Over the Easter/Anzac long weekends we took a 10 day break and had a proper old-fashioned family holiday. You know – kids and dog into the car, long (ish) drive, zero visibility out of the car rear window, surfboard on the roof – a holiday where all you do is book a place to stay that’s near (ish) a beautiful looking beach and let the rest unfold when you get there….
Let me tell you – it was heaven. The best holiday I think we’ve ever had as a family of 5. Here’s why…
We found a gorgeous looking farmhouse in a gorgeous looking area of hinterland behind a gorgeous looking stretch of coast in the travel section of the SMH last year sometime. “Gorgeous” we decided and did the totally uncharacteristic thing for us of booking it straight away. We had no idea what we’d do when we got there or even what there was to do. We just knew that 10 days there looked like restful, beautiful paradise – GORGEOUS!
With such a build-up of gorgeousness (and a pretty full-on month at work for me and hubby leading up) there was a lot of pressure for it all to be … well … gorgeous – and it was.
Soulitude is about 4km up a dirt road from a tiny hamlet called Hannam Vale which is about 30mins inland from Crowdy Head on the mid north coast of NSW. It is dairy country – think green rolling hills, beautiful rivers and waterfalls and not an awful lot else. Stunning countryside all around and a picture perfect grey timber farmhouse and nothing but cows for neighbours.
The farmhouse was so simply decorated – just that right blend of comfort, style and a little bit of something different and a little bit of something worn and loved. Soulitude is NOT posh, or flash or fitted out with the latest luxuries. It does have comfy beds, a wonderful fire, lovely spaces and a lovely style. A real reminder of how the beauty of a house is in the details, the setting and how it makes you feel. Beautiful original dark floorboards, white panelled walls, plenty of original features and a riot of personality and colour through the paintings (painted by the owner Beth – soooo talented). Mrs Cow below was our favourite….
The kitchen was equipped for any budding chef and we cooked up a storm on locally bought produce including a delicious slow-roast lamb shoulder on Easter Sunday (followed by chocolate heaven in the form of Nigella’s Easter nest cake…)
We loved the “window spoon” on a hook by all the sash windows – perfect to prop them open, let in the beautiful country air! Best of all though, was the unbelievable joy of 9 days of solid sunshine and living outdoors in some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen (and I like to think with my English upbringing that we do countryside pretty well!). The running around in pyjamas and gumboots till lunchtime, the garden and surrounding fields to be explored, the cows in our field that we got to know and named, opening the back door and literally saying to the oldest 2 “make sure you come back by lunchtime” – all too good to be true.
There’s plenty to explore in the surrounding area – we loved Waitui Falls, Crowdy Head beach, Dunbogan river and exploring Middle Brother national park. But the beauty of Soulitude is just hanging out, right there, with the people you love best. Check it out my friends – you won’t be sorry – just don’t book it when we want to go back!
You can find out more here – SOULITUDE