It's not every day that a novellist comes to stay at your home and then uses images and impressions from your place to create a whole place within her novel.
Last week we attended the launch of Chandani Lokuge's "My Van Gogh" and purchased our first 5 copies of the book. I was so delighted to read chapter 2 of the book, to find so many images directly from our home there - it was like walking into our place as I read on. Chandani captured so many details: the front porch, our piano in the "morning room", the music studio, the turkish lamp in our family room, our orchard past our chook pen - even Spring, our dog, gets a mention!
Chandani has arranged with her publisher to make the book available for purchase by our guests when they stay with us. What a wonderful memento of your stay with us!
Don't forget to ask us for your copy!
So often folks' parting comments go something like: "this is the best Bnb we've ever been in so far!" I've wondered what it is that makes us so special so, recently, I decided to ask the guest. It seems that you like:
"I have been to nine different countries and have experienced many different types of accommodations. I must say my stay with Peter and Donrita has been the closest feeling to home which is something money can't buy. It's not often you find such humble company to compliment the beautiful estate which they live on. I first came thinking what beautiful landscape, I leave saying that was second to the pleasure of meeting two new friends. Thanks for all your help!"
"I slept like a boulder in a warm comfy bed - the sunset tonight on the way to your lovely place was stunning. What lovely hosts. I will recommend Arts Estate to everyone..."
And Kim and Thu said:
"This has been the most beautiful experience we have since coming to Australia. Your hospitality is wonderful and your farm is a charming place. Thank you very much for hosting us and sharing your lifestyle with us."
YOU deserve a holiday like this too! Retreat from stress and take it easy at our place where you can just "chill"!
Are you travelling alone and looking for a peaceful, relaxing place to stay? Found work in or around Bairnsdale but still need to work out your accommodation? Look no further.
Our newly opened "Budget Room" has been very popular with folks looking for accommodation while they work in the Bairnsdale area. You may only need a week or two to settle in and find permanent accommodation. Let us give you a relaxing place to come home to at the end of the day while you look for a place to rent.
You may be travelling in and out and just need a constant place to call home while you're working nearby. Stay with us and we'll provide you with a king single bed, breakfast with lots of home made goodies and free use of our kitchen to make your evening meal.
Our Budget King Single Room at Reefman Arts Estate Retreat is proving to be a favourite. You'll have the privacy of your own room, a choice of living spaces to chill and wake to the sound of bird calls, lowing cattle and the sights of our serene farm.
Have a look at our website and contact us either through the booking buttons or send us an email at email@example.com or call Donrita on 0411 702 068.
And we're confident that you'll want to come back for a holiday in one of our other accommodation packages. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Peter's Mum, Ria, died last September after a brief hospital stay and after Peter had spent 4 days by her side in Sydney. After we'd moved to our farm on Arts Estate Retreat, Ria had come to visit three times. Her comment (as was typical) when admiring all we showed her was "ohh vwaouw!!" (her way of saying " oh wow!") Always the lover of gardening and native plants, during what was to become her last visit, Ria took Peter and me shopping to a local nursery for native seedlings to plant around our Lavender Cottage. She bought us over 100 plants, which has subsequently grown into a beautiful gardenscape around the cottage.
After Ria died, it seemed to us fitting to make Lavender Cottage garden a memorial for Ria - "Ria's Garden". We agreed that it would be great if we could put a solid wooden garden bench with a plaque to honour Ria. After some research online and in local Bairnsdale I found just the thing at Dahlson's - a bench on display there on behalf of the Bairsdale Specialist School. I rang the school and commissioned both the bench and the plaque, made by the students themselves. Peter picked it up and installed it with great ceremony just a few weeks ago and my Mum and Dad were there for the "unveiling" and were the first to try it out.
As I sat on her bench, I imagined Ria sitting beside me and asked her what she thought. Her answer: "ohh vwaouw!" Thank you Ria!
We've been asked a number of times why we are called "Arts" Estate Retreat. What does "Arts" have to do with it? Well, it all started with our son, Nick, who established his original Sydney business "Arts Estate" before we decided to embark on our sustainability "tree change".
Nick's mission was to hold a series of "soirees", featuring fine food and wine, local artists and live musicians. Often the menu consisted of Nick's own creations.
When we moved and established our Bnb, we agreed to "piggy-back" the accommodation business onto Nick's "Arts Estate". Although Nick is now only home about one month of the year (when you can hear him practising and composing), Donrita also plays and teaches piano and singing. We also plan to promote local artists by displaying their art in our guest rooms and cottage. If you know of any artists who would like to have their art featured with us, please ask them to send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see, Nick (Niq) is a multi-instrumentalist, touring the country (and the world) as a travelling minstrel, performing quirky tunes with challenging messages that engage delighted audiences. He's currently working on his second album of original music - and, just as in his debut album, all the music is played and sung by Nick himself.
How better to spend a cooler day than making Tamarillo Chutney from the many tamarillos that our tree produced for us (and the birds also thought they'd like to share them!) Hmmm! Smell that yummy aroma of tamarillo chutney simmering!
Who says you can't have a holiday in Winter? Too expensive to stay at the snow fields with the whole family? What about a day trip to Dinner Plain from our place and be back with us in time for dinner? (We do it every year!) We are offering special discounts for the winter months (until the end of August). Simply go to our Accommodation booking page and make your booking.
We wouldn't want to live on bread alone I suppose. But things could be worse at our breakfast times! We bake our own fresh bread as it's needed...and what a lovely treat it is to wake up or come back from a day of farm work and breathe in the homely aroma of bread just baked.
Peter has developed his own recipe of fruit loaf to add to our other three types of bread: multigrain, wholemeal and white. Mariette has also experimented successfully with gluten free loaves so, if you need this and let us know well in advance, we may be able to bake this especially for you, using her recipe.
Add our own jams (fig, plum, tamarillo, nectarine, etc., depending on what's available) made from fruit directly from our orchard, and eggs from our own cheerful chooks who range freely on our property and you have yourself a delectable breakfast! On a warm morning, why not ask us to set this up on our deck for you to compliment it all with the restorative views over our back paddocks?
(With apologies to Robert Frost)
And I can hear from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound of ripe plums coming in...
Our current team of enthusiastic workawayers have brought in our harvest of plums...with more to come.
Next they'll be helping making jam for your breakfast enjoyment!
...and who needs to go shopping when your garden produces all this?
We invite you to pick ingredients fresh from our farm for cooking your evening meal in our kitchen.