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Treasures in Beechworth

It was a wonderful Autumn weekend, with the chill in the air warranting the lighting of the wood fire heater for the first time this year at little haven and the cooler weather made gardening outside a pleasant activity for a change, after the long summer heat. On Sunday we decided to put our home chores aside and we headed to the nearby town of Beechworth to visit the cordial factory that had been recommended to us by Tom’s parents. I admit, I do like sweet drinks, yet the idea of a cordial factory is not something I felt that excited about visiting. However, upon arrival I realised how very wrong I had been to underestimate it.

The building itself is a beautiful gorgeous red brick and it has been the home of the factory since 1865. We met one of the owners, Nathan Cowan, who talked us through the cordial tasting (we bought 3 different types, they were that amazing) and explained how he and his partner had bought it 18 months ago after moving up from Melbourne. They relaunched the business under its original name and now also make beers again, like the factory did 70 years ago!

Not only do they have cordial tastings, they have a café where we had some delicious coffee and breakfast, an old school barber that is decorated so charmingly and a speak-easy bar with old school leather lounges and their beer on tap (think swanky Veronica Lodge’s basement-bar-below-Pops vibes). I wish I had the chance of taking photos of the bar, however it was too early in the morning to be open for visitors so we just peeked through the window. Next time, we promise.

If that was not enough, a small sign directs you to the back of the property where there is an old carriage museum filled with old, vintage buggies and carriages that is so beautifully nostalgic and was magical to walk around and explore with not another soul in sight.

Before heading home we stopped by Beechworth Galleries – our favourite vintage and antiques shop and as usual, our “lets just have a look” turned into a boot full of old treasures. The owners are always lovely and helpful, and their hauls from around the world also extend out into the garden. There are lots of metal sculptures around the property as well that must be created by some local artist that would make quite the statement piece.

We ended up leaving with a concrete bench we plan on painting white, a little wooden house shaped shelf I need to find a place for, an old metal grate that is now decorating the shed by the veggie patch and the find we are most excited about….. our new vegetable garden gate!!! Isn’t she beautiful?

The gate has travelled all the way from South Africa, is heavy iron and handcrafted by a blacksmith. It has whimsical, old world vibes that we love and think it will make the perfect entry way into our garden. Next project? Creating the veggie garden fence!

If you are ever near Beechworth we highly recommend checking both places out, and hope in the meantime you are having wonderful little adventures of your own.

Adventuring, Food

gourmet yarrawonga

We have had a slight reprieve from the heat wave, so with a milder 32 celsius forecast we decided to head towards Yarrawonga to do some op-shopping and visit the olive farm gate we had heard so much about. We picked up some interesting books at the op shop before heading out towards to Glen Rich Olive Estate. We were not sure really what to expect as it was very dry out that way but between the golden paddocks there it was, a little oasis of green and charm.

We headed for the cool inside, not sure really what to expect and were delighted to find olive oil & dressings tastings, beauty products made from their olives and lots of delicious produce.

We bought a kitchen cleaner spray, aromatherapy room spray, a rose hand serum for me and a wardrobe & drawer freshener that smelt divine.

Then we decided to head back outside to explore the gardens and found a lovely little vegetable and herb patch that gave us garden envy and the little sunflowers truly made it feel like summer.

Lastly we headed back into town, decided to treat ourselves to a milkshake at the Naked Tree Cafe though little did we know we ordered the king of all shakes ! I think we will be on a sugar high for the rest of the day but it was very much worth it.

Overall a lovely day and we hope you are making the most of this summer weather as well! x


A little walk

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir ‘Father of National Parks.

The weather was sunny with only the faintest hint of chill in the breeze, a perfect spring’s day in other words, and we decided to make the most of it. When we had come to the region 3 or so years ago, we found a little leisurely walk in the Warby Ranges that was close to home yet felt like we were far removed from civilization and the wildflowers and running water made it truly enchanting.

So off we went to see how things had changed. It was green, the flowers were out as were the bright yellow wattles.  However, the signs of a dry winter were also very evident with the stream and falls containing barely a trickle. Everyone’s fear of a drought this summer was looking very likely.

Yet we pushed that thought aside for the moment, what would come would come, and we enjoyed the peacefulness of the spot and the fact we were the only ones there. We also eyed off a rather steep ‘path’ up the falls and then decided we would play it safe and settle for a drink in a little green meadow area instead.

Listening to the kookaburra who serenaded us while we drank and took in our beautiful surroundings was restorative and we left feeling recharged after a week in the office. I also know this was not just my imagination, as studies have been conducted in Japan on ‘forest bathing’ where it has been proven to lower blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone product and boost the immune system. Furthermore it helps remind us that we are all part of an interconnected system, it’s grounding and helps inspire creativity.

I remember when we lived in the city and we would travel out to places that had no people or buildings around it felt like my soul and body were recharging. Now that we live in the country I never feel that my batteries are depleted quite in that way, yet forest bathing always helps ease worries away and helps connect to the wild aspect of nature.

We hope to visit again soon.