s Be agle y of Mint ed Int eri ors

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VIEW FROM THE WEST

Clockwise from below: The Fongs’ home enjoys spectacular coastal views; study space in the Geraldton home; Kristy was initially hesitant about the dark blue feature wall but now she loves it.

It may seem a long haul from a career in corporate finance in Perth and London to running an interior design consultancy, but Geraldton businesswoman Tess Beagley says it was a logical progression. Tess grew up in Esperance on WA’s remote south coast and went to Perth to study public relations and journalism. From there she enjoyed a high-flying career in PR, but admits that while she loved her job, she occasionally felt creatively stifled. Having met and married her husband, whose background was in agriculture, they moved to Geraldton on the Coral Coast when he received a job offer that was too good to turn down.

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“I’d always loved styling interiors for my own homes and helped friends,” she recalls. “But it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my first child in 2011 that I actually did something about getting some qualifications. It was really just to learn more about my hobby initially. I found I was using a lot of the skills I had gained from PR such as graphic skills to make mood boards and 3-D visuals.” It wasn’t until friends of friends started enlisting Tess to help out with their homes that she realised her hobby might become a business. In 2014 she launched Minted Interiors, and again, employing social media and marketing skills from her previous life, hasn’t looked back since.

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VIEW FROM THE WEST Being based in Geraldton presented its own set of challenges as the coastal service town for the fishing and agricultural communities, population 37,000, is 420 kilometres north of Perth. However internet technology is a great salve for the tyranny of distance and Tess uses a combination of email, Skype and Messenger to communicate with her clients, many of whom live in the eastern states. She also specifies a number of furniture and soft furnishing options and acts as an agent for companies including GlobeWest, Tribe Home and Armadillo. “I have loads of clients I’ve never met face to face,” Tess says. “However, we manage to communicate very

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effectively. Now I have the questions sorted, it’s quite a simple process to get a picture of what they have in mind and email them the designs. It’s also handy with a young family, as I can work when they are sleeping. I’m also lucky to have a very supportive family and the help of a nanny who looks after the children a couple of mornings a week.” Occasionally though, a dream commission comes along and Tess receives a local job that allows her to work on location. Long-time Geraldton residents Kristy and Matthew Fong presented such an opportunity. They were referred by mutual friends and clicked instantly.

Clockwise from above: Kristy loves the casual coastal vibe of her home; designer Tess Beagley has captured the seaside ambiance perfectly; neutral tones and navy accents in the soft furnishings in a bedroom continue the coastal theme.

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VIEW FROM THE WEST “We both grew up here and Matt followed his father into the cray fishing industry,” Kristy explains. “I worked fly-in, fly-out in the Pilbara before we had our children, Riley (aged nine), Evie, six, and Charlie, four.” In 2016 the family was lucky enough to buy a house in a prime location overlooking Tarcoola Beach. With nothing but grass and sand between them and the Indian Ocean, it was a case of the worst house in the best location. “The house had been built in the ’80s and was in need of some TLC,” Kristy recalls. “It was a rabbit warren of rooms and needed updating and opening up. I knew the

“When I met Tess, she was instantly able to translate what I wanted into a reality. She understood the contemporary coastal Boho vibe I loved and was able to deliver exactly what we wanted for our beachy life.’’

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VIEW FROM THE WEST feeling I wanted to achieve, and had lots of ideas, but had no idea how to go about putting them together. When I met Tess, she was instantly able to translate what I wanted into a reality. She understood the contemporary coastal Boho vibe I loved and was able to deliver exactly what we wanted.” While there are still projects, including a new kitchen and landscaping in the pipeline for the property, Kristy says they are now in the position of being able to enjoy their beachy lifestyle.

“Our kids are total beach babies,” she says. “Tarcoola Beach is a famous wind surfing destination and the children are all nippers at the surf club. We are really lucky that we can visit the Abrolhos Islands whenever we want to and Geraldton has lots of young families who enjoy the casual coastal lifestyle. I’ve lived in Perth and travelled all over Australia and I’ve never found anywhere I’d rather live. And now we have a beautiful house as well. I believe we are extremely lucky.” More details on Minted Interiors at mintedinteriors.com.

Clockwise from right: Natural timbers and fibres in a bedroom; floor-to-ceiling windows frame the ocean views; less is more in a bathroom.

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LIVING THE DREAM

A Provençal life Francophiles look away now. What you’re about to read will thrill you, and induce soul-churning envy all at once. Proceed at your own caution, because Queenslandbred Adi Bukman is living our dreams, one sun-kissed Provençal day at a time. By Ta mar a Simone au, photogr aphy Debor a Deulofeu, Peggy Cormary, Jink y Arts & Aki Bukman australiancountry.net.au

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Clockwise from above: Adi opens the doors of their home to family and friends and holds workshops on the grounds; Remy and Rafael enjoying pool time; the entrance hallway.

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“I still walk down the centre of Aix-en-Provence and feel I should pinch myself to see if I am dreaming,” muses Adi Bukman, an Aussie expat thriving in the heart of Provence. “Most days I say to myself, ‘little girl from Innisfail — here I am’. I feel so lucky to be here. It’s always sunny, that golden hour is the most magical I have ever seen. It’s no wonder all the famous painters lived here to capture it.” To complete the dreamy scenario that is Adi’s life, she lives with her Dutch husband, Frits, and their two boys in a 17thcentury stone home furnished with their eclectic collection of antiques and quirky finds, and oozing French charm. “I

like that it’s 17th century, and the history of the home — that it was the gate-keeper’s home,” Adi explains. “You should see the other home a few hundred metres away. From my studio window, in autumn when the trees have lost their leaves, you can see what used to be a factory that made the old tiles in our home. During the war that factory became a transport camp to bring all the Jews together here, to transport them to the various camps around Europe. Did the Germans occupy my house with the French family that lived here? What has this house seen? The stories the walls have soaked up!” If the walls could talk, there’d no doubt be stories of hundreds of lives lived and lost, of times of bounty and times

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of heartache. None of it is lost on the family who are its current custodians. “As beautiful as it is, it is a family home,” Adi adds. “The kids run through it while playing with the dog or dripping wet from the pool. It’s lived in and it lives.” Frits is a chemical engineer, working not far from home at an oil plant. The couple had their first stint in France as newlyweds, and it took time to settle in. “I feel after three years in a place you start to feel like its home, or have enough love from the community to feel like it’s a home,” Adi says. Their first son, Remy, came along during that time. “Remy spent the first 15 months of his life here, with a French nanny who spoke to him in her mother tongue,” Adi says. Being a australiancountry.net.au

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Clockwise from above: The living room features enormous old oil paintings; the house is filled with antiques and treasures found on brocanting mornings; large mirrors enhance the space.

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new mum far from home is never easy, and Adi had pangs to return to Australia, so they packed up and moved to Perth. Rafael was born not long afterwards, and the couple spent five happy years soaking up the West Australian life. But when the chance to move back to Provence popped up, Adi and Frits felt they weren’t quite finished with la vie Française and decided to head back. “Since moving, the boys spent the first three years saying ‘I want to go home’,” Adi says. “They remember home to be the beach and their school friends. It’s only been the past two years they have fitted into the life of the French, conquered the language and feel settled. Heaven forbid if I offer a sandwich for lunch because here it’s a three-course

meal at school. Ultimately, ask them where they want to live and in a split second the answer is clear — Australia — where they speak English.” For now, another move back home again is not on the cards, and the family is savouring the slow lane of southern France. “It’s about late starts, late finishes and a two-hour break in between for lunch,” Adi says. “You have to stop for lunch. There is so much to see, so much to do and the town attracts some of the most amazing people.” Aix, as it’s known, is 30 kilometres from Marseille and boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. Its cobbled streets, cute cafes, gorgeous boutiques, myriad fountains and lively city squares attract plenty of

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tourists and many of Adi and Frits’ relatives and friends, who often spend summer months staying at their beautiful property. “May is spring and the amazing bloom of flowers is a sight to see,’’ Adi says. “It’s like looking at a Renoir painting. We start living outside again and everything starts happening, a lot of soirees to enjoy the warmer evenings.” One of her favourite ways to while away the days is ‘brocanting’ — the quintessential French merger of antique shopping and flea market trawling. “I love the thrill of getting up early to get there before the hordes, walking idly through and imagining where the things I like could go,” she says. “In spring and summer it’s the season, so every australiancountry.net.au

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Clockwise from right: Rafael and Remy at breakfast; high ceilings boost the sense of space; sunflowers from the fields of the sunny south; Adi loves scouting for furniture for the house.

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weekend there are treasures screaming to be found. There are also antique fairs and those I always go to.” She’s turned her passion into a little business, sourcing one-off French treasures for others who may not be nearby, or nearly as savvy on the shopping circuit. “I have a ‘secret man’ whom I tend to selfishly keep to myself,” Adi teases. “I go to him often, treasure hunting for myself and for clients. He always has a list from me and helps me tick it off.” Ever resourceful, and wanting to share all she’s been lucky to glean from her time in Provence, Adi, a hairdresser by trade, has found work in various forms. “After knowing

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enough French to get by I started my own business as a hair stylist, and now I have a studio at home and work as a stylist two days a week,” she explains. “I also hosts workshops in my home and on location in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. I do hair, make-up, photography, and collaborate with other photographers styling for them or sourcing props, locations or models. I am contacted a lot by people overseas who want to run a workshop here and need someone to organise it for them. So I tend to do a little of that too.” It’s ingratiated her into a tight-knit, but friendly community. “We really feel we are accepted in the village we live australiancountry.net.au

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Clockwise from left: Cafe life in Aix-enProvence; Adi and Frits’ guests are spoilt in the elegant dining room; a spot for reflection in the gatekeeper’s cottage.

in and the community of Aix,” Adi says. “My friend always makes a joke with me that if she comes shopping with me she must add an hour on because every corner I turn I must stop to say hello to someone I know. So we really are locals now.” It’s a wonderful existence — the south of France has clearly stolen her heart, but it’s a place much further south that will always win it back. “I have Australia in my blood,” Adi says. “The people are so nice and real and raw. We lived at the beach in Scarborough and it’s that feeling of sun, sea, and surf that I think of when thinking of home. Also the network of people you have around you is so great. I miss that … and fish and chips on the beach.” 82

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ESCAPE ROUTES

Meandering through Mudgee With fine dining options, a proliferation of wineries, some intriguing accommodation options, and a festival every other month, The NSW town of Mudgee provides a great short break. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

It’s uninversally acknowledged in the tourism world that Mudgee punches above its weight. The town, with its many heritage-listed buildings, has a population of 12,000, and that swells to 18,000 or so when you add in the inhabitants of the surrounding old mining villages of Gulgong, Rylstone and Kandos. But Mudgee’s two major industries — mining and winemaking — have made their mark on what would otherwise be a largish country town. Residents and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes and bistros in town and the surrounding wineries boast dining options that rival those in Sydney 275 kilometres away on the other side of the Blue Mountains. In the past decade, Mudgee has emerged as short break destination, three and a half hours by car from Sydney, but light years removed in terms of pace and warmth of hospitality. It’s far enough away to feel genuinely country, but savvy enough not to feel hokey and satisfy city slickers’ standards. This no doubt explains Mudgee’s growing popularity as a wedding destination. First settled in 1822 and gazetted in 1838, Mudgee is the second oldest town (after Bathurst) west of the Great Dividing Range. Gold mining in the 1850s brought prosperity to the region, and many of the landmark buildings that grace the streets today were built in the second half of the 19th century. The district’s winemaking tradition dates to this time as well. In 1858, Adam Roth, who was one of several vine dressers brought out from Germany by the Macarthur family to help with their vineyards at Camden Park, was granted land on the banks of Pipeclay Creek.

Clockwise from opposite: All directions in Mudgee reference the clock tower; classic deco lines in an old theatre; Mudgee's streetscape features many heritage-listed buildings, some dating from the 1850s.

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He planted vines soon after and was followed by a host of other vignerons of German heritage. By 1880 there were 13 wineries in the district. Interestingly, 105 years later in 1985, winemaker, judge and writer James Halliday reviewed 13 wineries in his book, The Australian Wine Compendium, and made the observation that, while Mudgee produced significant wines, it remained more remote, less commercial and less tourist-oriented than the Hunter Valley. Plenty has changed in the ensuing 30-plus years and today’s Mudgee wine map posts more than 40 wineries and several more virtual cellar doors. During a flurry of vine plantings in the mid-to-late ’70s, some of the district’s landmark wineries, including Botobolar, Amberton, Burnbrae, Hill of Gold, Mansfield, Miramar, Montrose, Pieter Van Gent and Lowe Wines, planted their first vines. In spite of vine pulls in the wake of surpluses and low prices in the 1980s, growth in the district has been steady and these days, the future looks very rosy indeed. But the essence of a visit to Mudgee remains the same, and the person you meet at the cellar door, in many cases, will be the winemaker or someone closely associated. Australian Country’s base for a recent weekend visit was the historic winemaker’s cottage at Burnbrae Wines. Burnbrae was first established in 1968 and has been in Trine and Andy Gay’s family since 2004, when Trine’s parents, Jill and Tony Bryant, took over the winery. With Andy’s background in agribusiness and Trine’s in marketing and events, they were perfectly poised to take over the winery and its cellar door in a former dance hall in 2014.

Clockwise from left: First Ridge’s cellar door is in two repurposed shipping containers; tasting time; prawn bruschetta at the Wineglass Bistro in the historic Cobb & Co Court; the living room silo at Melrose Park; the sleeping silo; an al fresco lunch at the Cellar by Gilbert.

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These days, Burnbrae’s wines are made by husband and wife duo, Chris Derez and Lucy Maddox from Orange, with involvement from Trine’s brother, Ben, who is the chief winemaker for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, responsible for many labels, including Jacobs Creek. The Gays are hands-on at the winery and visitors can expect to meet them and their two children, Lily (five years) and Lachie (four) at the cellar door. Sunday afternoons at Burnbrae are family time, when the wood-fired pizza oven is fired up and lots of locals head out for some downtime over a glass or two of wine. On the third Sunday of every month there’s live entertainment as well, to coincide with the farmers’ market that’s held in town on the third Saturday. Burnbrae’s signature event is a black tie barbecue, held in November. But if you want to attend you’ll have to register your interest early as it always books out. It seems there’s always something happening in the district. Spring is festival time, with the Flavours of Mudgee, the Mudgee Food and Wine Festival, Rylstone Street Feast, the Gulgong Gold Mining Festival and the Huntington Estate Music Festival vying for attention. In summer there’s the Gulgong Folk Festival, various race meetings and show days. Winter is time for Gulgong’s Henry Lawson Festival, the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days and the Mudgee Readers’ Festival. Autumn hosts the Mudgee Show, Footcrush Feast and the Food and Drink Trail. Visitors are also spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options, with motels, guesthouses and AirBnBs in town and lots of self-catering options in the surrounding countryside. Among them is Ruwenzori,

Clockwise from opposite: Corrugated iron sculptures by the dam at Robert Stein Wines; Andy and Trine Gay with Lily and Lachy at the Burnbrae cellar door; Sunday pizza on the lawn; the winemaker’s cottage; welcome to wine country; the tasting room at Lowe Wines.

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a remarkable assemblage of sleeping carriages and railway memorabilia collected by train buff, actor and TV presenter, turned tour operator Scott McGregor. If you fancy travelling the world by train, Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures is the way to go. If you’d prefer to do it without a passport, you can sleep in the grandly appointed carriages at his country retreat, Ruwenzori. Elizabeth Brennan is a more recent arrival to the district, but already she’s made her mark by converting an old dairy at her home, Melrose Park (more to come in our next issue), into a self-catering apartment. If you’re more adventurously inclined, she’s turned three silos on the property into an upmarket camp with living space in one silo, sleeping in another and ablutions amenities in the third. There’s a fire pit surrounded by stumps for seating and an undercover barbecue area for enjoying leisurely outdoor feasts and marshmallow toasting. Most visitors to Mudgee end up enjoying a meal at the Ori, as the Oriental Hotel is known, with boutique beers on tap and a dessert bar that has local legend status. The Lawson Park Hotel is another landmark pub in a historic building and The Wineglass is a bistro with a comprehensive local wine list in the former Hughson’s Hotel, built in the 1850s as a Cobb and Co coaching stop. The Market Street Cafe, Alby & Esthers, Eltons, the Butcher Shop Cafe and the Dancing Goat Cafe take care of caffeine fixes, but on weekends the absolute don’t miss brunch is at Pipeclay Pumphouse at Robert Stein Wines. The kitchen garden is the inspiration for chef Andy Crestani’s menu, which features local produce including

Clockwise from opposite: Ruwenzori nestles in the Mudgee highlands; a timber-panelled bedroom in a railway carriage; the retreat can accommodate 12 in the heritage railway carriages; the dining car offers similar Orient Express-style luxury.

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pigs raised on the property. The restaurant also opens for dinner Thursday to Saturday and lunch on Sunday. Friday high tea, Saturday grazing menu and Sunday roast are also recommended at Craigmoor Pavilion and local taxis and mini-bus services provide transport around the wineries and into and out of town for those who want to enjoy more than a glass of wine with their meals. No story about Mudgee would be complete without mention of local lad David Lowe and his wife, Kim Currie. David grew up in Mudgee and has long been a fierce advocate for the region. By his own account, he and his father, Keith, planted their first vines (stolen from a neighbour) in 1973. Then they planted a heap more in 1974 because, according to Keith, David planted the first batch upsidedown. He’s learnt a lot since then and these days, produces benchmark organic wines under the label, Lowe Wines. These can be sampled at the cellar door, or The Zin House, which Kim runs in a building adjacent to the winery, with an assortment of family and friends including head chef Jeremy Metivier. Kim has been a mover and shaker in the local food scene for more than 30 years and the gloriously rustic, set-price, set menu that emerges from The Zin kitchen comes either from the kitchen garden or local providores. It’s a mark of the collaborative spirit of the hospitality providers of the region that everyone seems genuinely concerned that we are experiencing the best Mudgee has to offer. At Pipeclay Pumphouse we’re told not to miss The Zin House and vice versa. Wherever we stop to taste wines, we’re asked where we’ve already been and offered suggestions as to places we shouldn’t miss. In a cut-throat world it makes a refreshing change to experience such good, old-fashioned country hospitality.

Clockwise from left: Roos enjoying a misty morning in the Mudgee area; Kim Currie’s landmark The Zin House at Lowe Wines; Andy Crestani in the kitchen garden of the Pipeclay Pumphouse.

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Country Creative Promotion

Home comforts The Comfort Inn Aden Mudgee offers everything you’d expect at home with the added bonus of staff to take care of every whim. udgee’s reputation for fine wine was uppermost in Patrick Brennan’s mind when the opportunity to move to town to run the Comfort Inn Aden Mudgee motel presented itself. While the lure of ready access to labels such as Poet’s Corner, Wild Oats and Huntington Estate may have been what brought Patrick and his wife, Sonya, to town just over a year ago, he says closer inspection has revealed many more reasons for wanting to stay there. “I have been amazed by the way the community works together,” the veteran of more than 30 years in the hospitality industry adds. “Mudgee really is an object lesson in how the resources sector can gel with tourism. The town offers benchmark food and wine experiences, fantastic festivals, every conceivable outdoor activity and one of Australia’s best country sports venues in the Glen Willow Stadium. It truly has something for everyone, from the mine worker, winery hand and local business owner to the sales rep, wedding guest, tourist and traveller passing through.” At the Comfort Inn Aden, visitors have the option of motel accommodation in 46 motel rooms, most of them

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recently upgraded, and seven fully self-catering two-bedroom townhouses. The venue also boasts a function centre, an outdoor pool in landscaped surrounds with an undercover barbecue area and breakfast and dinner served in the Palate restaurant. Alongside traditional favourites including duck risotto, lamb shanks and chicken parmigiana, Palate’s menu offers a nod to the motel’s South African owners, with a specials list that includes chicken sosaties, boerewors sausage, lamb bredie and braaied pork ribs. “A local butcher makes the boerewors and we smoke the pork ribs on the premises before finishing them on the char grill,” Patrick explains. “While we use authentic South African spices and chutneys, we try to source all our fresh produce locally. We’ve been mindful of thinking beyond the motel restaurant mindset to offer a casual family dining experience that will attract locals as well as house guests.” The drinks list in the restaurant and bar follows the home-grown philosophy, with all wines sourced within a 10-kilometre radius of town, locally made Goose cider, beers from the Mudgee Brewing Company and spirits and liqueurs from local distillers Baker Williams. “One of our hashtags is ‘there really is a place like home’,” Patrick adds. “We try on every level to live up to that experience. From free wifi and complimentary membership at a local gym to ensuring return visitors get their room of choice, we aim to provide all of the comforts of home, with a few extras. Sonya and I live on site, so this is our home, and we aim to treat all comers as family guests.”

For more information on the Comfort Inn Aden Mudgee visit adenmudgee.com.au or phone (02) 6372 1122 australiancountry.net.au

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FOOD FOR SHARING

Sweet sensations

This is an extract from Bourke Street Bakery All Things Sweet by Paul Allam and David McGuinness (Murdoch Books, $55). Photography by Alan Benson

Bourke Street Bakery is a landmark on Sydney’s culinary map and now its founders share some of their celebrated recipes. By PAUL aLLAM & dAVID mcGUINNESS, photography by Alan Benson

----Apple galette

Makes 1 x 22cm galette, or 7 x 9cm galettes

This was one of the original items produced on the opening day of the bakery that had people immediately addicted. It has been off the menu for a while now, but when we offer it as a special, we make it in small and large rounds, to impress those special guests. Apple galette

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry 200g crème pâtissière (recipe opposite) 2 Granny Smith apples 100g apricot jam (optional) To make one large galette, roll out the puff pastry to 5mm thick, then cut out a 22cm circle. For the smaller galettes, roll the pastry 3mm thick and use a 9cm plate to cut out 7 discs. Place the pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the pastry from the freezer and use a fork to prick holes all over. Spread the crème pâtissière over the pastry, leaving a 5mm border around the edge. Peel the apples and remove the cheeks from each side of the cores, then remove the two remaining half-moons from each. Cut the apple pieces lengthways into 5mm slices. Going in a clockwise direction, place the apple slices in a circle around the edge of the pastry, overlapping each slice, and leaving a narrow border around the edge. Start another circle going in the opposite direction, overlapping half the first layer. Continue layering in this manner until the pastry is covered in a sunburst flower pattern. 98

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Lime coconut tart

Return the pastry to the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Bake the small galettes for 25–30 minutes, and the large galette for 40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. You want the pastry to be puffed and light golden, and the apple should be starting to char on the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. If you are feeling very French you can combine the apricot jam with a splash of water, bring it to the boil and then gently brush over the galette/s for a shiny finish. Your galette/s will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

----Crème pâtissière Makes 350g

Literally translated as pastry cream, crème pâtissière is a classic French ingredient that we use in many of our pastries and sweets. It is similar to a light, creamy custard and is often vanilla flavoured, but you could also flavour it with coffee, almond, chocolate or berries. 250ml (1 cup) milk 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways 3 egg yolks 50g caster sugar 15g plain flour Pour the milk into a saucepan, scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the vanilla bean. Heat to just below boiling point, then pour into a container to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to allow the vanilla to infuse. Gently reheat the milk over low heat.

Put the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl and whisk continuously, adding the sugar a little at a time until completely combined. Continue whisking while adding the flour, until the mixture is completely smooth. Strain the warm milk, then pour it into the egg yolk mixture and whisk well until smooth and combined. Return the custard to a clean saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Once the custard has come to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Cover with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use; crème pâtissière will keep for up to 3 days.

Roll out sweet shortcrust pastry and use it to line a 28cm tart tin. Rest the pastry case in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blind-bake the pastry shell for 30–35 minutes, or until golden all over and cooked through — check at 25 minutes, as the baking time will vary considerably from oven to oven. Remove the case from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C. Put all the filling ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture, then carefully pour it into the cooled tart shell. Bake for 1½–2 hours, or until the filling is just set, but still has a slight wobble. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. This tart will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for only a day.

Pavlova roll with strawberries & passionfruit

Lime coconut tart

Pavlova roll with strawberries & passionfruit

Makes 1 x 28cm tart

Serves 10

This is a tropical, taste-of-summer tart. Lime and coconut naturally go well together — the creamy, milky coconut balances the bittersweet, juicy lime. It’s a great dessert tart after an Asian meal.

Pavlova is Australia’s version of irresistible. Even if you don’t like strawberries or meringue or cream, somehow when they are all assembled together in a pavlova you just can’t help but enjoy it.

1 sheet ready rolled sweet shortcrust pastry FILLING 8 eggs 8 egg yolks 90ml pouring cream (35 per cent fat) 140ml lime juice 150ml coconut cream 120g caster sugar

5 egg whites 180g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting 1 teaspoon white vinegar 3 teaspoons cornflour 200g crème pâtissière (on left) 100ml pouring cream (35 per cent fat) 150g strawberries, diced 70g passionfruit pulp Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease a

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FOOD FOR SHARING 30cm x 35cm tray and line with baking paper. Put the egg whites and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk for 6–7 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Add the vinegar and cornflour and mix until just combined. Pour onto the prepared baking tray and spread out evenly. Bake for 20–25 minutes; the meringue will puff up while baking. Remove from the oven and rest for 1 minute. Sprinkle a sheet of baking paper with extra caster sugar, then turn the meringue out onto the lightly sugared paper. Carefully peel the baking paper from the top. Put the crème pâtissière in a bowl. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold it through the crème pâtissière. Lay the sheet of meringue lengthways in front of you, with the short side closest to you. Spread the bottom three-quarters with the cream mixture. Top with the strawberries and passionfruit pulp. Roll the meringue up away from you, then rest the roll on its seam. Sprinkle the bench with a little more sugar and roll the meringue backwards and forwards to give it a light coating of sugar. Cut into 3cm slices. The roll is best enjoyed soon after baking. It will only keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a day.

----Lamingtons Makes 24

We make quite a few French classics; now for a truly Australian one — the humble and simply scrumptious lamington! SPONGE 6 eggs, at room temperature 165g (¾ cup) caster sugar 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 100g (2⁄3 cup) plain flour 55g cornflour 50g unsalted butter, melted BLACKBERRY JAM 300g fresh blackberries 15g caster sugar LAMINGTON DIP 120g fresh raspberries 270g caster sugar 580ml (21⁄3 cups) water 270g dark chocolate (55 per cent cocoa), chopped coarsely 200g dried coconut (desiccated, flaked or shredded) Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease a 25cm x 100

Lamingtons

35cm x 4cm baking tray and line the base and sides with baking paper, allowing it to protrude about 2.5cm above the tin. To make the sponge, break the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the sugar and vanilla seeds and mix on high speed for 5–6 minutes, or until very thick. Sift the flour and cornflour together. Using your hand or a large spoon, gently fold half the flour through the beaten egg mixture. Add the remaining flour and again fold through quickly and gently. Put the melted butter in a large bowl and add a small amount of the egg mixture. Gently fold it through, then add the remaining egg mixture, taking care to fold it through gently so you don’t knock out too much air. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger. Remove from the oven and refrigerate overnight in the tin. To prepare the blackberry jam, puree the berries with the sugar using a food processor or hand-held blender. Push through a sieve, into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To prepare the lamington dip, put the raspberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot raspberry mixture over. Allow the chocolate to melt, then blend the mixture using a food processor or hand-held stick blender. Push through a sieve, into a bowl, to remove the seeds. Cover and leave out on the bench overnight. To assemble the lamingtons, remove the sponge from the baking tray and place on a cutting board, right side up. Use your hand to rub the top of the sponge, to remove the layer

of crust on top. Use a serrated knife to slice the sponge horizontally into two even sheets. Using a palette knife, spread the blackberry jam over one sponge sheet, taking it right to the edges. Lay the second sponge sheet on top and press down quite firmly, to make sure they are stuck together and will remain so during the dipping process. Trim one of the long sides, and one of the short sides, to neaten them. Starting from these clean sides, measure out 5.5cm increments along the sponge, marking both ways. Taking care to cut in straight lines, use these marks to cut the sponge into 5.5 cm squares. You will have 24 sponge squares, with some scraps cut off from each end; these sponge off-cuts will work brilliantly in a trifle. To dip and coat the lamingtons, whisk the lamington dip until smooth, as it may have separated overnight. set yourself up, with the sponge squares to your left, and the bowl of lamington dip in front of you. To your right, have a wire rack, measuring about 25cm x 45cm, set over a tray for catching drips. (Reverse these instructions if you happen to be one of those “sinister” left-handed folks.) Keeping one hand dry, and working one at a time, use your other hand to dip each sponge square into the dip for about 3 seconds, coating it on all sides, then place on the wire rack, ensuring that they don’t touch. Leave to set for at least 5 minutes, or ideally 10–15 minutes. Working one at a time, cover each lamington with the coconut, pressing gently to coat, and transfer to another tray or plate. Lamingtons will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days.

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Out & about Story & photography by S ally Cri pps, Queensl and Country Life

NEW YEAR’S TOGA TWIST

Th page: This Blackall B Bla laccka ckka kal allll residents rres re essiide idde den ntts nts and visitors saw in the new year with a fabulous toga party. Lots of sheets and tablecloths were transformed for the event, with help from how-to websites.

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The ancient Greeks and Romans knew how to have a good time and a group of revellers from Blackall in central-western Queensland took a leaf out of their book with a toga party to welcome in 2018. Organised by the Barcoo Pastoral Society, the night saw plenty of tablecloths and sheets put to good use, all created with thanks to Pinterest and Wikipedia “how to” tip sheets. The styling highlighted the work-shirt tan of plenty of the men who got into costume, much to the delight of the female attendees who used the chance to dress up to good effect. Around 80 partygoers from as far as Brisbane, Toowoomba, Longreach and Barcaldine joined Blackall locals in sipping Champagne and feasting in fine style, thanks to Marmaladies Catering, and dancing out the last hours of the old year.

Let us know about your upcoming event. Email the Editor, Kirsty McKenzie on kmckenzie@universalmagazines.com.au.

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scenescene & heard & heard with with yealand family wines

This page: Roman centurions and Greek gods and goddesses all found their way to Blackall for the event, with the costumes proving most appropriate for the searing western Queensland summer heat.

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spotlight on education

Camp equality School holidays are precious times for students to catch up on much needed R&R. But each year a band of Year elevens from Canberra Grammar School sacrifices its “me time” to help at a camp for kids with special needs. b y K i r s t y M c K e n z i e , P h oto g r a p h y w i ll i a m h a ll & c a n b er r a g r a m m a r s c h o o l

It’s received wisdom that benefactors receive as much as they give. For the past seven years students from Canberra Grammar School (CGS) have had the opportunity to put that notion to the test when they give up the first week of their summer holidays to help children with additional needs, as hosts at Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp, or Sony Camp. Approximately 20 students from CGS and Canberra Girls’ Grammar School move into the CGS boarding house, and act as full-time carers for primary-school-aged children during the annual Sony Camp. The Chair of the CGS Sony Foundation Camp Committee, Graeme Lendrum, says the camp benefits all participants. “The children who attend the camps are treated to three days of activities and interactions they may have never had the chance to experience,” he explains. “At the same time their parents and carers get some respite at a time of year when they need it most. For some, this will be their only break this year.” Primarily funded by the Sony Foundation, the camp is one of more than 20 hosted by boarding schools and universities across Australia, and the only one held in Canberra. In 1999 the Sony group of companies established Sony Foundation Australia, responding to a management belief that successful companies must play an active role in the communities in which they do business. A focus on youth and creatively assisting young people achieve their dreams strongly aligned with the Sony corporate vision, so the Foundation formed partnerships with charitable organisations to offer innovative solutions to social problems facing today’s youth. 104

Established in 1929, Canberra Grammar School is a co-educational independent Anglican school offering outstanding academic education, co-curricular opportunities and pastoral care to day and boarding students of all backgrounds and faiths within a community guided by Christian values. CGS is the only boarding school for boys in the ACT (with the plan to also extend this to girls in the future), and it is an International Baccalaureate World School. It is also the only school in the ACT to offer the NSW Higher School Certificate. The school’s main campus is set on 20 hectares at the foot of Red Hill, just south of Lake Burley Griffin, close to

Canberra Grammar School students teamed up as companions for children with additional needs.

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Summer holiday fun for students and their new friends.

Parliament House and the lively social precincts of Manuka and Kingston. The senior school caters for 950 students from years seven to 12, while the primary school hosts 650 students from pre-school to year six. The school’s Northside infants’ campus in Campbell, near the Australian War Memorial, serves a further 100 students from prekindergarten to year two. Sony’s philosophy strongly aligns with CGS’s values and principles, which are committed to developing students’ awareness of the needs of others, and encouraging a greater sense of responsibility leading to much more effective action in caring for others. By hosting Sony Camps, CGS aims to give children with additional needs a memorable experience while giving their regular carers a break. The camp is also a way for the student companions to learn what caring for children with additional needs involves.

Sony’s philosophy strongly aligns with CGS’s values and principles, which are committed to developing students’ awareness of the needs of others, and encouraging a great sense of responsibility leading to much more effective action in caring for others.

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spotlight on education

Above: Outdoor activities were on the program. Below: The students receive as much as they give during the camp.

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The campers participate in activities ranging from feeding, dancing, and reading, to cooking, swimming, African drumming, and dragon boat racing. This year’s camp proved to be another great privilege to care for 19 beautiful, amazing kids, and see a team of enthusiastic and mindful year 11s care for their campers. Reflecting on their experience of Sony Camp, volunteers invariably say the camp put some of their own, and the world’s, worries and stresses into perspective. As one of the volunteering students adds: “HSC results and ATARs don’t seem that important any more.” A camper’s parents will spend a lifetime caring,

and participating in the camp can be a life-changing experience, causing volunteers to genuinely appreciate what full-time carers do each day. “I was forced to slow down and concentrate on one person for three days,” one companion observes. “I never thought I could do that. The few days I spent as a companion were the most challenging and rewarding of my life. Both my camper and I achieved things that would never have been possible without Sony Camp. I can’t explain how grateful I am for this incredible experience.” As a parent of a participant explains, her son had never spent a night away from his family and for him to have this opportunity and the experience to be on a fun camp was something that he will never forget. “As parents, we were so grateful to the companions for the break and for the extraordinary care he was given,” she says. The Sony Company contributes to administrative, operational and marketing costs of the foundation, allowing net proceeds to be distributed directly to youthrelated causes. This year, CGS Sony Camp hosted campers from Yass, Queanbeyan, Goulburn and Bungendore as well as Canberra, with staff and volunteers from CGS and Canberra Girls’ Grammar School working together to make the Sony Camp such a success. Needless to say, the Sony Foundation and all volunteers are extremely proud of what has been achieved in the past 19 years; helping parents and carers and many young people build a brighter future. For more information on how to support or volunteer in a Sony Camp in Canberra, visit cgs.act.edu.au.

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CELEBRATING ANTIQUES IN AUSTRALIA

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GARDEN PROFILE

Pleasing Prospect Having developed three large gardens in Victoria, John Jones and Doug Neale decided to do it all again with a diverse garden near the village of Hamilton, in one of Tasmaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s driest areas. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

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GARDEN PROFILE

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GARDEN PROFILE

The convict-built, locally quarried stone house came with a one-and-a-half acre garden, which was well established thanks to the passion of its previous owners, Helen and John Poynder, who had bought it in the 1970s. Clockwise from opposite: An abundance of white roses in the trellis garden; statuary provides focal points throughout the entire space; Doug and John in the Italian garden; the rose-lined long walk leads from the rear of the house to the secret garden.

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“The devil got into us,” is how Doug Neale describes the series of events that led to him and his partner, John Jones, deciding to uproot themselves from their home and garden in central Victoria to move to Hamilton, an hour’s drive north-west of Hobart. They’d developed three large gardens together in the past and shared a passion for colonial art and architecture. So, when a friend who had recently retired to Hobart told them that Prospect House, an 1820s and ’30s Georgian house, was on the market, they made the trek to have a look. The convict-built, locally quarried stone house came with a one-and-a-half acre garden, which was well established thanks to the passion of its previous owners, Helen and John Poynder, who had bought it in the 1970s. Nonetheless, like all significant gardens it required work, and Doug and John decided they “had one more project” in them. They bought the property in 2015 and moved to Tasmania early the following year. Prospect House dates back to the earliest days of Van Dieman’s Land as the first part of the homestead was built on land granted to James Triffett in 1824. It was then enlarged by Dr John Sharland, who became the Hamilton district surgeon in 1829. The history books record that his salary was boosted in 1842 when he was appointed as medical officer to the local convict probation party. To cater for all his patients Dr Sharland had a three-storey sandstone surgery built across the road from the house but unfortunately this building was later demolished. Long active in public life, Dr Sharland also

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GARDEN PROFILE

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GARDEN PROFILE

The Italian garden is perhaps the grandest space, a final flourish added by Helen, after she and Carlene were particularly inspired by a garden in Lucca. Clockwise from opposite: Pierre de Ronsard and other roses, hollyhocks and delphiniums vie for attention in the round garden; vine-embellished head; statue in the Italian garden; box hedges and pines define the space; the Italian temple.

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became the Hamilton Council’s first warden in 1863 and he was also a trustee for the local roads. After he died in 1870, the property passed through several owners until it was bought by the Poynders almost a century later. Helen Poynder, who lives in Launceston but travelled south frequently, enlisted the support of a local gardener, Carlene Triffett. Although a few fruit trees, including an ancient mulberry, pear and almond trees survived from the early days of the original farm, the rest was pretty much a blank canvas. Together they planned and planted the site, dividing the space into a series of English-style garden rooms, each distinctly different. At the rear of the house is the rose-clad long walk, which leads to the stone-wall enclosed secret garden at the back of several old farm buildings. Here camellia, clematis, climbing hydrangeas, roses and hostas create a restive space, while the spring walk to the left clamours for attention in a riot of colour. The round garden is devoted to roses, some trellised, and David and John have made their own mark by adding numerous David Austins to the mix. The adjoining urn garden features four parterres, which frame views of the “great hedge of Hamilton”, a manicured cypress macrocarpa monolith that runs the length of the property. The adjoining herbaceous border garden is a cottagey mix of peonies, sweet peas, shasta daisies, roses and Queen Anne’s lace on either side of a lawn leading to a Lutyens seat. Next door is the white, or trellis garden, which brings the visitor to the front of the house. The Italian garden on the other side of the entrance is perhaps the grandest space, a final flourish added by Mrs P, as Doug and John affectionately call Helen, after she and Carlene enjoyed a garden tour of Italy and were

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GARDEN PROFILE

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GARDEN PROFILE

“When you take over an established garden you don’t always know what every plant is and visitors can often be very helpful identifying mystery plants.” Clockwise from above: A gate in the great hedge; cottage plantings at the front of the house; a Lutyens seat at the end of the herbaceous border; Prospect House dates from the 1820s; Pierre de Ronsard roses make a showy statement in the round garden.

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particularly inspired by a garden in Lucca. Buxus hedging provides the framework for avenues of robinia and lemon trees, which lead to a stone temple, a peaceful spot for rest after a hard day’s pruning and weeding. “I wouldn’t like to say we have made our mark on the garden,” Doug says, “because so much work had been done before we arrived. But it is a constant project, as this is quite a dry area of Tasmania, with an annual rainfall of about 20 inches (500mm) so keeping the water up is always a challenge.” Along with the garden, John and Doug inherited several annual tour groups and they also open the garden, by appointment, from October through to March. “You learn a lot from visitors,” Doug observes. “When you take over an established garden you don’t always know what every plant is and visitors can often be very helpful identifying mystery plants. We ask for a donation, which goes towards the water bill, but really it is a pleasure to share the garden with anyone who is interested.” Almost two years down the track Doug and John say they have made the transition to Tasmania with remarkable ease. “Our guest bedroom runs hot and we actually see more of our friends than we did in Victoria,” John says. “We might make a weekly trip to Hobart for a taste of the big smoke, but for the rest of the time, we’re very happily occupied looking after the garden and showing people around.” For more information on Prospect House and garden, or to arrange a visit, email myrtlefarm@activ8.net.au or phone (03) 6286 3233.

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GARDEN ACCESSORIES

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Pink Flamingo watering can, $19.99, yellowoctopus.com.au

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Tatum outdoor beanbags, $495 each, thedesignhunter.com.au

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OUR COUNTRY LIFE

Alliance Franรงaise

Indulging her passion for French country style, Helen Matthews has decorated her seaside home in the Western Australian community of Falcon Bay. By Ki rst y McKenzi e, photogr a phy Ken Br a s s

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LIVING THE DREAM

Clockwise from above: Helen used cool blues and white in the kitchen; natural timber and distressed finishes in the living area; the dining section; Helen has a great eye for an artful grouping.

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There’s a picture on the wall at the coastal home Helen Matthews shares with her husband, Bruce, that speaks volumes about Helen and her fascination for all things French. It’s a streetscape from the town of Chavigny, where Helen’s longtime friend, Jo McIntosh is restoring an apartment and where Helen visits as often as she can. “Ironically the first time I visited France was for three days in Paris in 2004,” Helen recalls. “I didn’t go back until 2014 and then I went again the following year. In the process, I have developed a love of the rustic French style and gradually it’s taken over my home.”

Helen adds that she has been greatly influenced by Jo, an expat Kiwi who moved to Western Australia in 2000 and whom she met when Jo was working as a boarding house supervisor at Bunbury’s Cathedral Grammar School, where Bruce was the principal. “Jo has French ancestry and she established a shop called Rustic French Living in a small church in Boyanup,” Helen explains. “She has an amazing eye for decorating and has inspired me in lots of ways. Now she divides her time between New Zealand, Perth and France, where I hope I get to see the place she is restoring in France before too long.” The Matthews, who were originally from Perth,

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OUR COUNTRY LIFE

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OUR COUNTRY LIFE

Clockwise from above: A quiet corner in the living space; Helen on her balcony overlooking the beach; an elegant and relaxing bathroom; neutrals with dark furniture in the master bedroom.

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moved to Bunbury in 1998 for Bruce’s work. They bought their Falcon Bay property, which overlooks the 500-metre stretch of beach an hour south of Perth in the mid-2000s. Gradually, Helen has been adding a French accent ever since. “I’m a French country fan,” she explains. “You won’t see any Eiffel Towers or Audrey Hepburn prints in my home. I’m more into the provincial look, so I like painted finishes and slightly shabby effects. Having said that, both Bruce and I are tidy freaks. I’d much rather rearrange things than dust. It’s lovely when our grandchildren visit, but I must admit, it takes me weeks to get everything back in place after they’ve gone.”

Helen prefers a neutral palette and lets artefacts and decorator items colour in the details. “I learned a lot from the workshops Jo used to hold at the back of her shop,” she says. “I love grouping jars or knick-knacks and family heirlooms together to tell a story.” Pride of place goes to a lampshade gifted to Helen and a collection of her mother’s memorabilia on a mantelpiece. ‘‘Of course I’m always on the lookout for other items to add to the story,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s quite remarkable to think that I might never have gone down this path if I hadn’t met Jo. It turns out I have some French ancestry myself, so perhaps it was meant to be.”

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OUR COUNTRY LIFE

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A LASTING IMPRESSION

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- est 1897

ŽŶŐƌĂƚƵůĂƟŽŶƐƚŽƚŚĞůĂƐƐŽĨϮϬϭϳ ĨŽƌƚŚĞŝƌĞdžĐĞůůĞŶƚ,^ZĞƐƵůƚƐ 2 First Places in Course | 5 Top Achievers in Course 15 students on the All-Rounders List ϵϴƐƚƵĚĞŶƚƐǁŝƚŚϮϵϴŵĞŶƟŽŶƐŽŶƚŚĞŝƐƟŶŐƵŝƐŚĞĚĐŚŝĞǀĞƌƐ>ŝƐƚ 8 students achieved an ATAR above 99 21% of students achieved an ATAR above 95 43% of students achieved an ATAR above 90 EŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶƐ͗ϰKŶ^ƚĂŐĞͮϯEKZͮϭd^ĨŽƌ^ŚĂƉĞ

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you beauty

Melissa Alle nIH 50ml spray fra ave Calm grance, $3 melissaalle nmoodessen 8, tials.com

n avocado, Crabtree & Evely oisturising -m ra ult sil olive & ba $30, , py era hand th n.com.au crabtree-evely

Natural assets When it comes to nourishing and revitalising the skin, Mother Nature provides With a host of plant-based ingredients that both nourish and pamper. c ompi l e d by Ki r s t y Mc K e nz i e , p h oto g r a p hy K e n Br a s s

Enbacci age revitalising eye defence, $88, enbacci.com

Antipodes Heavenly body oil, $54, antipodesnature.com

No Pong all natural , anti odourant, $9.95 original $10.95 bicarb-free, nopong.com

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ship skin Antipodes Wor serum, $59, t an defence antioxid re.com tu antipodesna

Crabtree & Evelyn avocado & olive oil triple-mille d soap, $14, crabtree-evelyn.c om.au

Byron Bay Skincare replenishing cream, $26.95, byronbayskincare.com.au

talise Scout Cosmetics daily revi cleansing crème, $34.95, scoutcosmetics.com

Antipodes Hosanna H2O intensive skin-plum ping serum, $54, antipodesnatu re.com

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in the shops

IN THE SAC

TEQUILA CORRALEJO

COOMBER BROS JEWELLERS

This beautiful 100 per cent linen embroidered sheet set combines two different weights and textures of linen with a 4cm embroidered flange. The top sheet is a refined textured linen and is light as a feather. inthesac.com.au

Each Three Amigos tequila has a unique flavour and identity due to different ageing processes. However, they all are created to the same high standard that makes Tequila Corralejo the true Mexican tequila. tequilacorralejo.com.au

Even jewellery needs a makeover sometimes. Coomber Bros can design a new piece for you using your existing jewellery. They will work with you to create a one-off design that will last a lifetime. coomberbros.com.au

store strolling Things we love that you are bound to want in your life. c omp i l e d by f i c o l l i n s

VANITONE

JSALA SOY CANDLES

Offering furniture that is moisture- and humidity-resistant with a durable two-pack lacquer finish, Vanitone manufactures vanity units that are crafted in Australia along with Scandinavian stone baths. vanitone.com.au

Jsala Soy Candles are hand produced and offer traditional as well as contemporary scents and designs. New to Jsala is the Floral Embossed Tin range, perfect for travel and sending as gifts. jsalasoycandles.com.au

griffin+row NATURAL SKINCARE The botanical nutrients in griffin+row products combined with the skinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural regeneration cycle will deliver visible results to dry, sensitive and ageing skin. Derived from nature and made in Australia. griffinandrow.com

RUSTICA HARDWARE

YEALANDS

CANTERBURY SINK & TAP

Barn doors are one of the hottest decorating trends to come from USA. American-made Rustica Hardware is now available in Australia. The tracks are made to length and customised for your project. rusticahardware.com.au, ph 07 3245 6190

The Peter Yealands Pinot Gris 2017 is brimming with pear drop and fig aromas with a full palate that is perfectly balanced with a fresh, crisp finish. A handcrafted, vegan-friendly wine that matches beautifully with salads and white meat. yealands.co.nz/au

Nicolazzi Industrial is a stunning range of bathroom fittings new to the Australian market. Handmade in Italy from low-lead brassware, the range is available in 24 colours. Nicolazzi Industrial stands out in the market for design and quality. sinkandtap.com.au

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in the shops

GILLY STEPHENSON

SMITTEN MERINO

AKUBRA

Rejuvenate and protect your chopping boards with this trio of citrus-based Chopping Board Oils. Easy to use, these oils have a delightful fragrance and have the added benefit of mould resistance. gillystephenson.com

This versatile lightweight pure Merino wrap is a little bit poncho and a little bit pashmina. Perfect to throw over a dress or elegant outfit in the evening, and great for travel as it is so light. 100 per cent Merino. Available in black, cream and soft grey, $149. smittenmerino.com

The Avalon is a popular urban unisex style. It is a soft felt hat that features a soft buckram inner and a plaited bonded leather band with a brass Akubra plate. Designed to go anywhere, the Avalon is a head turner for all seasons. Shown in Hazelnut. akubra.com.au

CHEMINEE

THE ORIGINAL LAMP SHOP

SHOP INSIDE

Proudly celebrating 33 years in Australia, Cheminee Philippe guarantees high-quality heating products. The French fireplaces are 100 percent designed and manufactured in France and offer a dual-opening door heater. cheminee.com.au

Add a splash of vintage with an antique oil and kerosene lamp from The Original Lamp Shop. With some lamps dating as far back as the 19th century, the shop has something for every lover of antique and vintage lighting. kero-lamps.com.au

Malala Wall Hanging by Bambury is just one of the many options in wall art available from Shop Inside. With a wide range of bed linen and homeware products priced from budget to designer, there is something to be found for every room of the house. shopinside.com.au

TONGUE N GROOVE

HOWARD PRODUCTS

ROCKY POINT MULCHING

Be bold and make a statement with TNG parquetry flooring. A play on a traditional design, this oversized Chevron parquetry will bring any room to life. Available in a range of colours, formats and sizes. tngflooring.com.au

Chalk-Tique Powder Additive can turn ordinary leftover water-based paint into chalk-style paint that adheres to most surfaces. Suitable for wood, glass, ceramic, laminate, and metal, it produces a durable matte finish that can be easily distressed and waxed. howardproducts.com.au

Pelletised Blood & Bone has an added percentage of carbon-rich, fully-composted chicken manure, which introduces large numbers of beneficial microbes that help release natural nutrients faster than traditional blood and bone. rpmulching.com.au

australiancountry.net.au

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AUSTRALIAN

COUNTRY Subscription Options 2 years of Australian Country (12 issues MAG ONLY)

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mailorder@universalmagazines.com.au Subscriptions will commence with the first available issue. Existing subscriptions will simply be extended. Free gifts arrive separately to the magazine subscription and are sent as soon as possible. Free gift offers do not apply to subscribers currently on the Easy Payment Plan or those upgrading with the Early Bird offer. Offer open to Australian residents only. By subscribing you acknowledge that you understand that ‘tip-ons’ and gifts or bonus issues that may be available with non-subscriber copies of this magazine may not be provided to subscribers and is at the discretion of Universal Magazines Pty Ltd. The Promoter shall not be liable for any loss or damage which is suffered or sustained (including but not limited to, indirect or consequential loss) or for personal injury which is suffered or sustained as a result of taking part in this or any other gift offer. By subscribing, you consent to receive any direct marketing material including emails which inform the recipient of the Promoter’s other publications, products, services or events and to receive promotional material from third parties. Please tick the box if you do NOT wish us to use this information for the purposes stated above . Offer only available while stocks last, or until expiry date.

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just browsing

c omp i l e d by Ki r s t y Mc K e nz i e

MADE TO LAST VANESSA MURRAY, HARDIE GRANT TRAVEL, $59.99 In our disposable world, it’s refreshing to find this compendium of artisans, trades and projects that focuses on durable items made by hand by true craftspeople. Made to Last features 50 artisans from around the world and details their projects, tools and tricks of their trade. From leathersmiths and welders to woodworkers, globe makers and home

distillers, this is a both a how-to manual as well as a tribute to what in many cases could be dying arts.

CORNERSMITH SALADS & PICKLES ALEX ELLIOTT-HOWERY AND SABINE SPINDLER, MURDOCH BOOKS, $39.99 As co-founder of the Sydney cafe and picklery brand with a sustainable focus,

All books from TIM DENOODLE HARDIE Tim Denoodle is a Sydney photographer GRANT and writer who has exhibited at various TRAVEL, Sydney galleries. In this book he brings $32.99 a very personal insight to his home city and visits both the iconic postcard locations as well as some hidden gems.

SYDNEY IN PHOTOS

MELBOURNE IN PHOTOS CHRIS GROENHOUT & RACHEL LEWIS Husband-and-wife team Chris Groenhout and Rachel Lewis share pictures of their favourite o Melbourne haunts. From Brighton’s bathing boxes to the CBD laneways, this is like having a local take you on a tour of Melbourne’s best, and quirkiest, bits.

BRISBANE IN PHOTOS LARISSA DENING Larissa Dening is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer. In this photo essay she travels through her home city exploring from obvious landmarks to little-known rooftop bars. 142

Alex Elliott-Howery refers to herself as Mrs Cornersmith. Her partner in crime in this book is Cornersmith head chef and selfconfessed waste warrior Sabine Spindler. Together they aim to make vegetables the hero of the plate and in the process, help readers to make good food with great taste and reduced food waste. From eat-your-scraps recipes such as salt-preserved citrus skins and pickled watermelon rind to inspired salad combinations, flavoured vinegars and numerous relishes, chutneys and preserves, this book is all about flavour and plenty of it.

MATT MORAN’S AUSTRALIAN FOOD MATT MORAN, MURDOCH BOOKS, $45 Matt Moran is an eighth-generation Australian, fourth-generation farmer and the owner of some of Australia’s most accoladed restaurants including Sydney’s celebrated twohatted Aria. With this pedigree it’s no surprise that his recipes are firmly rooted in the land and its produce. This collection is a delicious combination of traditional favourites such as roast chicken with sage and onion stuffing and lime delicious pudding with offerings that nod to our multicultural diversity. So a sirloin steak comes with a chilli and coriander relish and there’s red lentil dahl and a Thai-style fish curry alongside recipes for Anzac biscuits and pavlova. The book is beautifully illustrated with images by Will Meppem and the pages are interspersed with landscape shots that would make this book a great gift for sending overseas.

australiancountry.net.au

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a novel idea BIRTHRIGHT

MORE GREAT PROPERTIES OF COUNTRY VICTORIA RICHARD ALLEN AND KIMBAL BAKER, MIEGUNYAH PRESS, $59.99 This beautiful book takes the reader on a tour of 13 properties of Victoria’s Western District. Through the stories of the grand homesteads and gardens of the region Richard Allen follows the fortunes of the squatters who risked all to create an antipodean England with architect-designed Georgian and Victorian homes and the sprawling grounds that surrounded them. Kimbal Baker’s superb photographs complete this portrait of a very prosperous part of Australia.

A SHORT HISTORY OF GOLF MATT CLEARY, NEW HOLLAND PUBLISHERS, $29.99 Sports writer Matt Cleary is a self-confessed golf tragic, so this loosely chronological meander through the greats of the game, tells its history through the achievements of the men and women who have earned celebrity by chasing the white ball. From Old Tom Morris to Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman (who also wrote the foreword) and Tiger Woods, all the golfing legends are mentioned. Women are not forgotten with honourable mentions for Karrie Webb, Patty Berg, Annika Sorenstam and the multiskilled Olympian, Mildred Ella Didrikson Zaharis, better known as Babe.

FIONA LOWE, HARLEQUIN, $29.99 Fiona Lowe has been a midwife, a sexual health counsellor and a family support worker, all of which are great precursors for an author who writes about the complexities of family relationships. In this, her 30th novel, she tackles the vexed issue of inheritance and the tangled web it creates for those who are giving and those who receive. In the case of the Jamieson family, the inheritance is large, and the manipulative benefactor is the matriarch Margaret, who is succumbing to dementia. Th ffallout all ll t iiss th hat h e chil h The that her children end up at war with each other and it seems that there can only be one winner. In fact, Fiona Lowe manages to come up with several.

FORCE OF NATURE JANE HARPER, PAN MACMILLAN AUSTRALIA, $32.99 Jane Harper’s first novel, The Dry, was the runaway success of 2016. It sold more than 440,000 copies worldwide, won several awards and secured a Hollywood movie contract. So the big question was, could the English-born, Melbourne-based journalist and author repeat that kind of success? The short answer is yes, as Force of Nature brings her federal agent protagonist, Aaron Falk to yet another investigation. This time round, five women walk into the bush on a corporate team-building exercise and, three days later, only four of them come back. The story alternates between the events told from the women’s perspective and the unravelling of their story by Aaron Falk and his wingwoman, Carmen Cooper. Jane Harper spent some of her career in country Australia, and perhaps this is why her novels have resonance for anyone who has experience of the bush. Of course, she also knows how to write a ripping good yarn.

BURKE & WILLS PETER FITZSIMONS, HACHETTE AUSTRALIA, $49.99 The prolific journalist, sports writer, columnist, radio and TV presenter and author is at it again with his trademark story telling skills, this time directed at explorers Robert O’Hara Bourke and William John Wills. The outcome of their ill-fated attempt to cross Australia from south to north may be wellknown, but Fitzsimons manages to weave a sense of immediacy into the story and turn his protagonists into real living characters, for whom we can’t help but feel empathy. He also indulges the reader with a few what ifs, which leave you wondering whether, but for different circumstances and a few twists of

fate, this chapter in Australian history might have turned out very differently.

SCOTTY’S TOP AUSSIE SHEDS SCOTT CAM, MURDOCH BOOKS, $35 They say every man deserves a shed and builder and TV personality Scott Cam is the proud owner of two sheds, one in the city

and one in the bush. Some of his happiest memories revolve around time spent in sheds, so he was prompted to look at sheds and their owners from all over the country. From completely kitted-out tool sheds to car workshops, games rooms and even fully functioning pubs, Scott’s book is superbly illustrated with photographs by Maya Vidulich. australiancountry.net.au

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readers letters readers' letters

Win a Prize thanks for being in touch. we welcome your feedback. Last issue generated lots of feedback from our readers. Below: Katrina Nash has been awarded the 2018 JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism.

Winning streak I wanted to let you know that Australian Country’s 2017 scholarship winner, Katrina Nash, has been awarded the 2018 JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism. As the winner of this prestigious award, Katrina will receive $10,000 cash plus internships at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, The Land newspaper and with the ABC’s Landline in Brisbane. In addition to this, Katrina will have a piece published in the RAS Times and will speak at the Rural Scholars & Showgirls presentation in the amphitheatre during the Royal Easter Show. Cecilia Logan, Royal Agricultural Society Foundation, Homebush NSW

Happy coincidence Just two months ago I was standing in the street admiring the Rolleston house you featured in the September/October issue and now I get to see it on the inside — incredible! My partner and I were on our return journey from a trip out to Charleville, Longreach, Winton, Charters Towers, Townsville and Emerald and heading back to Injune to stay once again with family. We also stopped at Springsure (lovely town with the amazing rock formations as the backdrop) and visited the tourist information centre and old buildings before heading onto Rolleston where we enjoyed our morning tea in the park in the centre of this very small, but quaint, town. What a coincidence to find that part of our adventure somewhat went hand in hand with your wonderful story. Keep up the great stories. I so love that

And the winner is ... Ian Anderson of Maleny Qld, who wins a fun and fabulous FUJIFILM instax Mini 9 camera that’s valued at $99.

144

Thanks for being in touch. We welcome your feedback. We appreciate your thoughts and in each issue, one correspondent wins a prize. Simply email Kirsty at kmckenzie@ universalmagazines.com.au or write to us at Australian Country, Locked Bag 154, North Ryde NSW 1670. We reserve the right to edit lengthy letters before publication. Our favourite correspondent next issue will win a gift set of coconut, caramel and tonka bean candles and a diffuser from our friends at The Aromatherapy Company. Just tell us about your favourite story or feature to be in the running to win this wonderful prize.

you really dig deep into our interesting heartland. Julie Walker, Coramba NSW

Bouquet I was shopping in Coles today when I spotted the November/December edition of Australian Country, so I bought a copy. When I got home there was another in the letter box. Perfect! Now I have one for here and one for SA. And you have an extra sale! Thank you for the lovely story about The Olives. Also to Ross Williams for his pictures and Bronte Camilleri for her wonderful styling. The interior never looked better! Your coverage was most generous. Mark Day, Manly NSW

Snapchat Our daughter and son-in-law, Alexandra and Jeffrey York, and their children were featured in your September/ October issue in the article about the house renovated after removal to Rolleston in Queensland. I am a very old vintage photographer, and to say the least, the photos you used, and the reproduction are exemplary. The clarity, depth of field, lighting, composition, and general arranging is quite wonderful. May we offer our sincerest congratulations. We would like to offer praise to photographer Ken Brass and congratulate him on his skill and, knowing our grandchildren, appreciation of his tolerance in obtaining such photos. Ian Anderson, Maleny Qld

australiancountry.net.au

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don't miss ... AUSTRALIAN

YOUR CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Editor Kirsty McKenzie email kmckenzie@universalmagazines.com.au Design Rachel Henderson Contributors Paul Allam, Tess Beagley, Adi Bukman, David McGuinness, Tamara Simoneau, Miriam Van Cooten Photography Alan Benson, Ken Brass, Peggy Cormary, Debora Deulofeu, Anastasia Kariofyllidis, Carrie Young Advertising NSW Fiona Collins mobile 0410 977 365 email fcollins@universalmagazines.com.au Directory sales Angela Jevdich ph (02) 9887 0641 email ajevdich@universalmagazines.com.au Advertising VICTORIA Angelos Tzovlas ph (03) 9694 6404; mobile 0433 567 071 email atzovlas@universalmagazines.com.au Advertising Production Co-ordinator Anna Cindric Advertising Art Director Martha Rubazewicz Publisher Janice Williams For Subscriptions and Mail Orders phone 1300 303 414 Circulation Enquiries to our Sydney Head Office (02) 9805 0399

Chairman/CEO Publisher Chief Financial Officer Associate Publisher Finance & Administration Manager Creative Director Editorial & Production Manager Marketing & Acquisitions Manager

Prema Perera Janice Williams Vicky Mahadeva Emma Perera James Perera Kate Podger Anastasia Casey Chelsea Peters

Australian Country Vol. 21.2 (No 126) is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8 Byfield Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office, Suite 4, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne Vic 3205. Phone (03) 9694 6444 Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed in Singapore by Times Printers, timesprinters.com. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch, Australia. Singapore — Car Kit Pte Ph 65 6 282 1960 magazines1source.com NZ Distributors: Needlecraft: (06) 356 4793, fax: (06) 355 4594, needlecraft.co.nz. Netlink, (09) 366 9966 This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publisher believes all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. * Recommended retail price ISSN 1323-9708 Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXVIII ACN 003 026 944 universalmagazines.com.au Please pass on or recycle this magazine. This magazine is printed on paper produced in a mill that meets Environmental Management System ISO 9001.

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we’ve again scoured the country for your reading pleasure calling in on some fabulous folk and places. In NSW we catch up with US expat and former champion motorbike rider Ele Fraser at her home in Barrington and artist Paula Jenkins at her home and studio near Walcha. We also visit our old friends Elizabeth and Patrick Brennan at their new farm and historic homestead, Melrose Park near Mudgee and meet Andrew and Barbara Ball at their beautiful house and garden in Moree. We’ve stories from South Australia as well, with a visit to the historic 1856 estate of Bungala House at Yankalilla on the Fleurieu peninsula and florist Anna Vogt at her gorgeous Gooseberry Hill flower farm at Meadows in the Adelaide Hills. In Queensland we’ve been tracking the passage of the seasons in Toowoomba at Bunya Park and we drop into to the Sunshine Coast hinterland to feature the home of a globe-trotting couple, who chose to settle in Eumundi. Our travel story heads to World Heritagelisted Lord Howe Island, and as the cooler months are approaching we have a heating story planned. We’ve loads more decorating and gardening inspiration on every page, so please to join us for Australian Country 21.3, which goes on sale april 26. australiancountry.net.au

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where to buy

STOCKISTS & CONTACTS Akubra ph: (02) 6562 6177, e: salesenquiries@akubra.com.au, w: akubra.com.au Antique Baths 162 Bungaree Rd, Pendle Hill NSW 2145. ph (02) 9896 0109, e: info@antiquebaths.com.au, w: antiquebaths.com.au Artesano de Espana ph: 0431 318 203, e: enquiries@ artesano.com.au, w: artesano.com.au Birdsnest ph: 1300 696 378, w: birdsnest.com.au

High Stakes fashion, page 42.

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Canterbury Sink and Tap Co Unit 1, 34 Research Dr, Croydon South Vic 3136, ph: (03) 9761 4603, w: sinkandtap.com.au Chatterton Lacework 43 Beverage Dr, Tullarmarine Vic 3043, ph: (03) 93304466, e: info@chatterton.com.au, w: chatterton.com.au Cheminee ph: (02) 9564 2694, e: sales@cheminee.com.au, w: cheminee.com.au Colonial Castings 95-97 Market St, SmithďŹ eld NSW. ph: (02) 9604 8222, e: info@colonialcastings.com.au, w: colonialcastings.com.au

Rainbow Hanging Chair, $2156, satara.com.au, page 115.

Coomber Bros Jewellery 78 McDowell St, Roma Qld 4455. ph: (07) 4622 1145, e: sales@coomber bros.com.au, w: coomberbros.com.au Emu Wire Industries 21 w:Stanley Dr, Somerton Vic 3062. ph: (03) 9308 5599, e: sales@emuwire.com.au, w: emuwire.com.au Gilly Stephenson PO Box 279, Mundaring WA 6073. ph: (08) 9295 1973, e:info@gillystephenson.com, w:gillystephenson.com Goondiwindi Cotton, PO Box 288, Goondiwindi Qld 4390. ph: (07) 4671 5611, e: info@goondiwindicotton.com.au, w: goondiwindicotton.com.au Harkaway Homes Cnr Princes Hwy & Station St, Officer Vic 3809. ph: (03) 5943 2388, e: steve@harkawayhomes.com.au, w: harkawayhomes.com.au Howard Products 33 Griffin Ave, Tamworth NSW 2340. ph: 1800 672 646, w: howardproducts.com.au Inner Space Furniture 144 The Mall, Leura NSW 2043. ph: (02) 4784 1143, w: leuramall.com Jsala Soy Candles ph: 0433 467226, e:janine50@yahoo. com.au, w:jsalasoycandles.com.au John W Thompson & Son Suite 1, Level 4, The Dymocks Building, 428 George St Sydney 2000. ph: (02) 9233 3520, e: enquire@johnwthompson.net, w: johnwthompson.net

Rocky Point Mulching 709 Stapylton-Jacobs Well Rd, Woongoolba Qld 4207. ph: (07) 5546 2470, e: baled@rpmulching.com.au, w: rpmulching.com.au Shop Inside Homewares ph: (03) 9931 0160, e: support@ shopinside.com.au, w: shopinside.com.au Smitten Merino PO Box 199, Battery Point TAS 7004. ph: (03) 6212 0197, e: admin@smittenmerino.com, w: smittenmerino.com The Original Lamp Shop 84A Duncan St Braidwood NSW 2622. ph: 0408 483 255, e: robert@kero-lamps.com.au, w: kerolamps.com The Patchwork Box ph: (02) 4861 2519, e: sales@patchworkbox.com.au, w: patchworkbox.com.au Thomas Cook Boot & Clothing Co 8/100 Station St, Nunawading Vic 3131. ph: (03) 8872 7272, e: enquiries@tbac.com, w:thomascook.com.au Treloar Roses, 216 Princes Hwy, Portland Vic 3305. ph: 1300 044 852, e: sales@treloarroses.com.au; w: treloarroses.com.au Vanitone ph: 0438 100 310, e: sales@vanitone.com.au, w: vanitone.com.au Yealands Estate Wines Ltd Cnr Seaview and Reserve Rds, Marlborough 7285 New Zealand. ph: +64 3 575 7618, w: yealands.co.nz

australiancountry.net.au

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Chelsea Park

…a boutique bed and breakfast with a difference difference

Chelsea Park is a glamorously restored Art Deco mansion, painted in a mellow, period cream to highlight the classic Deco lines and dramatic curves. When you arrive at this Bowral gem, you soon appreciate why Chelsea Park is called Hollywood in the Highlands. nd ds. Sweeping up the driveway to Chelsea Park, you feel transported back in time and the mood continues inside as you are welcomed into a 1930s environment.

Arcadia House Arcadia House is a country-style home located close to the heart of Bowral. Fully self-contained accommodation for families and groups. Five comfortable bedrooms, two spacious bathrooms and all linen provided. Your home in the country, child friendly and close to all the attractions. Savour the lifestyle, sit and relax in a little bit of heaven known as the Southern Highlands.

More information at www.chelseaparkbnb.com.au or www.arcadia-house.com 589 Moss Vale Road Burradoo NSW 2576 T: (02) 4861 7046 E: chelsea@hinet.net.au

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Australian Country#21.2 (CCS212)  

Australian Country is a magazine that lets you escape. This luxurious title delves into the world of sprawling homesteads, charming properti...

Australian Country#21.2 (CCS212)  

Australian Country is a magazine that lets you escape. This luxurious title delves into the world of sprawling homesteads, charming properti...