Sydney Magazine Review Posted June 12, 2013

Off

Here is an article that was published in The Sydney Magazine:

After a bit of detective work, settle back and indulge yourself
writes Kendall Hill

Renting a weekender always brings with it the temptation to guess what the owners are like from clues left on the property. Away at Berry, a sandstone country house in the rustic French style, has more clues than most.

There is a strikingly modern CD player with funky column speakers and high fidelity sound (serious music lovers) and a modest library featuring titles by Gough Whitlam and Kenneth Slessor, a history of Balmain and Glebe, and a volume on cricket. Eclectic lefties, we decide, and rich to boot. Whoever you are, thanks very much. After a weary week in town it was bliss to tuck ourselves away at Away and pretend we live like that all the time.

Set on a large block bordered by Brogers Creek and ringed by national park and state forest, the property is luxurious. The view towards Ulrich’s Pass and Budderoo National Park is captivating, while indulgent accommodation awaits indoors.

As well as four comfortable bedrooms there are two bathrooms a claw foot bath in each plus extra loo, a laundry, a combined and capacious living area comprising a gourmand’s kitchen, a dining area and lounge with cathedral ceiling, and generous deck with outdoor dining setting and barbecue. Attractive landscaping features an elevated lawn, a pond packed with bulrushes and frogs, a rose garden, citrus grove and plantings of fuchsias and gardenias. Rainbow lorikeets, blue wrens, kookaburras and giant skinks share the surrounds with you.

There’s not much walking to do nearby unless you’re a fan of very steep country roads. Better to drive 10 minutes or so to Seven Mile Beach and the national park there, or visit Kangaro Valley just down the mountain. Berry is less than 10 minutes drive (Sydney’s about two hours, give or take a traffic jam) and seems to have even more cafes and antiquey boutiques than last time we visited. Getting a park near the main street at Saturday lunchtime requires as much optimism as ever but the town is still a worthy diversion. Have a beer at the kooky Great Southern Hotel (the one with the wall display of hub caps), scout out second hand book bargains, or pick up some gourmet heat and serve meals from Delicious Food by Lisa!

The weather remained mostly moody and atmospheric, as it tends to in the mountains, but the sun came out one afternoon and we took advantage of it by lying on the rear lawn and staring skywards. Simple pleasures, true, but the memory still makes me smile.