AUSTR ALIA COAST TO COAST
K BA ITC SPTHRHEN EC O & IA O M L
ESCAPE THE EVERYDAY
Come inside interior designer Anna Spiro’s home
A PAINTER’S TREK THROUGH THE FLINDERS RANGES
SILVER STAR FROM CHARLEVILLE TO ROYAL ASCOT Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody’s journey
The jeweller who turned her hobby into a business
THE DECORATING ISSUE
t RENOVATE A ROOM IN A WEEKEND t HOW TO MIX PATTERN AND COLOUR tKITCHEN, BATHROOM AND LAUNDRY UPDATE
HOME SWEET HOME 25 PAGES OF DESIGN ADVICE AND DIY PROJECTS
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
My great-great-grandmother’s chaise longue, teacups and saucers given to me by my mother, an old pine table that I used to sit at in my grandmother’s kitchen… these are my favourite things. I know interior designer Anna Spiro feels the same way and similar associations are important in her work. “You draw inspiration from your family’s past. It might be that your grandmother collected a particular brand of china and so you collect the same set. You may want to hang the plates on your kitchen wall, so that every time you look at them you are reminded of her,” she writes in her book Absolutely Beautiful Things. Anna’s gorgeous house — not to mention her lovely golden retriever Ned! — are on this month’s cover and you can see inside her home on page 112. Another very inspiring house in this issue is Pincally Station, where Zanna and Matt Gale live with their three daughters. This lovely home is filled with many pieces of furniture made by Matt, often after Zanna has discovered something in one of the sheds. “I’ve got this great idea…” is often how the next renovation or furniture building project starts, Matt jokes. Like Anna, Zanna credits family for her ability to create such a lovely home: “I’ve inherited my style and way of pulling things together from my mum and grandmother.” See what she has created on page 38. Enjoy the issue,
us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.
4 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS PHOTOGRAPHY FELIX FOREST STYLING CLAIRE DELMAR
I’M VERY SENTIMENTAL AND THE THINGS I LOVE MOST IN MY HOME ARE THE ONES THAT HAVE A MEMORY ATTACHED.
in this issue…
Pictured with daughter Ivy, Leah wrote the page 112 article about Brisbane decorator Anna Spiro.
Did you have a country childhood? I grew up by the beach north of Sydney, and I always feel most at home when I’m near the ocean. What’s your favourite part of Australia? I love the coastline south of Sydney, heading down past Kiama and Nowra — the hills are green and rolling, there are cows and sheep grazing, and beautiful ocean views. Where would you like to visit? Country Victoria, around Daylesford, is so picturesque, and has a wonderful food and wine culture. Describe the Australian countryside. To me, country Australia is about community — people coming together with their neighbours. That’s so hard to find in big cities.
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Did you have a country childhood? My sister and I spent our school holidays with our grandparents in Cobram, a small Victorian town on the Murray River. Those are some of my fondest memories. What’s your favourite part of Australia? I’m a massive fan of country Victoria, be it the trees or the seaside. Where would you like to go next? I’m definitely a country girl trapped in the city, so anywhere with space and rural beauty either in Australia or Italy, which is my second-favourite place in the world. Describe the Australian countryside. There’s something about the sometimes rugged and torn-up land, the old gum trees by the side of the road, the community of a country town… Those things, the landscape and its colours make my heart warm.
6 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
LEAH TWOMEY PHOTOGRAPH HEIDI HERBERT
This Melbourne-based stylist headed to Daylesford for the home story on page 46.
COLLECTION In stores now
www.biancalorenne.com or freephone au 1800 705 393 nz 0800 242 567
november | contents 32
38 cover stories: the decorating issue 18 28 96 105 106 112 125
Silver star: the jeweller who turned her hobby into a business From Charleville to Royal Ascot: Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody’s journey Wild art: a painter’s trek through the Flinders Ranges Home sweet home: 25 pages of design advice and DIY projects Renovate a room in a weekend Absolutely beautiful: come inside interior designer Anna Spiro’s home Kitchen, bathroom and laundry update
Lasting beauty Lucinda Newton has forged a successful career making jewellery in a Victorian seaside town. Verse with a view A painter and a poet join forces to create a book. Our life in the country To spend more time with their daughters, Bronwyn and Alan Wood quit the city to become farmers.
my country childhood 28
Peter Moody The champion trainer says his love of thoroughbreds began early in south-west Queensland.
homes PHOTOGRAPHY JARED FOWLER, MARK ROPER, MICHAEL WEE
Many mansions Two families on the South Australian coast have joined together in a row of four houses. Station masters Creative homemaking on a huge and remote pastoral property north of Broken Hill. Inspired decision A move to Victoria’s Daylesford sparked the creativity of fashion designer Victoria Varrasso.
Hidden treasures Concealed in a Danish wood is an enchanting garden created by grandparents for their extended family. In the garden Useful tips from the botanical world plus our planting guide for November.
food and wine 62 70 72
74 76 78
Happy return Chef Karena Armstrong ends a seven-year break. Flavours Asparagus, sea salt and an Italian gourmet tour. Go the whole hog Exploring the great pig and wine alliance. Life of brine Steve Cumper explains how he came to love clams. Never too late When a man retires it’s time to start baking. Last chance Our Harvest Table competition closes soon.
Learning the landscape A modern painter follows the footsteps of Hans Heysen in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
112 120 125 132 148
fashion and beauty 134 142
AUSTR ALIA COAST TO COAST
K BA ITC SPTHRHEN EC O & IA OM L
ESCAPE THE EVERYDAY
Come inside interior designer Anna Spiro’s home
A PAINTER’S TREK THROUGH THE FLINDERS RANGES
SILVER STAR FROM CHARLEVILLE TO ROYAL ASCOT Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody’s journey
The jeweller who turned her hobby into a business
THE DECORATING ISSUE
t RENOVATE A ROOM IN A WEEKEND t HOW TO MIX PATTERN AND COLOUR tKITCHEN, BATHROOM AND LAUNDRY UPDATE
HOME SWEET HOME 25 PAGES OF DESIGN ADVICE AND DIY PROJECTS
Port of call Watch the water for travellers from afar. Natural extract Essential oils that can help your complexion glow.
STEP INSIDE THIS QUEENSLAND HOME TO SEE HOW ANNA SPIRO PUTS HER DECORATING PRINCIPLES INTO PRACTICE. SEE STORY, PAGE 112. PHOTOGRAPHY JARED FOWLER STYLING ANNA SPIRO
SUBSCRIBE AND RECEIVE A BONUS COUNTRY STYLE 2015 DIARY OR CALENDAR. SEE PAGE 14.
12 25 103 150 151 170
Your Page: readers’ emails and letters. A Month in the Country Dog Tales Books Collectables Country Squire
services 14 151 152 153 161
FREE DIARY OR CALENDAR FOR SUBSCRIBERS Stockists Style Board Country Emporium Country and Coastal Retreats
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PHOTOGRAPHY LISA COHEN, PRUE RUSCOE, MICHAEL WEE
Time to change Renovating tips, from weekend makeovers to major project planning. Bold moves Pattern and colour in designer Anna Spiro’s home. Understudy Latest trends in ﬂooring ﬁnishes. Design essentials New ideas for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. The best in modern appliances Field guide More homewares and decorating inspiration.
TOWN & COUNTRY STYLE
HAMPTONS OUTDOOR ARMADALE SHOWROOM Open 6 days 747 High Street Armadale, Victoria, 3143
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REA DERS LETTERS
This painting, Nasturtiums in Alex’s Vase, and other works by Southern Highlands artist Laura Jones charmed Facebook followers. Love this work. Is Laura Jones a new Margaret Olley? Gilian Hampton Talented painter! Monie Lecomte Oh my, have just been to my art group. Wish my paintings were something like that… Lovely work. Kate Micallef
LETTER OF THE MONTH MOVING TRIBUTE
IN THE PINK On Facebook, shared delight at the September cover. Just the cover makes me happy — I can’t wait to look inside. Felicity Hawkins I wish I could LIVE in your magazines! Simone Budge The cover is stunning and, as in every issue, there’s so much to inspire and enjoy. Jan Dwyer
your page The September issue inspires happy memories of childhood days. THOUGHTS OF HOME When I came across Time of Her Life in the September issue I was surprised that my home town of Portland, NSW, featured in an article in Country Style. My father was an ironworker at the Portland Cement Works from the 1950s to the 1970s. Every weekday at noon, a whistle would sound to warn of blasting at one of the huge quarries.We knew everything would shake and there would be a shower of dust. I had a happy childhood in Portland riding my bike, camping, catching yabbies in one of the nearby dams, picking blackberries and attending dances at a local hall. Thank you for a wonderful story. Robyn Giblett, Kianga, NSW
I loved the story Sweet Reminder that appeared with the Heirloom recipe in your September issue. What a lovely tribute to a mum. My mother died more than two years ago after a painful battle with cancer. She was a wonderful cook and a generous host, and loved family get-togethers where laughter erupted around the table.After reading the story, I rescued Mum’s cookbooks from a dusty cupboard. It was lovely to remember those fun-filled meals. Some of the recipes were from her school days, so they’re quite special. Remembering and celebrating the lives of loved ones is essential. Not a day goes by when I’m not thinking of Mum. I have just baked a batch of butterfly cakes from her recipe with my daughter. It was a truly emotional experience. Laughter was mixed with tears as my grandmother. Those cookbooks are now dust-free and displayed on the kitchen bench. Thanks so much for the article. Linda Carol, Riverview, NSW Congratulations to Linda, who has won a customisable leather handbag and accessories, valued at $520, from Enni. (03) 9499 5304; enni.net.au
Share your thoughts and experiences with us by writing to Country Style, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015, or by emailing [email protected]
. Please include your address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.
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Editor-in-chief VICTORIA CAREY Creative director GIOTA LETSIOS Associate editor KYLIE WALKER Melbourne editor VIRGINIA IMHOFF Chief subeditor GREG TAYLOR Art director JO QUARMBY Senior designer JOSIE TAYLOR Editorial coordinator ANNA DELPRAT Regular contributors DIXIE ELLIOTT (Food) LARA HUTTON (Fashion) ROBIN INGRAM (Wine, Country Squire) ANNABEL LAWSON (Books) JOHN McPHEE (Collectables) SARAH NEIL (Food & Subediting) CHRISTINE REID (Gardens) BARBARA SWEENEY (Flavours) JULIETTE WINTER (Health & Beauty) Staff photographers GUY BAILEY SAM McADAM-COOPER JEREMY SIMONS CRAIG WALL Head of sales and strategy, Homes MILENA HOPKINS Commercial integration manager HEATHER JARVIS (02) 8045 4739 Commercial integration executive ANGELA APOSTOLAKIS (02) 8045 4744 National sales director PAUL BLACKBURN Group sales director, Partnerships DAVID ROGERS (02) 8045 4741 Group sales directors, NSW RACHEL DELALANDE (02) 8045 4657 BELINDA MILLER (02) 8045 4651 SAM TOMLINSON (02) 8045 4676 Victorian sales director KIM CAROLLO (03) 9292 3204 Group sales directors, Victoria KAREN CLEMENTS (03) 9292 3202 LISA MIKKELSEN (03) 9292 3206 ASTRID WHITE (03) 9292 3222 Queensland sales director ROSE WEGNER (07) 3666 6903 Classiﬁed advertising REBECCA WHITE 1300 139 305 Asian advertising KIM KENCHINGTON MediaWorks Asia Ltd (852) 2886 1106 Advertising creative director RICHARD McAULIFFE Advertising creative manager ZOE TACK Advertising copy editor BROOKE LEWIS Production director MARK MOES Production manager CHRISSY FRAGKAKIS Advertising production coordinator KATY NAGY (02) 8045 4923 Marketing manager ZOE JEFFERY (02) 8045 4692 Brand manager DYLAN EDWARDS Marketing assistant ALYSSA PIVA (02) 8045 4690 National circulation manager DANIELLE STEVENSON (02) 8045 4703 Subscriptions retention manager CRYSTAL WORMLEATON (02) 8045 4705 Group circulation manager, Lifestyle GRANT DURIE (02) 8045 4701 Homelife product manager CASSIE GRIFFIN Online producer KELLIE CONNOLLY [email protected]
Managing director NICOLE SHEFFIELD Group publisher NICHOLAS SMITH Commercial director SEV CELIK Marketing director DIANA KAY General manager, circulation and subscriptions BRETT WILLIS Director of communications SHARYN WHITTEN GENERAL EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Postal address Country Style, NewsLifeMedia, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015 Telephone (02) 8045 4876 Email [email protected]
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or telephone 1300 656 933 Digital versions Visit Zinio at au.zinio.com; Apple users download from Newsstand in the App store; Android users download from Google Play; also available from the Nook Newsstand. Blog blogs.homelife.com.au/countrystyle Facebook facebook.com/CountryStyleMagazine GENERAL ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Sydney Advertising, NewsLifeMedia, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015 Telephone (02) 8045 4744 Melbourne HWT Tower, Level 5, 40 City Road, Southbank, Victoria 3006 Telephone (03) 9292 3208 Brisbane 41 Campbell Street, Bowen Hills, Queensland 4006 Telephone (07) 3666 6910
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PEOPLE PORT FAIRY VICTORIA
Lucinda Newton in her Port Fairy jewellery store. FACING PAGE Finished rings and bracelets lie on working drawings. 18 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
WHEN LUCINDA NEWTON TURNED A HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS, SHE STAYED TRUE TO HER BELIEF THAT JEWELLERY ISN’T JUST FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS. WOR DS VIRGINIA IMHOFF PHOTOGR A PH Y MARK ROPER
PEOPLE PORT FAIRY VICTORIA
n Lucinda Newton’s hands, semiprecious stones are as beautiful as diamonds. The diverse and dazzling gems are the inspiration for many of the pieces in the jewellery designer’s eye-catching Luone collection. As she slides open a drawer in her Port Fairy store, her fingers lightly run over lustrous stones in all manner of hues, from jade, topaz, lapis lazuli, citrine and onyx to pink, green and smoky quartz. “The colour and uniqueness of the stones appeal to me,” she says. “I love quartz, as it goes with everything — and pearls, as they can be worn all the time. I never tire of looking at these drawers.” Lucinda’s studio is in a corner of the store. Here she also works in silver and gold, making rings, necklaces, earrings and cufflinks, often in combination with the gems, and South Sea and freshwater pearls. The pieces she designs are “timeless and classic” and stunningly pretty. Each is individual and distinctive, right down to the serpentine clasps she makes for the necklaces. “I like jewellery that you can wear every day in jeans and a singlet, and then with a dress worn to a wedding,”
20 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
Lucinda says. “I prefer people to wear my pieces all the time and not save them for special occasions.” More recently she has introduced a small collection featuring diamonds and sapphires — “I’ve done quite a few engagement rings.” Lucinda’s interest started early. She grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland and, from a young age, dabbled in making jewellery for herself. But when Lucinda went to university in NSW’s Bathurst, she studied communications and public relations, then in 2005 headed off to London to work. However, she also took a course in silversmithing. “I spent a lot of my time in London designing jewellery,” she adds. “I kept thinking of things that I wanted and couldn’t find, so I made them myself.” Returning home in 2007, Lucinda was ready to take the plunge. She called her collection Luone, a contraction of her maiden name — Lucinda O’Neil. “I moved back home with Mum and Dad for a while and decided to jump into jewellery design full-time. People wondered how I could give up a salary — but I just started. And I loved it.” In 2009, she married Tom Newton. “We met in Toowoomba in 2002 and I thought he was very >
“IT’S NICE FOR THE CHILDREN TO BE IN A COUNTRY TOWN WHERE YOU KNOW EVERYONE.”
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Necklaces of pearls and semiprecious stones; at home with her daughters, two-year-old Polly (left) and three-year-old Annabelle; silver rings and bracelets in their early stages; wielding the braising torch; a necklace will rise from the ashes. FACING PAGE A finished necklace on Lucinda’s work bench.
PEOPLE PORT FAIRY VICTORIA
“I KEPT THINKING OF THINGS THAT I WANTED AND COULDN’T FIND, SO I MADE THEM MYSELF.”
handsome,” Lucinda recalls. “Then we kept crossing paths over the years…” The couple lived in Brisbane where Tom worked in the dairy industry, in animal nutrition. Then in 2010 he was transferred to Warrnambool, a major dairying region on Victoria’s west coast as national manager for the company. By coincidence the couple had recently visited Port Fairy, 30 kilometres west — and liked what they saw. Port Fairy, settled in the 1840s where the Moyne River runs into the Southern Ocean, has long been a haven on a storm-battered coastline. Today, whitewashed whalers’ cottages, Victorian merchants’ homes and towering Norfolk pines line the wide streets. However, visitors to the town, which is famous for its music festival in March, will now find boutique businesses such as Luone, galleries, cafés and restaurants inside the 19th-century shopfronts. For the first six months the couple rented, before buying a cottage in the historic fishing town. For Lucinda the move to Port Fairy was “an easy transition, and great for my business”. The couple now have two daughters — Annabelle, three, and Polly, two. “It’s nice for the children to be in a country town where you know everyone,” Lucinda says. “They go to day care at the moment and it’s only three doors away from home. And I’m getting used to the weather. I remember when I was in Brisbane, I’d get excited about wearing boots. Here I can wear boots until December!” When she started the business, Lucinda considered using resin beads, but fell in love with gemstones, despatched to her by wholesalers. “I love using them in all shapes and sizes. Until the kids are at school I have to go slow, but one day I’d love to travel overseas to gem fairs.” Meanwhile, she is glad to be sitting at the workbench with her tools before her. “I love being in the shop when it’s quiet as that’s when I work on pieces. People ask me where I get my inspiration from, but I mostly design from my head. I just do what I like and there are so many variations. “My favourites are necklaces, as they give me more freedom and they’re a bit more fun. I love to make things in different lengths and colours — and I do get a bit carried away.” * Luone is at 10 Bank Street, Port Fairy, Victoria. 0412 071 601; luone.com.au Wearing one of her own necklaces, Lucinda arranges a display cabinet. 22 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
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A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY
PHOTOGRAPHY PRUE RUSCOE
From Margaret River to the Gold Coast, there are festivals of ﬁlm, music and plenty of food and wine.
Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 25
bush food lessons
ntil you’ve walked in the bush with a guide who knows the plants that brush up against you, the aromas that tantalise or the foods that are edible, then we’re just visitors to this country. There’s something to be said for the things learnt in childhood. Like languages, this is the kind of knowledge that is absorbed on the air, not necessarily through books but osmosis-like through pores. Growing up in the UK for the first six years of my life, it was English country gardens and the literature of Enid Blyton that figured strongly as influences. And now the larger wedge of my life has been spent in Australia, I’m catching up with what I didn’t learn through young eyes. I can now recognise a mountain pepper berry or a warrigal green, and know when the kangaroo apple is ripe, and therefore safe to eat. Learning about what grows in the bush will teach you about Aboriginal culture. So, a visit to Tasmania’s Rocky Cape National Park introduces the visitor to the nectar of young banksia, and how the flower was soaked in water and enjoyed as a sweet drink by the Indigenous people of the north-west. A bush foods workshop with Tasmanian horticulturalist Kris Schaffer will introduce you to her love of the edible climbing blueberry (Billardiera longiflora), named after the French botanist Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière, who visited Bruny Island in 1792. Planting bush foods in your own backyard as a complement to the introduced species means the best of both worlds will be at your fingertips. This summer, I aim to bake Double Blueberry muffins. Words by Hilary Burden, author of A Story of Seven Summers (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)
ﬁlmmaking. (03) 5320 5858; artgalleryofballarat.com.au
WINE, ROSES AND ALL THAT JAZZ 1st–2nd
Until Dec 7
More than 30 cellar doors come alive with performances, food and wine tastings. (02) 6226 2557; canberrawines.com.au
NEW SOUTH WALES
WHEN THE COUNTRY COMES TO THE CITY SUSTAINABLE LIVING EXPO 8th–9th Clever design concepts and new technology feature prominently at this expo, as do the experts behind the ideas. Engage in workshops, talks, performers, art and kids’ activities. $5. (03) 6234 5566; sustainablelivingtasmania.org.au TASMANIAN BEERFEST 14th–15th Breweries exhibit their best on the Hobart waterfront at Princes Wharf for this boutique and craft beer festival. Enjoy live entertainment, meet the brewers, get tips and sample Tasmanian produce. Various ticket prices, from $35. tasmanianbeerfest.com.au
26 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
THE LAKESIDE FESTIVAL 1st A feast of live music, art exhibits, and local food and wine on the shore of Lake Wallis, at Forster Tuncurry. Tickets $5. lakesidefestival.com.au
competitions, entertainment, ﬁreworks, and food and wine. (02) 6681 5049; ballinaprawnfestival.com.au TAKE A SEAT: AUSTRALIAN MODERNIST CHAIRS November
22nd–February 22nd An exhibition at Penrith Regional Gallery tracing the development of seating styles and Australian home design from the 1940s to the 1970s. (02) 4735 1100; penrithregionalgallery.org
OBERON GARDEN CLUB OPEN GARDENS
BUSH CHRISTMAS EXHIBITION 21st–30th
1st–2nd Visit six varied gardens around Oberon. Tickets $12. (02) 6335 8257; oberonaustralia.com.au
Visit a Christmas gift gallery at the Toowoomba Masonic Centre to ﬁnd pieces made by more than 120 rural artisans. Garden art, ceramics, toys, jewellery, textiles, leather, paper, pewter, Christmas puddings and cakes, sauces, condiments, teas, chocolates and more. (07) 4696 4529; bushchristmas.com BONJOUR FRENCH FESTIVAL 23rd The perfect day out for a Francophile, this Gold Coast festival at the Evandale Parklands boasts French food, art, sport, music, cars and culture. 0416 085 762; bonjourfrenchfestival.com.au
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS ARTS FESTIVAL
1st–30th The highlight event is the Art Studio Trail, where more than 50 artists from Bundanoon to Colo Vale open their studios to the public on the ﬁrst two weekends of the month. Also workshops, concerts and special gallery events. (02) 4868 0855; shaf.com.au BALLINA PRAWN FESTIVAL 15th The coastal town and home of the Big Prawn commemorates its history on the banks of the Richmond River with a parade,
COMPILED BY ANNA DELPRAT PHOTOGRAPHY ANSON SMART
IMHOFF: A LIFE OF GRAIN AND PIXELS Until December 7th Retrospective exhibition by Robert Imhoﬀ at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Superbly crafted images, like this picture (below) of actor Ruth Cracknell, from a lifetime
A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY
LEXINGTON HOMESTEAD OPEN
GEOGRAPHE CRUSH FOOD AND WINE
CLARE VALLEY CARNIVAL OF MUSIC
GARDEN & FAMILY DAY 16th
21st–22nd Hear a variety of world music in Auburn. Make sure also to visit the arts market featuring works by local artists. (08) 8849 2420; hatsincsa.com GORGEOUS FESTIVAL 28th–29th A music, food and wine festival at McLaren Vale that celebrates the diverse ﬂavours of the Fleurieu Peninsula. (08) 7184 1086; gorgeousfestival.com.au
A kindergarten fundraiser in Moyston; enjoy market stalls, food and wine, kids’ entertainment, a vintage car display and tour the beautiful garden designed by Rick Eckersley. Tickets from $16. 0408 414 660; trybooking.com/94741
FESTIVAL 7th Produce from WA’s south-west region of Geographe will be exhibited at Boyanup, with wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment. Tickets $20. (08) 9228 9166; wineandfood.com.au LARRY LOBSTER FESTIVAL 15th This crustacean-themed festival at Port Denison has a petting zoo for the children, markets, stalls, live performances, a sideshow alley and camel rides. (08) 9927 0000; irwin.wa. gov.au/Larry-Lobster-Festival.aspx
VICTORIA CLUNES BOOKTOWN FOR KIDS FESTIVAL
1st The famous Clunes Booktown festival now has a junior arm. Hear talks by authors and illustrators, engage in ﬁction workshops, visit the Village of Lost Trades and view an Anzac Exhibition of inspiring illustrations. Tickets from $20. clunesbooktown.com.au CASTLEMAINE & DISTRICT FESTIVAL OF GARDENS 1st–9th The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Gardens Out of the Box’. See lovely gardens in bloom as you tour the goldﬁelds town. (03) 5470 5905; festivalofgardens.org
TASMANIA TASMANIAN BREATH OF FRESH AIR FILM FESTIVAL 6th–9th Held in the Tamar Valley near Launceston, this progressive festival uses ﬁlms to encourage discussion of cultural issues. Watch ﬁlms, take part in master classes, and view the talented competition entries. (03) 6331 8158; bofa.com.au
BLUES AT BRIDGETOWN FESTIVAL 7th–9th Blues fans will have the opportunity to see local and international acts; the stellar line-up includes The Beautiful Girls and Joe Louis Walker. Multiple venues, weekend tickets from $195. (08) 9761 2921; bluesatbridgetown.com.au
BLUES IN THE BAROSSA Hear some outstanding Australian blues performances, accompanied by plentiful food and drink, in the Hyde Park grounds of the Seppeltsﬁeld Winery. 0468 991 698; bluesinthebarossa.com
MARGARET RIVER GOURMET ESCAPE
21th–23th Head to Western Australia’s south-west for a weekend ﬁlled with fabulous food, wine, performances, a food trivia night, gourmet beach barbecues and more. (02) 9332 9000; gourmetescape.com.au Please send your event news to [email protected]
. Events may change and we recommend contacting the organisers to conﬁrm details and ensure availability.
MY COUNTRY CHILDHOOD
FROM LEFT Baby Peter placed in a doll’s pushchair by his big sisters (“He was their little toy!” says mother Jan); at the Wyandra property; with sister Fiona at pony club. FACING PAGE Peter at his Melbourne stables.
The man who trained the great champion Black Caviar tells Claire Mactaggart how thoroughbreds caught a Queensland boy’s heart.
eter Moody spent long days in the saddle from an early age at his family property near Wyandra, a township on the Mitchell Highway in south-west Queensland. “Even as a kid, at races at Wyandra with Mum and Dad, there was always an appeal,” he recalls. “I think it was the competition and the beauty of the animals — it certainly wasn’t the gambling side. This was simply a path I headed down and I’ve never looked back. It totally captured me in every way, shape and form.” Peter was born in Charleville, 100 kilometres north of Wyandra, in 1969, the youngest child of Garth and Jan Moody. At age 15, he left west Queensland for Sydney, where he worked with racing greats T. J. Smith and Colin Hayes prior to becoming a stable foreman for Bill Mitchell. In 1998, Peter and his wife, Sarah, began Moody Racing and had their First Group 1 success when Amalfi won the Victorian Derby in 2001. Two years later, the Moody Racing headquarters moved from Brisbane to Caulfield. Peter trained the 2009–10 horse of the year — Typhoon Tracy — and won the first of four successive Melbourne Trainers Premierships the same year. “It’s been a pretty rapid rise for us,” he says. “We came into an industry that had the Cummings dynasty, the Hayes dynasty, T. J. Smith with his daughter Gai Waterhouse, and the Freedmans… We were a bit of Johnny-come-lately that no-one knew. I arrived on
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the scene pretty unheralded from Queensland, came to Melbourne and won the training championships, not only in Victoria but also Australia, three or four times over the past six years. You sort of pinch yourself…” There is little peace for Peter following the success of Black Caviar, a mare he discovered as a yearling and trained to become one of the world’s greatest gallopers with 25 straight wins. The national icon won 15 Group Ones and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at England’s Royal Ascot in 2012. “My actual life hasn’t really changed but the way I’m portrayed has,” Peter reflects. “You become such a recognisable figure, I suppose. No matter where you go or what you do, through the deeds of Black Caviar, everyone knows. It’s something I struggle with at times.” Peter and Sarah have three teenage daughters — Cara, Breann and Celine. His stellar trajectory from outback Queensland to Royal Ascot belies the workload and commitment along the way. “There’s only one reason why we’ve had this kind of success and that’s through bloody hard work,” Peter says. “There’s no respite. My day starts at 3am and I’ll get home about 8pm after I’ve worked my horses all morning and inspected some yearlings for an upcoming sale. “I have about 300 horses, 1100 clients and 50 staff, but at the same time I like to have my finger in everything. I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve been successful.”
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH BY DAMIEN PLEMING FOR CPA AUSTRALIA LTD. FIRST PUBLISHED IN INTHEBLACK MAGAZINE
I SPENT MY early years at my parents’
property, Alpha, just outside of Wyandra and we also owned another property that surrounded the small town. I lived there until I was about nine or 10, then Mum and Dad separated and I moved into Charleville. I grew up like most country kids and did pony club, local shows and race meetings. My first horse was called Doubtful, a thoroughbred — he was passed down through my sisters. Horses were an integral part of our life. I have three older sisters and they went off to boarding school when I was still small. I’m six years the junior of my youngest sister, Fiona — Tanya is eight years older and Alison is 10 years — so I pretty much grew up without them. But we all went to Wyandra Primary, which had only about 30 to 40 students. Wyandra township had a Department of Main Roads office and a railway siding, and serviced the local pastoral stations. >
MY COUNTRY CHILDHOOD PETER MOODY
FROM LEFT In Sydney, the teenage Peter at the track and with sister Alison.
“As a kid I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come around so we could go to the races.” in NSW, Longreach in the north, Roma in the east or Birdsville in the west — I just couldn’t wait. I went to Sydney when I was 15 through an association with Frank Cavanough — his grandson Brett, who trains in southern NSW. Brett Cavanough was a local lad and his stepfather was John Drennan, who was Tommy J. Smith’s horse breaker for 30-odd years, and a country Queensland lad himself. A lot of western Queensland blokes would do the breaking in with John and work with T. J. Smith. I was one and I never really came home. I stayed there until I was about 18. I couldn’t believe it — that I’d come from Charleville and could be standing at Randwick or Rosehill with these great racehorses.
It was pretty interesting to be growing up in Sydney in the mid-1980s. It was a great period and I was having the time of my life doing something I really enjoyed. I went home for about six months when I was 18. I missed my mates and I did a few of the things I hadn’t got around to while I was working my tail off in Sydney. I had my eyes open a bit wider than my friends back home did! But I quickly realised that if I wanted a career in racing, I had to be back down in that region. I took on board that this was to be my career. Growing up in the country taught me a strong work ethic — not just because of where we lived, but also the people I grew up with. That played a massive part in where I am today.
ABOUT CHARLEVILLE The town lies some 740 kilometres west of Brisbane, on the bank of the Warrego River. Founded in the early 1860s as a way station on the stock routes, Charleville has always been a service point for the pastoral industries of south-west Queensland. In 1902 Charleville was the location of an unsuccessful attempt to fire cannons into the clouds in order to break a drought. The cannons used remain on display in Charleville today. With a population of about 3500, Charleville is the largest town and administrative centre of the Murweh Shire, which covers 43,905 square kilometres. One of Queensland’s eight Flying Doctor bases is at Charleville (pictured), and the town also boasts a Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum.
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CHARLEVILLE PHOTOGRAPH TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND
We had cattle and sheep on our property — it was a mulga block and pretty hard country. One of my earliest memories was spending time with my dingo-blue heeler cross that would always drag snakes home. I used to leave home after breakfast with him, and a 303 rifle with no bolt in it, and not come home till dinner. Now I have three teenage daughters and I’m afraid every time they pass the front gate. But back then it was a different ball game: I could be out riding my horse or playing with the dogs all day. You look at kids now and if the TV or computer breaks down, they’re bored. I was a pretty easygoing kid; I kept my head down and stayed out of trouble. It was a big change for me when we moved into town from the property. But from the age of about 10, my interest in racing bloomed through my mum’s new partner, Tony Facey. He was a stockman but he was involved in racing. He trained a few horses and even though I wasn’t that close to him — he was a hard master — that started my involvement. There was another old bloke called Frank Cavanough who took me under his wing. I always had a love of horses but it was then that my love of thoroughbreds really kicked in and it’s a passion that led me to where I am today. As a kid I couldn’t wait for Saturday to come around so we could go to the races. It didn’t matter if it was Bourke
HOME ROBE SOUTH AUSTR ALIA The cottages contain a mix of handmade and handed-down treasures combined with shop ﬁnds. Kristina Alexander’s eldest daughter, Nathalie, made the driftwood boat as a birthday gift, while the hanging ﬁsh is by Robe artist Lisa Enright. FACING PAGE Feathers and pampas grass gathered on a beach walk sit beside a ceramic parrot from Robe’s Holiday.
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WITH A LARGE BLENDED FAMILY, WHY STICK TO ONE HOUSE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE FOUR IN A ROW? WOR DS GRETEL SNEATH PHOTOGR A PH Y MARK ROPER ST Y LING TESSA K AVANAGH
HOME ROBE SOUTH AUSTR ALIA
hristos Stoios did a double take when his boss asked him to move to Robe to oversee new business interests. “I thought he said Rome!” says the 43-year-old property manager. South Australia’s Limestone Coast isn’t quite the Mediterranean — but five summers on, the salty breeze of the seaside town is under his skin. “I lived on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula, so it’s a similar environment with the beaches, the surfing, the village atmosphere, and the surrounding vineyards and farms,” he explains. “You have your peak periods when all of the tourists come, but the rest of the year it’s quiet and relaxed.” Christos bought a row of cottages in the oldest part of town, planning to transform them into one large home, but this changed when he met Kristina Alexander four years ago. Between them, the couple have seven children aged from 14 to 27 and the existing building layout, with its individual entrances, bathrooms and kitchens, suits a modern extended family. “There’s certainly enough space and it works because we can rotate,” Kristina explains. “There are essentially
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four houses that we can choose from and reconfigure, depending on the situation. If all of the children are here, we can fit quite comfortably, but when they’re not, we can rent out one of the cottages for overnight accommodation.” It’s largely smooth sailing, despite the fact that three of the cottages have been named after local shipwrecks — the Duilius, which was wrecked on the rocks of Guichen Bay in 1853, the Phaeton, which ran aground in 1857 on only her second voyage from Hong Kong, and the Alma, which came to grief in 1861. (Happily, the passengers on all three vessels are believed to have survived.) The cottages have new kitchens and bathrooms but maintain their simple, pared-back charm, with raw timber flooring and limewashed walls made from local stone. In the main living area a concrete floor and an open-plan layout give a more contemporary feel, and the blending of households extends to the furniture and the decorations. Kristina manages Holiday, a local homewares store, and it’s clear that a Robe-designed range it sells — inspired by travel and adventure — matches her personal decorating approach.“My style has certainly evolved and is a lot >
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Christos and Kristina met four years ago; the entrance to one of the cottages; the dining table and chairs are from Charlick’s Bazaar in Mount Gambier; kelp root hauled up in a lobster pot by Kristina’s son Sam sits alongside a farm scene painted by Kristina’s mother. FACING PAGE A vintage doorbell by the entrance to one of the cottages.
See our feature on the best country dining rooms at homelife.com.au/ country-dining-rooms
“THERE’S CERTAINLY ENOUGH SPACE AND IT WORKS BECAUSE WE CAN ROTATE.” more eclectic now,” she muses. “It’s funny how you change as you get older. Once upon a time, I would cringe at the children’s colourful handmade Christmas tree ornaments clashing with my gorgeous, symmetrical two-tone vision. But now I think it’s beautiful being surrounded by their bits and pieces.” Stacked pebbles, a bowl of shells and a boat made from driftwood are among reminders of times spent together by the sea. Christos is an avid beachcomber — “A lot of those things have got so much meaning and history,” he says — and he and Kristina confess to a friendly battle of wills when it comes to curating all the flotsam and jetsam that finds its way home. “We’ve got so many old oars, and bits of rope, wire and driftwood that I keep shoving in the shed,” says Kristina with a smile. “But somehow they keep mysteriously reappearing in the house and garden.” “I don’t want my house to look like a spec home,” Christos says. “I’d rather people see what we’ve done in our lives — and this is a collection filled with all of our interests.” The garden is a favourite space and they’re out
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there most days. “Because there’s no need to travel far for work, we can fit so many other things into our day — including gardening,” Kristina says. The rear has been configured with screens and gates so that it can accommodate both private and open spaces, depending on guests. “The garden was non-existent when I arrived and it has been hard going because of the conditions,” Christos says. “This area can get quite windy and cold, and there’s only a shallow layer of soil over sand, so it has been a process of elimination — trying to work out what grows well and what’s never going to make it.” So far, the succulents and pencil pines are winning while the couple wait to see what the seasons bring — in particular, whether the liquidambar will survive the onslaught of winter storms. “I feel like I’ve lived in so many different places, and have always said that I wanted to plant a tree and actually see it grow,” Kristina says. “So now that I’m finally settled, it’s fingers crossed.” * The Duilius cottage, in the centre of Robe, is available for holiday rent. Telephone (08) 8768 2341 or visit happyshack.com.au
ROBE SOUTH AUSTR ALIA HOME
ABOUT THE HOME
t Dulux Antique White USA is used widely throughout the cottages. “It’s fail-safe and it goes with everything,” declares Christos. dulux.com.au t When asked about favourite sources for furniture and homewares, the couple naturally nominated the Holiday store where Kristina is the manager. 10 Victoria Street, Robe, SA. (08) 8768 1800; holidaydesign.com.au t Other frequent destinations are One Rundle Trading Co in Dulwich, (08) 8431 3033, onerundle.com.au; Charlick’s Bazaar in Mount Gambier, (08) 8723 9704, charlicks.com.au; and Country Road, 1800 801 911, countryroad.com.au t Most of the artwork in the cottages has a story attached to it, and has been created by family and friends. Kristina’s mother, Carmen, is responsible for many of the photographs on display. “We won’t lose a generation in this family; Mum records everything for us,” Kristina says.
A stag cushion from Holiday, a print handed down by Kristina’s mother and Kristina’s own “zebra that I drew when I was 12”. FACING PAGE, FROM LEFT The kitchen was made by former Robe-based cabinetmaker Brian Grellet; the wall in the living area was built with local limestone, and the combustion heater “can run 24/7”.
HOME BROKEN HILL NSW
Zanna and Matt Gale with (from left) Lucy, 10, Bella, 13, and eight-year-old Millie, plus blue heeler Maggie and Lolly the King Charles spaniel. FACING PAGE Silver Highlander by NSW photographer Tony Sheffield (tonysheffield.com) hangs above a bench made from old shearing shed floorboards by Zanna’s mother. 38 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
station masters ON A REMOTE PROPERTY, THE GALE HOME IS FILLED WITH CREATIVE CHARACTER. WOR DS A ND STY LING CL AIRE MACTAGGART PHOTOGR A PH Y MICHAEL WEE
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Off to saddle up; Maggie keeps an eye on proceedings; the windmill fan has pride of place in the family room; bougainvillea separates the side garden from the rear; the property carries Senepol and Santa Gertrudis cattle, as well as sheep; two woven baskets and Willy Wagtail by NT artist Malcolm Jagamarra hang above a display of some of Zanna’s ceramic collection.
t Pincally Station, each piece of handmade furniture tells a story and, according to Matt Gale, the tale begins whenever his wife, Zanna, declares “I’ve got this great idea…” Zanna often finds inspiration in old timber and steel found on their sheep and cattle property, 270 kilometres north of Broken Hill, and her designs usually rely upon Matt’s carpentry skills to be realised. “She’s always searching through the workshop — and I’ve gone in to find the wooden pigeonholes have disappeared and all the screws tipped out on the bench!” he says, laughing. It’s clear, however, that Matt enjoys his role in their creative partnership. He’s always on the lookout for bits and pieces, such as tables, wool bale stencils, and even a windmill fan from a property in South Australia that now graces their family room. “Matt can turn his hand to anything,” Zanna says. “He recently came home from a clearing sale with a crate that he turned into a coffee table. It’s so much better to see what you can achieve with something old or found.” The restoration of their sprawling homestead, which covers more than 500 square metres, has been a gradual but rewarding journey for the couple and their three daughters — Bella, 13, Lucy, 10, and eight-year-old Millie. In 1991, when his family diversified into grazing, Matt moved from an irrigation farm near South Australia’s Padthaway; aged just 17, he began managing Pincally, 65,000 hectares of undulating sandhills and creek flats framed by the Mount Arrowsmith Hills. At the time, the six-bedroom house was still powered by a generator and had a dark, multicoloured interior. The original section of the house is almost a century old and a large living room connects to an extension built 50 years ago, with a central breezeway and rooms on either side, encased by a wide, screened verandah. The couple married in 1996 after meeting in Broken Hill at the St Patrick’s race day. Zanna, originally from Menindee in NSW’s far west, was working as a governess on a station south of Broken Hill. “When I first came here, it needed a good clean-up,” Zanna recalls. “You couldn’t even see through the windows, and dust came in everywhere. We gradually replaced the louvres with glass panes, applied plasterboard >
BROKEN HILL NSW HOME
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP RIGHT The property covers 65,000 hectares; a chandelier from Mildura’s Rose Harvest Antiques hangs above a table that Zanna restored; the station is 270 kilometres north of Broken Hill; wool bale stencils decorate a wall. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 41
HOME BROKEN HILL NSW
“I LOVE THE VASTNESS OF THE LANDSCAPE BUT IT’S NICE TO COME HOME TO OUR LITTLE GREEN OASIS.”
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Inspecting a water bore 30 kilometres south of the homestead; near the hallway in the original section of the home sits an early portrait of Bella by Broken Hill artist Jodi Daley; “after rain this swamp fills up and we can waterski on it!” says Zanna; a double Falcon oven is the heart of the kitchen; Lucy shows Dad how to drive the ute.
and painted the walls in off-white shades. As time went on I could see so much potential; we pulled up old lino that was glued to jarrah floorboards, and sanded and polished them.” During the drought of 2009, a massive dust storm swept through the region. “It came in every nook and cranny,” says Zanna. “We taped the windows and doors, and covered furniture with sheets. When I cleaned the verandah, I filled a wheelbarrow with sand.” Now, dust is further minimised with an extensive garden of olive trees, hedges and shrubs as well as a large vegetable patch. “I love the vastness of the landscape but it’s nice to come home to our little green oasis,” Zanna says. “You definitely need to have a garden here.” “I love what Zanna has created,” Matt says. “We’re lucky to have so much room and a big verandah with views of the garden. The swimming pool is a favourite spot; we live out there in summer.” Zanna has collected pieces that reflect the character of the house and landscape, such as a heavy timber lamp base made from a piece of red gum she found in the workshop. “I’ve inherited my style and way of pulling things together from my mum and my grandmother. I like raw materials — and rustic, early Australian pieces really suit this house. I keep moving things around until they look right.” Earlier this year Zanna enrolled in a correspondence design course and, while she enjoys working outside >
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT Zanna’s studio (“I like all the rooms in our house but this one’s a favourite”); taking a rest on one of the many sandhills on the property; Lucy’s bedroom with a stool from Thom, Dick & Harry’s in Broken Hill; Millie and Lucy give Dad a hand cleaning a stock trough.
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HOME BROKEN HILL NSW
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE When school’s finished, it’s pony time for Lucy and Millie; Zanna in the studio, where she works on her correspondence design course; some of the merino flock; “I love hats!” says Zanna. “This old ladder, picked up at a garage sale in Broken Hill, is a great place to store them.”
on the property, she has also found time to pursue a long-held interest in decorating. A spare bedroom has become a studio: “I like all the rooms in our house but this one’s a favourite… There’s a lot of light and it’s my own space to do what I love.” The Gale family enjoy sharing their station life with guests and offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation in a renovated shearers’ cottage. “We love entertaining, and with so much space you can have a lot of people here and not be on top of one another,” Zanna says. On the other side of the garden, in a corrugated-iron building beside a grove of olive trees, is Lucy and Millie’s schoolroom — Bella is already away at boarding school. A couple of horses are saddled and waiting patiently outside so, as soon as their lessons are complete, the girls can spend the afternoon exploring. “It’s a wonderful environment to grow up in,” Zanna says. “They learn so many things and are lucky to be able to just set off on a horse — or a motorbike.” * For information about accommodation at Pincally Station, visit outbacknsw.com.au/pincally.htm
ABOUT THE HOUSE
t ;BOOB IBT QBJOUFE NPTU PG UIF JOUFSJPS JO 8BUUZMT 0SDIJE XBUUZMDPNBV t ;BOOB TPME IFS DBS UP CVZ UXP UISFFTFBUFS .PSBO MFBUIFS DIFTUFSmFMET BGUFS TIF NBSSJFE .BUU i5IFTF QSPWFE UP CF B HSFBU JOWFTUNFOU BOE * EPOU UIJOL UIFZ XJMM FWFS EBUF UIFZ KVTU HFU CFUUFS XJUI BHFw NPSBOGVSOJUVSFDPNBV t 'BWPVSJUF TIPQT 5IPN %JDL )BSSZT JO #SPLFO )JMM GPS IPNFXBSFT BOE HPVSNFU HSPDFSJFT UIPNEJDLIBSSZTDPNBV 3PTF )BSWFTU "OUJRVFT )PNF (BSEFO JO .JMEVSB BOE 'JOF BOE 4VOOZ BMTP JO .JMEVSB GPS "VTUSBMJBO EFTJHOT BOE DFSBNJDT t $VTIJPOT QSPWJEF QPQT PG DPMPVS JO B OFVUSBM JOUFSJPS ;BOOB MJLFT #POOJF BOE /FJMT IBOEQSJOUFE MJOFO EFTJHOT CPOOJFBOEOFJMDPNBV
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE The girls double up for a ride on Jeeba; the original French doors in Matt and Zanna’s bedroom open to the screened verandah; a bed from the old shearers’ quarters has been refurbished for Millie; Poppy the ragdoll cat; checking the level in the tank at North Four Mile paddock.
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HOME DAYLESFORD VICTORIA
inspired decision A MOVE TO SPA COUNTRY SPARKED THE CREATIVITY OF DESIGNER VICTORIA VARRASSO. WOR DS VIRGINIA IMHOFF PHOTOGR A PH Y LISA COHEN ST Y LING LEESA O’REILLY
Artist Anita Mertzlin designed the logo for Victoria’s label, Manteau Noir. FACING PAGE Victoria’s home studio features an antique French table and Japanese herbalist chest, and bolts of European fabric. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 47
F CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE Laurence and Victoria feel at home in Daylesford; the 1860s miner’s cottage; Georgian silhouettes alongside Victoria’s collectables.
ashion designer Victoria Varrasso likes her home to reflect her passions. From the garments she designs and wears to the varied objects she collects and the art on her walls, she describes her compositions as “a beautiful way of self-expression”. A lover of European vintage and antique pieces, from the classic to the quirky, up to the early 20th century and “all things French”, Victoria regards her style as an extension of her inner self. The same themes play out in her Daylesford store, Manteau Noir, which is a magpie’s nest of enchanting artworks, artisan treasures, homewares and Victoria’s own Manteau Noir label garments. “I love creating an interesting design dialogue where layers combine, and convey a sense of irony and humour,” she says. Victoria, who designed the label Victoria Loftes, which she owned with her brother Jonathan from the 1990s until 2005, moved to the spa town of Daylesford in 2013 with husband Laurence Varrasso, a mechanical engineer who designs steel architectural features. Accompanying them was their family of “fur babies”: Jasper the whippet, Willa the American bulldog and Louie, a Cornish Rex cat. For the time being, home is a timber miner’s cottage overlooking Daylesford, as they build their dream house of corrugated iron and steel on three hectares of farmland at nearby Eganstown. While this longtime collector admits only a smattering of pieces have made it here (the rest wait in containers while their new house takes shape), most are things she can’t live without. In the sitting room, Jasper unashamedly reclines on a treasured 19th-century handpainted French sofa, while hanging above are Georgian silhouette cameos and oil portraits. A cabinet displays Georgian pewter, transferware and a collection of 1940s pottery found in markets and auctions — “here and in Paris”. Victoria >
DAYLESFORD VICTORIA HOME
The sitting room furniture includes a 1920s gilt rattan chair purchased from Kerry O’Connor Acquisitions in Melbourne. A vintage green Camark pottery vase sits on a coffee table from Rajasthan. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 49
HOME DAYLESFORD VICTORIA
“MY LOVE OF OLD THINGS CAME FROM VISITING MY GRANDPARENTS’ HOUSE.”
Jasper the whippet reclines amid Geneviève Levy and Manteau Noir cushions on the French sofa. FACING PAGE A ‘Howard’ portrait cushion from Manteau Noir sits on a side table. 50 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
VICTORIA’S FAVOURITE SHOPS
t/FXMZO"OUJRVFT OFBS%BZMFTGPSE JTBGBWPVSJUFGPS iSFBMMZXPOEFSGVMQPSDFMBJO DFSBNJDTBOEUSBOTGFSXBSF 5IFZBMXBZTIBWFBXJEFTFMFDUJPOPG7JDUPSJBOGSBNFTw OFXMZOBOUJRVFTDPNBV t%BZMFTGPSET.JMM.BSLFUTJTUIFQMBDFGPSBUSFBTVSF IVOUi*WFGPVOEHSFBUQJFDFTIFSFPWFSUIFZFBST*UT JODSFEJCMZFDMFDUJDCVUZPVDBOmOEDPMPOJBMQJFDFT BOE UIFZEPBHPPEIPNFNBEFCFFGBOECVSHVOEZQJF JOUIFDBGÏw NJMMNBSLFUTDPNBV t"SUF%FDP JO%BZMFTGPSE TQFDJBMJTFTJO"SU/PVWFBV "SU%FDPBOEUIDFOUVSZEFDPSBUJWFBSUT7JDUPSJB GPVOEIFS(FSNBO"SU%FDPDMPDLIFSF5IFPOMJOFTUPSF JTWFSZFYUFOTJWFBSUFEFDPDPNBV t*[[J1PQP JO.FMCPVSOF JTUIFmSTUQPSUPGDBMMXIFO OFXDPOUBJOFSTPG&VSPQFBOBOUJRVFTBSSJWF J[[JBOEQPQPDPNBV
HOME DAYLESFORD VICTORIA
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Vintage fittings and a linen shower curtain in the bathroom; a 1940s European oil; an Art Deco lamp and Victorian Doulton pieces sit on the French dresser. 52 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
also admits she can’t resist anything with an acorn motif, French majolica ware and Victorian mourning jewellery (“I’m obsessed with the way people used to grieve”). Vintage photography is also a favourite — “I have a big collection of daguerreotypes.” It’s not the value of the piece that concerns her, rather the sense of time and history. “I love things worn from being passed through many hands, things with a beautiful, painterly quality. I dislike anything overtly shiny… My love of old things came from visiting my grandparents’ house in Melbourne, and going through my grandmother’s belongings and finding beautiful things.” When they moved to Daylesford, Victoria returned to fashion design after a long break. Her Manteau Noir collection is made from natural fabrics, predominantly European linen, hand-dyed in muted colours and made in Melbourne. “While the collection is inspired by Victorian-era children’s clothing and French artist smocks — and there’s also a very minimalist Japanese aesthetic… The garments are ageless and more about style than fashion.” Victoria also has a range of printed linen cushions. “I had felt burnt out but when we moved here I was inspired to be creative again.” The couple fell in love with Daylesford not long after they met in 2006. “We started coming here for weekends,” Victoria says. “We just fell in love with the town.” However, the search for a building site would take three years. “Eganstown is very close to Daylesford, there are rolling hills and chocolate soil. The house will be all corrugated iron and steel. It’s an opportunity for Laurence to showcase his steelwork and I can create something to my design aesthetic. It’s an opportunity for us to put our skills together.” * Manteau Noir is at 27 Vincent Street, Daylesford, Victoria. (03) 5348 1902; manteaunoir.com.au
TO SEE MORE OF OUR SUMMER COLLECTION
TUNIC $149, ADJUSTABLE CAMI $29, CROP PANT $105 FREECALL 1800 800 866 TO RECEIVE A MAIL ORDER CATALOGUE VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE ON www.fellahamilton.com.au
POSTCA RD MERN DENMARK
A WOOD IN THE DANISH COUNTRYSIDE CONCEALS THIS MAGICAL GARDEN THAT MIXES ORDER WITH WILDNESS. WOR DS JULIA MINCARELLI PHOTOGR A PH Y BIRGET TA DREJER /SISTERS AGENCY
Four-year-old cousins Elisa Hansen (left) and Alba Drejer, the Hansen family’s youngest grandchildren, under one of the garden’s many rose arches, surrounded by yellow mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and purple butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). FACING PAGE The David Austin ‘Jacques Cartier’ rose has a strong, rich fragrance. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 55
POSTCA RD MERN DENMARK
enmark is a flat land — the highest point is only 170 metres above sea level. Eighty kilometres south of Copenhagen on Zealand, Denmark’s largest island, there’s little to obstruct the view of patchwork farms stretching to the horizon in every direction near the village of Mern. But turn up a narrow lane between two ploughed fields and a little wood fills the skyline. And hidden behind these trees lies a beautiful garden whose wild profusion is just what the owners intended. Gerda and Erling Hansen used to live in Copenhagen, where Erling worked for the Royal Danish Airforce. But over the years they had often headed to the south of Zealand for holidays and had been intrigued by the property in the wood, not least by the coincidence that the former farmhouse, built in 1808, happened to be named ‘Hansen’s Place’.
“WE IMMEDIATELY REALISED IT WAS A FABULOUS PLACE...” “We visited it a hot day in April, when the garden was full of flowering bulbs; the plum trees in flower were like white clouds, and a yellow carpet of crocuses and daffodils covered the grass,” recalls Gerda. “We immediately realised it was a fabulous place where you could feel many different moods. We had been looking for a place far from the city, where we could enjoy our retirement years and this seduced us — we felt a need to live here.” Space was another strong attraction. “In Copenhagen, we had only a villa with a small garden,” Gerda says. The Mern property covers 1.2 hectares and, apart from the large homestead, has a separate building converted from a former stable, that’s great for guest accommodation — a consideration for the Hansens, who are frequently visited by their family. The youngest of the grandchildren, cousins Alba and Elisa Rose, love to ride a swing or build forts among the trees, and to wander down the path that leads to a little pond where the air resounds to the sound of frogs. >
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CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Gerda Hansen; ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’ and the dark pink ‘Champion of the World’ enfold a favourite spot for summer evening drinks; Erling with grandsons Hugo Hansen, six, and Hector Drejer, nine; Japanese windflowers bloom throughout the late summer and autumn; a pink foxglove offsets a ‘Jacques Cartier’ rose and blue catmint. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP A flower bed edged with lamb’s ear; Alba as a toddler, on the path to the pond; ‘William Lobb’, an old-fashioned David Austin rose.
POSTCA RD MERN DENMARK
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Supporting a ‘May Queen’ rambling rose, the pergola is a cool refuge for afternoon tea. FACING PAGE The house almost disappears behind the dark pink ‘Louise Odier’ and the apricot-hued ‘Old Glory Rose’, all ringed with catmint.
POSTCA RD MERN DENMARK CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Hector and Alba enjoy their grandmother’s pancakes; the dark pink ‘John Clare’ rose mingled with the lighter pink ‘Felicite Parmentier’ and another ‘Jacques Cartier’; the apricot-yellow ‘Buff Beauty’ tea rose is one of many David Austen roses in the Hansens’ garden.
“I SCATTER SEEDS AND LET THEM FALL WHERE THEY MAY — WE LET FATE DECIDE...” “We both had an interest in gardening and had so many ideas when we arrived,” Gerda says. But they wisely took their time — “We chose to start small and first enjoy the garden at different seasons, before we really began to change it.” And when they started planting, Gerda had one clear priority. “One of my passions is roses. They were the first thing we planted, as I know from experience that it takes time to get them to grow.” Today they bloom everywhere, not just in bushes but also climbing in such profusion that some trees are swathed in roses. It took the couple many years to make the garden how it is today, but along the way they made a conscious decision to let chance play a part. “A little wild, yet with a certain control,” is how Gerda characterises the outcome. “Sometimes I scatter seeds and let them fall where they may — we let fate decide a little. “Rose bushes are allowed to mingle with the colourful perennials and other flowers without getting into formal
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beds, and we let the ground cover run rampant, even on the lawn. We have avoided small creeping plants, instead choosing things like geraniums, catmint and lamb’s ear that really grow strongly and can keep the weeds down.” The different spaces are divided by boxwood hedges, flowerbeds, a pergola and plum trees that make a natural transition between the garden and the wood. “We have created many seats to enjoy these spaces,” says Gerda, as she stoops to savour the fragrance of a briar rose (Rosa eglanteria). “The scent is like apples and it’s very concentrated after the summer rains… But what’s special about this one is that it’s the leaves that smell of apples and not the flowers.” Beyond the wood, fields of wheat, barley and sugar beet are sown and harvested in strict methodical order. But inside Hansen’s Place, Gerda and Erling are happy to let a little chance wildness take flower. * For more garden stories and our November planting guide, turn to In The Garden on page145.
COUNTRY CHEF K ARENA ARMSTRONG
KARENA ARMSTRONG IS BACK, COOKING HER VERSION OF SOUL FOOD AT THE SALOPIAN INN.
RECIPE TESTING DIXIE ELLIOTT WINE SUGGESTIONS ROB INGRAM
R ECIPES K ARENA ARMSTRONG WOR DS DAVID SLY PHOTOGR A PH Y LISA COHEN ST Y LING VICKI VALSAMIS
Prawn dumplings in sweet corn soup (see recipe, page 66) Enjoy with the full-bodied flavour and soft textured palate of the 2013 Logan Chardonnay. FACING PAGE The cosy dining room of The Salopian Inn, a historic pub in SA’s McLaren Vale. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 63
COUNTRY CHEF K ARENA ARMSTRONG
VIETNAMESE CHICKEN SALAD WITH PICKLED CARROT & PEANUTS SERVES 6
hen chef Karena Armstrong moved from Sydney to McLaren Vale in 2004, she intended to carve out a more simple rural life. Her husband Michael had accepted a marketing job in Adelaide, but they chose to live in the famous vineyard district 45 minutes south of the city and not far from Karena’s parents at Moana Beach. She saw herself leaving commercial kitchens behind to concentrate on raising a family. However, in early 2013 the Salopian Inn was left vacant and friends suggested Karena step in and revive the McLaren Vale dining institution that dates back to 1851. Having been away from restaurants for seven years, and with a full-time job catering for three young sons — Harry, eight, Sebastian, six, and Fletcher, four — the 40-year-old found the prospect daunting. However, Michael convinced her to take on the challenge. In April that year they opened the ‘new’ Salopian Inn, with business partners Elena and Zar Brooks of Heirloom Vineyards. “I was nervous, but determined to show that I could do it,” Karena says. Michael gave up his high-paying job to be the manager and now works long hours in the restaurant. “It’s not easy running a family and a business together,” Karena observes. “But we’ve both got very clear skill sets that don’t cross over.” Opening her own restaurant came after an impressive cooking career that includes stints at the Lake House in Victoria’s Daylesford, the Melbourne Wine Room, and Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, and Billy Kwong in Sydney. Karena has built her kitchen brigade around women, several of whom are mothers juggling domestic duties. “Hospitality work can be so anti-family. I’m in a position where I can change that,” Karena says. “Kids can come in to say hi to their mums during a shift; they come in to eat with their mums during a break. It sets the right mood.” The Salopian Inn’s varied menu represents the sum of what Karena loves to cook — Asian and French traditions, embracing both farmhouse generosity and bold ﬂavour marriages, from steamed pork buns and prawn wontons to red braised duck and Middle Eastern seafood stew. “It’s a pretty eclectic menu,” she says. “But there’s always choice and variety, and the customers love it.” And how does running a rural restaurant compare with her experiences in city establishments? “You’re much more entwined in the community and you actually get to know your customers, which is really nice. I love it.” The Salopian Inn is at the corner of McMurtrie and Main roads, McLaren Vale, SA. (08) 8323 8769; salopian.com.au
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1.9kg whole free-range chicken 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, roughly chopped 1 bunch coriander with roots, washed, roughly chopped 2 golden eschalots, peeled, chopped 2 teaspoons Chinese ﬁve spice* 10 white peppercorns 1 tablespoon tamarind paste ¼ cup peanut oil 3 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons ﬁsh sauce 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthways 2 Lebanese cucumbers 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced extra 1 cup coriander sprigs 1 cup mint leaves 3 cups bean sprouts, trimmed 1½ cups roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped 3 long red chillies, thinly sliced diagonally
PICKLED CARROT 4 large carrots, peeled 1 teaspoon caster sugar ½ teaspoon sea salt ﬂakes 1/ cup rice wine vinegar or 3 white wine vinegar
DRESSING ½ cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar 1/ cup lime juice 3 2 tablespoons ﬁsh sauce 1 teaspoon caster sugar ½ teaspoon ﬁnely ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, crushed
Place chicken, breast side down, on a clean work surface. Using poultry shears or a large sharp knife, cut down both sides of backbone and discard. Turn chicken breast side up and push down to flatten. Cut small 5mm-deep incisions into thickest parts of breast and legs. Place chicken, breast side up, in a large ceramic baking dish. Process lemongrass, coriander, eschalots, five spice, peppercorns, tamarind paste, peanut oil, garlic and fish sauce in a small food processor until a smooth paste forms. >
Vietnamese chicken salad with pickled carrot & peanuts The citrus freshness, elegance and intensity of the 2007 Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon is a great match for this dish. FACING PAGE, FROM LEFT The rustic exterior of the historic Salopian Inn; Karena Armstrong has revitalised the McLaren Vale dining institution.
with foil. Rest for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove chicken meat from bones and coarsely shred. Meanwhile, half fill a large frying pan with water and bring to boil over a high heat. Blanch asparagus for 1–2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber lengthways into ribbons. Drain carrot and place in a large bowl with asparagus, cucumber, onion, extra coriander, mint, bean sprouts, peanuts and chilli. Add chicken and toss to combine. Just before serving, add dressing and toss to combine. *Available at supermarkets. Rub lemongrass mixture into chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to marinate. To make pickled carrot, use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots lengthways into ribbons and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and set aside for 30 minutes to pickle. To make dressing, whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Preheat a barbecue grill over a high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, for 2 minutes or until charred. Turn chicken and reduce heat to low. Cover barbecue with hood. Cook chicken for 25 minutes or until juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into a thigh. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover
PRAWN DUMPLINGS IN SWEET CORN SOUP (SEE PHOTOGRAPH, PAGE 63) SERVES 6
6 corn cobs, husks and silk removed 2 tablespoons peanut oil 1 medium brown onion, peeled, thinly sliced 3cm piece ginger, peeled, ﬁnely grated 3 garlic cloves, crushed 8 cups salt-reduced chicken stock ¾ cup Chinese rice wine (shaoxing)* or dry white wine 1/ cup soy sauce 3 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper ½ cup coriander sprigs, to garnish 1 green onion, trimmed, thinly sliced
PRAWN DUMPLINGS 200g green prawn meat or 400g medium green prawns, peeled, deveined 2 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced 2cm piece ginger, peeled, ﬁnely grated 2 teaspoons soy sauce ½ teaspoon caster sugar pinch of white pepper 24 wonton wrappers
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To make prawn dumplings, line a baking tray with plastic wrap. Finely chop prawn meat and place in a bowl. Add green onion, ginger, soy sauce, sugar and pepper, and mix until well combined. Place 6 wonton wrappers on a clean work surface. Place 1 teaspoon of prawn mixture into centre of each wrapper. Brush edges of wrappers with water, then fold in half diagonally to enclose prawn mixture and form a triangle. Transfer to prepared tray. Repeat, in batches, with remaining wonton wrappers and prawn mixture. Using a sharp knife, cut down length of each corn cob, close to core, to remove kernels. Place kernels in a bowl. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add corn kernels and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until corn kernels soften. Add chicken stock, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt and white pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until soup thickens slightly. Meanwhile, line a tray with baking paper. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil over a high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or until water is just simmering. Add 6 wontons and cook for 4 minutes or until wrappers are just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer wontons to prepared tray. Repeat, in batches, with remaining wontons. Place 4 wontons in each serving bowl. Ladle over hot sweet corn soup, and top with coriander sprigs and green onion to serve. *Available at Asian grocery stores. Substitute dry sherry.
K ARENA ARMSTRONG COUNTRY CHEF
CHILLI CARAMEL PORK RIBS WITH GREEN BEAN & SESAME SALAD SERVES 6
1 cup soy sauce 1/ cup rice wine vinegar 3 1/ cup Chinese rice wine (shaoxing)* 3 1/ cup hoisin sauce 3 2 tablespoons sesame oil 10 garlic cloves, crushed 5cm piece ginger, peeled, ﬁnely grated 3 long red chillies, chopped 2 lemons, rind ﬁnely grated, juiced ¼ cup peanut oil 1.5kg American-style pork ribs ¼ cup sesame seeds extra 2 tablespoons lemon juice 400g green beans, trimmed 1 teaspoon sea salt ﬂakes 1 cup coriander leaves 1 cup mint leaves
CHILLI CARAMEL 1 cup caster sugar ½ cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons ﬁsh sauce 1 tablespoon tamarind paste 5 long red chillies, thinly sliced diagonally
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese rice wine, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon rind and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large ceramic baking dish. Add ribs and turn to coat in marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 4 hours to marinate. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake ribs for 3 hours or until meat falls easily away from bones. Transfer pork ribs to a plate. Reserve cooking liquid. Meanwhile, to make chilli caramel, stir sugar and ⅓ cup water in a small saucepan over a medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until mixture turns a rich caramel colour. Gradually stir in lemon juice, taking care as mixture may spit. Stir in fish sauce and tamarind paste. Add chilli and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Cool.
Increase oven temperature to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Transfer ribs to prepared tray and brush with remaining peanut oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Coat ribs liberally with chilli caramel and roast for a further 4 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining chilli caramel. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook sesame seeds, shaking pan often, for 5 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid and extra lemon juice until well combined. Add salt to a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cook beans for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Combine beans, coriander and mint in a bowl. Drizzle with lemon dressing. Toss to combine. Arrange ribs and bean salad on serving plates. Sprinkle bean salad with sesame seeds and serve. *Available at Asian grocery stores. Substitute dry sherry. > Chilli caramel pork ribs with green bean & sesame salad The 2012 Heemskerk Abel’s Tempest Pinot Noir has the perfect fresh, focused savoury characters and subtle spices to accompany the ribs. FACING PAGE Karena’s husband Michael is the restaurant manager.
COUNTRY CHEF K ARENA ARMSTRONG
PASSIONFRUIT CURD WITH MERINGUE & RASPBERRIES SERVES 6
2 eggwhites ½ cup caster sugar 2 / cup thickened cream 3 ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste 2 x 125g punnets raspberries
PASSIONFRUIT CURD 200g unsalted butter, diced 6 egg yolks ¾ cup caster sugar 300g passionfruit pulp (about 12 passionfruit)
To make passionfruit curd, place butter, egg yolks, sugar and passionfruit pulp in a heatproof bowl set over a pan half-filled with simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch water). Whisk until butter melts and mixture is well combined. Continue to stir with whisk for 10–12 minutes or until curd thickens. Remove from heat. Cool. Transfer to a sterilised jar and store in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until combined. Whisk for a further 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and meringue is stiff
and glossy. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe 4cm-long sticks onto prepared baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until meringues are crisp and dry. Turn off oven. Leave meringues in oven, with door slightly ajar, to cool completely. Whisk cream and vanilla in a bowl until soft peaks form. Layer passionfruit curd, whipped cream, meringues and raspberries in serving glasses. Serve immediately.
GINGER & LIME CHEESECAKE WITH RUM TOFFEE PINEAPPLE SERVES 8
1 cup almond meal or pistachio meal ¼ cup caster sugar 3 limes, rind ﬁnely grated 100g unsalted butter, melted
FILLING 500g cream cheese, at room temperature ½ cup caster sugar 3 egg yolks 2 eggs 3cm piece ginger, peeled, ﬁnely grated 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 5 limes, rind ﬁnely grated, juiced
RUM TOFFEE PINEAPPLE 1 ripe pineapple 100g unsalted butter ½ cup caster sugar 6 kafﬁr lime leaves 2 / cup rum 3
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 36cm x 13cm fluted tart pan with removable base. Combine almond meal, sugar and lime rind in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Press almond mixture evenly over base of prepared pan. Cover with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove paper and pastry weights. Roughly chop cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, ginger, vanilla, lime rind and ⅓ cup of lime juice until smooth and combined. Pour mixture over almond base. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set and lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. To make toffee pineapple, remove skin from pineapple. Cut pineapple into quarters lengthways and remove core. Thinly slice lengthways. Melt butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until mixture turns a rich caramel colour. Increase heat to medium-high. Add lime leaves and pineapple, and stir to coat in toffee mixture. Add rum and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until pineapple is glossy and lightly caramelised. Cool. Slice cheesecake, and serve with pineapple and toffee sauce. *
Passionfruit curd with meringue & raspberries The 2011 Heggies Botrytis Riesling delivers luscious toffee apple sweetness balanced by bright natural acidity.
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“YOU’RE MUCH MORE ENTWINED IN THE COMMUNITY AND YOU ACTUALLY GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.”
Ginger & lime cheesecake with rum toffee pineapple An ideal match for this dessert, the 2013 Bloodwood Silk Purse is a lightly botrytised ice wine with flavours of ginger and apricot nectar, and great acid/sugar balance.
TASTE THE SEA
Australians lag way behind the Swiss in the asparagus stakes: for every bunch eaten here, the Swiss consume eight — grilled, steamed or dipped in a tasty fondue. Let’s try to catch up: Australian-grown green asparagus is available through to April, but if it’s the purple variety you’re after, November is when to ﬁnd it.
MEET THE PRODUCERS Susan and Stephen Fennelly, Lower Portland, NSW
SALTY TALES AND FRESH ASPARAGUS CATCH BARBARA SWEENEY’S FANCY.
They’re a community-minded lot at Victor Harbor. A recent Long Table breakfast at the market — under a marquee with tables for eight, and food supplied and cooked by stallholders — raised $1200 for charity. “Everyone felt good about it,” says market manager Lea Auerbach. But then, there’s something to feel good about every week: fresh seafood, Red Angus beef, free-range pork, eggs, vegetables, dried fruit, wine and homemade Greek sweets. t8)&/ Saturday, 8am–12.30pm t8)&3& Grosvenor Gardens, Victor Harbor, SA t$0/5"$5 0429 537 404; victorharborfarmersmarket.com.au
The Fennellys’ 12-hectare property is near the small town of Wilberforce and only a stone’s throw from the Hawkesbury River. When the couple bought it 12 years ago, there was a citrus orchard of 150 trees, mostly the bitter Seville orange used in marmalade. “I couldn’t bear to pull them out — and I do love marmalade,” says Susan. So she kept the orchard and continued to sell to a large jam manufacturer until she was told that it could import oranges for less than the 29 cents a kilogram it had been paying her. Susan now supplies a small producer, Lynwood Preserves (which has the jam in the jar within 24 hours of picking), and sells direct to home jam makers through the online shop Farmhouse Direct. The Hawkesbury has always been a fruit-growing district and the climate enables Susan to eschew the use of chemicals. However, drought in the past few years has affected the oranges. “They’re smaller and there are fewer of them,” she says. “But they still taste sweet.” Hawkesbury Estate Orchard. (02) 4575 4095; farmhousedirect.com.au
MAIN PHOTOGRAPH CRAIG WALL STYLING GERALDINE MUÑOZ STILL-LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY CRAIG WALL ILLUSTRATION KATT FRANK SHARE YOUR FOOD NEWS WITH BARBARA AT [email protected]
Olsson’s Macrobiotic Sea Salt ($6.20, 250g) has a distinct mineral tang, the flavour of the Queensland coast where it was formed. 1800 804 096; olssons.com.au
BRENDA FAWDON, A MOUNT TAMBORINE CHEF, IS LEADING A FOODIE TOUR OF ITALY’S LIGURIAN COAST FROM OCTOBER 28 TO NOVEMBER 2. IF YOU HURRY, YOU COULD STILL BOOK TO ENJOY SUPERB CUISINE AND COOKING CLASSES IN STUNNING SURROUNDINGS. (07) 3844 1132; MONDO-ORGANICS.COM.AU
SAVOURY COMPANY IN NSW’S BARHAM, BUNDARRA BERKSHIRES MAKES DELICIOUS FRICANDEAUX — SPICED MINCED PORK — TO SERVE WITH BREAD, PICKLE, CORNICHONS OR CHEESE. BUNDARRABERKSHIRES.COM 70 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
FOR STOCKIST INFOR M ATION Telephone ~ 02 8338 7200 Em ail ~ paulinl@par agold.com.au
go the whole hog
hat is it with pigs and wine? Pigs and swine I understand. But pigs and wine? I know plenty of wine bores but not any wine boars. But still this nebulous association persists. I’ve just received two pieces of correspondence from winemakers and both had a pig embossed on their stationery. One delivery. Two pigs. One was from Pig In The House, a boutique vineyard and winery near NSW’s Cowra, owned by Jason O’Dea and his wife, Rebecca. The 20-hectare vineyard began conversion to organic practices in 2001 after the couple moved into an old house among the vines that was once home to some domestically inclined free-range pigs. Is there still a pig living in the house? “It depends who you ask,” says Jason. Okay, an established link there — but what about the next piece of mail? It was from Mudgee’s newest producer, Well Mannered Wine, with a letterhead bearing a handsome pig divided into cuts. Pigs and manners seemed an unlikely association, so I read on. Under winemaker James Manners, Well Mannered Wine has released two products worth investigating — a 2013 Manners Shiraz and a 2013 Manners Tempranillo. I can only assume the pig has something to do with his business partner — Nick Bacon. Hunt around and you’ll find an under-priced Marlborough sauvignon blanc and a central Otago pinot noir carrying the Squealing Pig label. The 2013 Black Pig Shiraz from McLaren
Vale is not to be snorted at, and Pepper Tree Wines in the Hunter Valley makes an interesting Sticky Pig dessert wine. Look out for Jim Barry’s Three Little Pigs Cabernet Shiraz Malbec, named after the three pigs that managing director Peter Barry adds to the menagerie at the winery each year. They are a popular attraction up until Christmas Day, after which they mysteriously disappear. And then, of course, there’s the Piggs Peake winery at Pokolbin. No pun is left unturned here. Sows Ear Semillon, Silk Purse Verdelho, House Of Straw Merlot, Hogshead Chardonnay, Suckling Pig Zinfandel and, everyone’s favourite, Crackling Rose. Nothing cute about the quality, though. These are seriously impressive wines. But back to Pig In The House and how they went with their organic venture.The current release, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, has been named the 2014 National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) Certified Organic Wine of the Year. Awards organiser Ben Copeman, NASAA’s general manager, says the first competition — open only to wines grown and made in Australia by certified producers — attracted around 100 entries, which is impressive. Winner Jason O’Dea commented that 2014 marked 10 years of organic certification for Pig in the House, and the award recognised the commitment and hard work involved in growing and crafting organic wine. Commitment, note, not pig-headedness. *
Top tipple 2012 Pig In The House Cabernet Sauvignon, about $25 There are fresh, fragrant fruit notes across the blackcurrant–mulberry spectrum with just a hint of juniper. This wine is poised rather than complex and finishes with a satisfying dusty, silky texture. It should be enjoyed while it retains its vibrance. No wonder this hogged the spotlight at the NASAA awards.
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ILLUSTRATION ANTONIA PESENTI
Rob Ingram discovers there’s much more than word play to the pig and wine alliance.
The perfect family choice: Integrated Side-by-Side The Integrated Side-by-Side combination with three climate zones With BioFresh, food retains its healthy vitamins, fresh appearance and full ﬂavour for up to three times longer than in an average refrigerator crisper Professional quality freezing performance Automatic IceMaker Convenient SoftSystem to cushion door closure Email [email protected]
or call 1800 685 899 now for more information and your nearest stockist.
COUNTRY COOK STEVE CUMPER
life of brine
Steve Cumper’s chequered history with clams. PHOTOGR A PH Y CR AIG WALL ST Y LING GER ALDINE MUÑOZ
I’m a shellfish lover from way back. And I have a particular weakness for the bivalve varieties — scallops, mussels, oysters, pipis and cockles, as well as vongole and other varieties of clams. In the late ’70s, when my family lived in New Zealand for a stretch, Dad and I followed the locals down to the beach at low tide and scoured the sand for clams. Unfortunately, my father didn’t apply his considerable cooking talents to preparing these ill-fated molluscs. Instead, he boiled the bejesus out of them. In the first minute of cooking, the clam shells gave up the good fight, utterly vanquished and splayed, while the shrivelled meat was boiled for about half an hour more, until the smell of overcooked shellfish and briny water filled the kitchen. Dad served up these bivalve bullets with basmati rice. One mouthful of the salty, rubbery, gritty swill was enough to put me off clams for years. My little sister cried and Mum refused to entertain a taste. “I wonder if the fish and chip shop is still open,” Dad said, with an air of defeat. During my apprenticeship, the Italians I worked with persuaded me to give them another go. On receiving a bag of fossicked clams, the chef conjured up a classic spaghetti alle vongole for staff dinner. While everyone else tucked in, I tentatively poked at my meal. Finally, their slurping and noises of appreciation impelled me to dive in — from then on I was a fan. The Italians are experts when it comes to clams. They tend to cook them quickly over a high heat with very few other ingredients, enabling you to taste and appreciate their glorious flavour. One of the best ways to enjoy clams is in a pasta dish enhanced with the addition of pangrattato — an Italian term for toasted breadcrumbs. Pangrattato act like little sponges, soaking up the oil and delicious cooking juices, while sticking to the pasta. (In many ways, they are quite similar to bivalves.) So, roll up your sleeves and give clams a go in this simple pasta dish that combines the fresh flavours of parsley and lemon with the sweet, refined taste of just cooked clams. And, if it’s your first experience with this more-ish mollusc, I assure you it will be absolutely nothing like mine! * Steve Cumper was the first winner of Country Style’s Country Chef of the Year Award, and is the owner of The Red Velvet Lounge at 24 Mary Street, Cygnet, Tasmania. (03) 6295 0466; theredvelvetlounge.com.au
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cup white wine
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
To make pangrattato, process sourdough in a food processor until coarse breadcrumbs form. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook breadcrumbs, stirring frequently, for 3–4 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Cool. Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain. Return to pan and cover to keep warm. Heat a heavy-based frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over a high heat until very hot. Add clams and wine. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 4 minutes or until clams open. Add garlic, parsley, lemon rind and juice, spaghetti and remaining oil, and gently toss to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add half of pangrattato and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates. Serve immediately with remaining pangrattato. NOTE Clams are sold live — their shells should be closed, or close when tapped or gently squeezed, and they should have a pleasant sea smell. Due to their sandy habitat, clams can contain a bit of grit, so check with your fishmonger to ensure they’ve been purged.
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS STYLING ASSISTANCE KATIE RANDELL RECIPE TESTING DIXIE ELLIOTT
never too late
In retirement, Bill Bevan found he had a ﬂair for baking and has spent the past 25 years perfecting his skills. WOR DS SAR AH NEIL PHOTOGR A PH Y CR AIG WALL ST Y LING GER ALDINE MUÑOZ
STYLING ASSISTANCE KATIE RANDELL FOOD PREPARATION DIXIE ELLIOTT
inety-one-year-old Bill Bevan discovered his talent for baking late in life. The former trawler skipper and truck driver from Corrimal in NSW stepped up to the stove in his 60s and has since perfected the art of baking, winning a sponge competition at his granddaughter’s primary school, and making the family Christmas cakes and puddings. His greatest achievement so far — five years ago when Bill was 86 — was a three-tiered fruitcake for another granddaughter’s wedding. “When my mother became ill during her early 50s, Dad took over the cooking and began to bake the cakes Mum fancied,” says Bill’s daughter, Sharne Sjostedt. “Mum really loved this sponge cake — it was her favourite.” Although he was a dab hand at the barbecue, Bill had no real experience in the kitchen — but he was a fast learner. “He really likes the process and he follows the recipe exactly,” Sharne says. “Dad is now recognised as the baker of the family. His scones, sponges and cakes of all descriptions take pride of place at celebrations. At least once a fortnight he makes something to take to the Corrimal Community Men’s Shed for morning tea — usually banana bread, and sometimes cupcakes or date slice. He takes pride in his baking and it delights him that people enjoy what he makes. “A few weeks ago, Dad made a wedding cake for my friend’s son. It took eight hours to cook and he decorated it with plain icing. These days I usually help him with the fruitcakes, but he insisted on making this one on his own. It was a labour of love.” *
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SPONGE CAKE WITH PASSIONFRUIT ICING SERVES 8
20g butter, melted 2 tablespoons plain flour 4 eggs, separated ½ cup caster sugar 1 cup cornflour 1 tablespoon custard powder 1 teaspoon cream of tartar ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1½ cups pure icing sugar 1–2 passionfruit, halved, pulp removed 1 cup thickened cream
Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush two 20cm round sandwich pans with melted butter to grease. Dust each pan with 1 tablespoon of plain flour and line bases with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites until stiff peaks form. Add caster sugar and beat for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves and meringue is thick and glossy. Add egg yolks and beat until just combined. Sift cornflour, custard powder, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda over egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold in cornflour mixture. Spoon mixture among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and sponge springs back when lightly touched. Line 2 wire racks with baking paper.Turn sponges onto prepared racks to cool. Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add passionfruit pulp, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir until icing is smooth. Stand for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Place 1 sponge, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon over cream. Top with remaining sponge and spread with passionfruit icing. SHARE YOUR FAMILY FAVOURITES
Do you have a recipe that has been passed down through generations? Send us your recipe, the story behind it and, if possible, a photograph (preferably a copy or scan) of the relative who passed it on. Remember to include a daytime telephone number. Email us at [email protected]
or send a letter to Heirloom Recipe, Country Style, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015.
PHOTOGRAPHY LISA COHEN STYLING VICKI VALSAMIS. CHALKBOARD VASE (SECOND FROM LEFT), $19.95, FROM THE SHELLEY PANTON STORE. FLOWERS FROM FLOWERS VASETTE. ALL OTHER PROPS, STYLIST’S OWN. FOR STOCKIST DETAILS, SEE PAGE 151. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OPEN TO AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS ONLY. COMPETITION STARTS 22/05/14 AT 00.01 AEST AND CLOSES 17/10/14 AT 23.59 AEDT. WINNERS JUDGED 20/10/14 AT 14.00 AEDT. THIS IS A GAME OF SKILL AND CHANCE PLAYS NO PART IN DETERMINING THE WINNERS. PROMOTER NEWSLIFEMEDIA PTY LTD, LEVEL 1, 2 HOLT STREET, SURRY HILLS, NSW 2010. ABN: 57 088 923 906. FULL TERMS AND CONDITIONS AVAILABLE AT HOMELIFE.COM.AU/TERMS
H A RVEST TABLE COMPETITION
OUR HARVEST TABLE COMPETITION, WITH $5000 AND AN IPAD4 IN PRIZES, CLOSES SOON. All entries to our Harvest Table competition must be received by October 17. The contest, now in its fourth year, is a popular activity at many schools and in both city and country students are establishing plots of winter vegetables, nurturing tropical fruit, or finding a corner to grow pots of herbs or salad greens. We hope you have enjoyed getting outside and watching the progress from planting to harvest, followed by the celebratory feast: now, make sure you send in your photographs and journals in time for the judges to choose the winners. * There are two great prizes to be won: 1. $5000 for the Best Class or School Harvest Table. 2. An iPad4 (16GB with wi-fi) for an individual student’s journal on their vegetable patch (their own or their school’s).
HOW TO ENTER For Best Class or School Harvest Table, send photographs and a description of how you created the table in 300 words or less, with the school and class name, contact name, address and telephone number. For Best Home Harvest Table Journal, send the journal with the adult’s and child’s name, address and telephone number. We will be unable to return all journals; photographs become the property of NewsLifeMedia Pty Ltd. Send entries to Country Style, Harvest Table Competition, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015. Entries close on October 17, 2014.
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red alert It’s the heart of the home, so create a carefree, cheery look by mixing striking red with subtle champagnecoloured appliances for a perfectly balanced colour scheme. 8
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Bright pops of colour can revitalise your kitchen in a flash. To add a fun touch, don’t limit your colour choices – appliances are now available in a rainbow of options.
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13. Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ Kettle in Purple (SJM030P), $99. Add a pop of vibrant colour to your kitchen with this 1.6L jug, which features a SureGrip™ handle and flip-top lid for easy use. 14. Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ Food Processor in Pink (FPX939), $298. Spend more time enjoying delicious dishes and less time preparing them with this food processor thanks to its heavy-duty 8 variable speed settings and reversible slicing/shredding stainless-steel discs. 15. Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ Toaster in Purple (TTM030P), $99. This 2-slice toaster is a model of simplicity and includes a handy ‘peek and view’ function to check when your toast is just right. 16. Kenwood ‘kMix Triblade’ Hand Blender in Pink (HB879), $199. Colour your world and make cakes, soups, sauces and smoothies with ease with this sturdy 4-blade food processor. 17. Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ Blender in Purple (BLX60P), $169. The glass goblet of this cute and compact blender holds 1.6L, perfect for making drinks, soups or dips in a flash. 18. Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ Stand Mixer in Pink (KMX99), $499. No job is too big for this 5L robust planetary mixer, which has an advanced electronic speed control to prevent spillage. Sensational shades: Kenwood ‘kMix Boutique’ products also come in Black, Blue, Red, White and Yellow.
V I S I T A H A R V E Y N O R M A N S T O R E N E A R YO U. F O R T H E L AT E S T P R I C E S A N D M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , C A L L 1 3 0 0 4 6 4 2 7 8 O R V I S I T W W W. H A R V E Y N O R M A N .C O M . AU To find out what’s happening at your local Harvey Norman®, contact your store directly. Harvey Norman® stores are operated by independent franchisees. Not available at all stores. Ends 30/11/14.
Warwick Fuller (left) and Sean Murphy with kelpie Digger, and Tinkers Hill in the background. FACING PAGE Close-up of a chair Warwick painted many years ago.
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LITTLE HARTLEY NSW PEOPLE
verse with a view
LANDSCAPE PAINTER WARWICK FULLER AND ABC JOURNALIST SEAN MURPHY DECIDED TO CREATE A BOOK TOGETHER AFTER MEETING BY A CAMP FIRE. WOR DS CATHERINE McCORMACK PHOTOGR A PH Y MICHAEL WEE
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT New tools for the former toolmaker; Sean in writing mode; Warwick’s studio takes up the top storey of the house; the view from the verandah towards the Coxs River and Marsdens Rock.
ike many good camp-fire yarns, the story of how landscape painter Warwick Fuller and ABC journalist Sean Murphy came to collaborate on Warwick’s new self-published book, Impressions & Interpretations, is a mix of luck and a little liquor. “Last year, I was doing a story in Dubbo for Landline on the Australian Plein-Air Artists Group,” Sean says. “They go camping four or five times a year, and paint outdoors and eat camp food and talk a bit of bull around the fire at night with a few red wines.” It was at one of those after-dinner sessions that Warwick mentioned his ambition to do this project. The book — Warwick’s first — is a collection of 55 favourite paintings, each accompanied by a poem from Sean. “I didn’t want to have a book that was just 100 pages of paintings; I thought that would be a bit boring, but I didn’t want to write a lengthy essay either,” Warwick says of his search for someone who could add some fitting words. “That night, I told Sean I was having trouble finding someone who I felt really understood my work and could interpret it. Sean said, ‘I write a bit of poetry’. Lucky it was dark or he would have seen my eyes roll.” To Warwick’s surprise, Sean’s work “was good and had all the qualities I like in poetry. So he showed me another one and it was even better!” The two spent the next year exchanging ideas, with Sean often writing while on the road
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for Landline. “Poetry is something I’ve dabbled with over the years, but this project is the first time I’ve really applied myself to it,” he says. “It was a bit of a journey of discovery.” In turn, Sean’s poems have, “given me great satisfaction,” Warwick says. “I like it best when my work can resonate with somebody so well that they can respond to it in the same way I responded to the landscape.” He paints mainly outdoors but also in his studio at home. Perched atop 10 hectares near Little Hartley, a few kilometres west of Mount Victoria in the NSW Blue Mountains, the little timber house is well positioned to appreciate the landscape. The front door is reached via a raised wooden footbridge, with the living area and balcony opening to panoramic views of the Kanimbla Valley. Below, a curved path leads to an outdoor setting among the gum trees and, further still, hidden deep in the greenery, the clear water of the Coxs River cuts its course across the property. Warwick built the house 15 years ago, when he and his wife, Wendy, moved to the area. “Originally we were going to live here for a year while I built a mudbrick house lower down,” he says. “But, in the end, Wendy didn’t like the idea of going lower because the views are so beautiful from here.” The balcony in late afternoon is Warwick’s favourite spot. “The little point there, which you’ll see in many of my paintings, is Tinkers Hill,” he says. “In late afternoon, the
LITTLE HARTLEY NSW PEOPLE
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE The ﬁnished book Warwick checks a sketch forthe work in progress to his left; capturing a favourite vista on the Little Hartley property.
sun sets behind it, and you get lovely folds in the hills and shadows, as well as beautiful skies and sunsets.” Largely self-taught, Warwick grew up in Sydney’s western suburbs where, “nobody talked about art, nobody had art books or talked about going to galleries,” he says. “It didn’t even occur to me that there was a career in it.” The tradesman’s son instead began an apprenticeship with a toolmaker at 15, hoping to one day work his way into the drawing office. That same year, 1965, he met Wendy, who became the catalyst for his first landscape painting. “She said, ‘What do you do?’ and I said, ‘I’m an artist.’ I didn’t say that out of bravado or to try and impress her, I just thought of myself that way because I was always drawing and painting with poster paints. She said, ‘Could you paint me a picture?’ I went up behind the picture theatre at Fairfield where there’s a little bit of something that I liked, and painted this awful picture and framed it.” The work still hangs in his studio, alongside a large collection of finished paintings, works in progress and colourful art supplies. With red kelpie Digger often asleep at his feet, Warwick tends to finish paintings here or translate smaller works onto larger canvases. In the early days, he painted at night and in his spare time. Then at 29, with two young children, he “very naively” threw in his day job to paint full time. “I think I was painting for nine
or 10 years before I was earning enough to pay tax,” he says. It has now been more than 35 years of Warwick donning his wide-brimmed black hat, taking his easel into the landscape and, “painting as fast as I can so I can capture what I’m looking at”. To date, he has held more than 60 solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas, won a swag of awards and has work in private and public collections. In 2012 he was invited by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who had seen his work at a London show, to accompany them as official artist on their tour of Australia, with four of his paintings later acquired for the royal collection. The book and his collaboration with Sean have been a highlight in what has been an challenging emotional time of late, with Wendy, who is suffering Alzheimer’s, now in care at nearby Leura and Warwick’s painting having to take something of a backseat. But he remains grounded at the little house with the big view. “It’s a great place here, I know all the neighbours,” he says. “Even though we’re spread out, there’s a really wonderful community feel. I absolutely love this place.” * Impressions & Interpretations has been launched with an accompanying exhibition that runs until October 27 at Lost Bear Gallery, 98 Lurline Street, Katoomba, NSW. The book may also be purchased from warwickfuller.com for $85 plus postage.
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OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
Alan and Bronwyn Wood with two of their daughters, Mathilda, left, and Jemima with her quarterhorse, Spin.
our life in the country WHEN BRONWYN AND ALAN WOOD LEFT SYDNEY TO LIVE ON THE LAND, THEIR MAIN AMBITION WAS TO BE MORE INVOLVED IN THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN. WOR DS K YLIE WALKER PHOTOGR A PH Y MICHAEL WEE
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“I just love being in the country. And I like the fact that our children are growing up in such an active, healthy outdoor environment.” alan I grew up in the north-west of Sydney; it was
hirteen years ago, Bronwyn and Alan Wood left behind busy lives in Sydney for a dream. “I worked in advertising for 20 years — and I was over it,” Alan says. “We’d had Jemima by then and I knew if I stayed in advertising I wouldn’t see my children. I was always away from home and working a million hours. “And then I lost my job. We came close to doing the expat thing and I had a job offer in Sydney, but then we thought, ‘Let’s do something crazy’. So we put our house on the market and it sold in three days.” With their then 18-month-old daughter, they moved to Queensland — “on April Fools’ Day”, says Bronwyn. They lived at Maleny and Kin Kin until 2004, when they bought a small farm near Kilkivan, in the Wide Way-Burnett region about three hours north of Brisbane. Today, the 80-hectare property — which they named Fat Hen Farm, after the creek that borders their land — is home to Jemima, 15, Charlotte, 12, and nine-year-old Mathilda, plus ﬁve horses, two dogs, two cats and plenty of fat hens. The Woods raise sheep, fatten cattle and run two businesses — Fat Hen Farm food products, and an Olive Skin Food skincare range, both using oil from their olive grove. Most of the chilli and herbs used in the food range are picked from their own vegetable garden. It’s a busy life. There are the cattle and sheep and other animals. There are farmers’ markets every weekend to sell their wares, and with three active daughters — Jemima and Mathilda are keen riders, attending eventing and showjumping competitions, while Charlotte is a netballer, swimmer and runner — there’s plenty of family travel, too. When Country Style visits, Charlotte is away at a school camp. On the day she returned, the family would head straight to Brisbane for the Ekka, the annual agricultural show, before another weekend of markets and sport. “Having children was a big deal for us, we wanted to be present parents,” Alan says. “It has been a great way to bring them up.”
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a semi-rural area then, so I used to jump on my bike on the weekend, go fishing in farm dams and crayfishing in creeks. And then when I was 12, one of the boarders at my school took me back to his farm at West Wyalong. I loved it. I learnt how to drive a tractor and fall off a horse. That’s where it started. I spent a lot of holidays on people’s farms after that. I think the love of the country was always in me. It’s hard to be a small farmer these days, though, because everything is about economies of scale and being big.You can’t compete on a price level, no matter how good your product is: we can’t produce olive oil for what they sell it for in the supermarket. That’s why we value-add — for example, in the food range as well as olive oil we do dukkah, tapenades and marinated olives. For 20 years I sold people things they didn’t need, they didn’t want and that, generally, were bad for them — things like soft drink and takeaway food. As a young guy you don’t think about that. And now we do the opposite, we sell food that’s really good for you. I just love being in the country. And I like the fact that our children are growing up in such an active, healthy outdoor environment. If I was living in the city, I wouldn’t see them in the morning and I probably wouldn’t see them in the evening, either. Certainly not in the industry I worked in — the hours were very long, I was rarely home before eight o’clock. So now I see them in the morning and drive them to the school bus, and we all sit down to dinner together and I can help them with homework. I have far more involvement in their lives. That was what moving was all about, really; I wanted to see my children grow up and I knew it wasn’t going to happen where I was. There have been challenges.When we bought the farm it had a crayfish business, but the ponds leaked, which meant we were continually pumping water — and then we ran into a drought. So we lost the crayfish business within two years of moving here and because of that we lost the farm tours we’d been doing, too. But Bronwyn and I, we work well together, and we’ve just jumped each hurdle as it came. Stuff happens when you’re a farmer and you just have to roll with the punches. I think we’re both pretty resilient — you have to be. If we have a fault, the two of us, it’s that we put our children before the businesses, all the time. Most people >
OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE Alan and Bronwyn amid the 650 trees in their olive grove; youngest daughter Mathilda exercises her pony, Rocky; Efﬁe, one of the family’s hens, “thinks she’s a dog”, says Bronwyn, and likes to hang out with Slim; “the property is always a changing landscape,” says Bronwyn; the Fat Hen Farm food range includes extra virgin olive oil, dukkah, tapenade and marinated olives; sheep are also run on the property; the house, Bella Vista, was built in 1907. FACING PAGE Relaxing on the home’s wide verandah, with Pepe, one of the cats, and Efﬁe the hen.
OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
FROM LEFT Jemima on her thoroughbred, JR, and Mathilda on Rocky take a ride through the olive trees; Mathilda with Efﬁe.
are dedicated to their income and retirement savings, and all of that. We put our family first — that’s ultimately why we’re here. If we were just about money, I’d still be working in the city.
bronwyn I grew up on the North Shore in Sydney, although my family history is farming and rural on my mother’s side, and all my cousins live in rural NSW. Maybe it’s because I haven’t always lived on the land that I know I’m so lucky to be able to live a country lifestyle, even though it comes with many ups and downs. We’ve experienced real extremes of drought and then devastating floods over the past few years and it is amazing to watch the land change so dramatically from dust to lush green in such a short period. I love running my dogs in the early mornings across the property because it’s always a changing landscape. We enjoy the outdoor life very much and I try not to take that for granted. Spending the first 15 years of my working life in a city office and commuting in Sydney traffic has given me a real appreciation of what we have here. I can see my horses roam in the paddocks from my office window and because we are our own bosses, we can decide our own work times. I can down tools, leave the computer, catch my horse and take her for a ride — I find it great to de-stress and clear my head. I love the space, and the peace, of living here. And I love having horses. I always wanted a pony when I was a child. 94 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
The people we bought the property from did food and skincare in a smaller way. I renamed the skincare range and relaunched it about a year after we got here, with just four products, and it’s been growing ever since. And earlier this year I launched a junior range, which Jemima uses. Everything is chemical-free, sulfate-free and 100 per cent made from plant ingredients. I make it all by hand — we turned what was a bed and breakfast on the property, a little one-bedroom cottage, into our production and packing space. During holidays the girls will help with putting things in jars. One reason we enjoy bringing up the kids in this sort of environment is because they are less exposed to the needs and wants and ‘must haves’ that kids in the city face. I’m really happy that they’ve been able to grow up with a freedom lots of kids in the city don’t get. And they’ve learnt that food doesn’t just come from a supermarket shelf. They appreciate the importance of the daily care of their animals and helping with the farm chores. We look after our property and work as hard as we can, but we put the kids first. I like to always spend the afternoon with the kids when they get home from school — they catch a bus to Gympie, which is about half an hour away. They’re our investment, not from a financial point of view, but our investment in the future. They’re the future of our country. * For more information about Fat Hen Farm food products and the Olive Skin Food range, visit fathenfarm.com.au
Available at leading homewares and department stores. www.maxwellandwilliams.com.au
JOURNEY FLINDERS R ANGES SOUTH AUSTR ALIA
learning the landscape
PAINTER HANS HEYSEN HELPED CHANGE THE WAY AUSTRALIANS SAW THEIR COUNTRY — AND NOW ARTIST TOM CARMENT AND PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL WEE FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS. WOR DS A ND ILLUSTR ATIONS TOM CARMENT PHOTOGR A PH Y MICHAEL WEE
Mountains form a vast amphitheatre 17 kilometres by eight kilometres at Wilpena Pound in the heart of the Flinders Ranges National Park. Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 97
IT BECAME ACCEPTABLE TO CONSIDER THE MORE ARID PARTS OF AUSTRALIA LOVELY.
iding along a pebbly dry creek bed in the Flinders Ranges, a man on horseback noticed a very woolly merino wether up a narrow-mouthed gorge. This wether must have missed several musters and stayed alive because of a small spring in that glade. Heavily weighed down by wool and trapped among the steep rocks, it had nowhere to go but not much need to move, either. The man caught the wether and shore it with hand clippers. The heavy fleece of long wool would have been an awkward burden on the long ride back to the homestead, so he placed it under a flat rock, to be retrieved at a better time. Later, it annoyed him that he’d never rediscovered that small gorge, and he went to his deathbed with the fleece lost.Years passed until, eventually, one of the sons located the fleece, under the rock and still in good condition. Andrew Nicolson Snr, from Middleback Station, told me this story a few years ago, and when I asked him recently if he could check the facts of it for me, he reckoned that maybe there were two stories: one of a lost fleece, at Wirrealpa Station, and another, of a sheep that had not
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been shorn for five years, with unbroken fibres of record length. His friend at Elders Stock and Station Agents in Port Augusta had processed it. Tales like these were born out of the region’s hard history. In the 1840s and 1850s, under the misapprehension that ‘rain follows the plough’, early European settlers travelled north into South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. They cut down trees, fenced off paddocks, built stone houses and planted wheat as far as Wilpena Pound. Soon, bad seasons forced them back south and only the pastoralists with their merino sheep remained. Ruins of houses lie scattered across the bare hills between Quorn and Hawker. Hans Heysen, after whom this walking track is named, was a German-born painter who settled at Hahndorf in the hills east of Adelaide. His paintings of venerable gum trees in golden light had enormous popular appeal from the 1920s onwards. The art critic Robert Hughes likened Heysen’s tree trunks to the way Rubens painted the flesh of his large nudes. Heysen went out each day, dressed in jacket and gaiters, drawing in pencil and conte crayon, and painting in
FLINDERS R ANGES SOUTH AUSTR ALIA JOURNEY
watercolours. He turned these studies into oil paintings only on his return to Hahndorf, back in his studio. Heysen made eight visits in all, during an era when a trip to the Flinders took time and careful planning. It wasn’t until 1928 that Heysen ventured north, up to the drier landscape of the ranges. He found the dramatic landforms impressive and was attracted to the “clean edges of the hills, without much foliage”. Heysen didn’t travel to the ranges when they’d had a good season and lots of rain, when the hills would have been covered, as he said, in “a mantle of green which to me was most disconcerting and out of harmony”. In his mind’s eye it was a bare, brown and ochre landscape. Despite this limitation, Heysen’s images of the ranges helped to transform conservative popular perceptions of beauty. It became acceptable to consider the more arid parts of Australia lovely. The Heysen Trail runs from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsular to Parachilna Gorge and covers 1200 kilometres. If you walked the whole thing, as some hardy walkers do, >
FROM FAR LEFT Wide open spaces north of Wilpena Pound; Morning at the Pound, the painting and the photograph; Tom Carment sets to work; Tom’s sketch map of the trail’s northern end; Yanyanna Hut, a former shepherd’s hut, now shelters hikers. BELOW Blinman Run pastoral station once carried 120,000 sheep.
it would take 60 days and need a lot of preparation, including food and water drops. During the peak of summer, it’s too hot for the inland sections and during winter, it can be windy and wet, with the nights long and cold. Water is often unavailable along the route and fires are mostly banned. I chose to walk the northernmost section, between Wilpena Pound and Parachilna Gorge — the most spectacular and perhaps the hardest part. It would normally take five days. I cheated and didn’t walk it in a linear fashion, as I went there with my Adelaide friend Tanya, a landscape architect, and her 10-year-old daughter, Eloise. We pitched our two tents at Wilpena Pound, and walked and drove out from there each day to sample different sections of the track to the north. Our main aim was to walk some way along each section, eat a sandwich, draw and paint watercolours. The distance we covered depended on how Eloise’s ‘walking legs’ felt. By day six she was able to manage 19 kilometres. Wilpena Pound is a destination for many inland travellers and tourists, who usually don’t stay longer than a day or two. It’s at the edge of a circular flat valley surrounded
FLINDERS R ANGES SOUTH AUSTR ALIA JOURNEY CLOCKWISE, FROM FAR LEFT Evening, East Wilpena; bush scene at Wilpena Pound; Flinders Ranges looking south from Yanyanna; a south Flinders Ranges view at early evening; capturing the colours; working on the view; Evening, St Mary Peak.
WE SAT AND PAINTED WITHIN A STONE’S THROW OF EACH OTHER UNTIL WE WERE HUNGRY. by sharp-edged hills, and is not, as is often assumed, the crater of an old volcano. The northernmost part of the trail starts just three kilometres west, along the road from here where the ABC Ranges join the Gorge. The information panel at the track head told us that there was once an Aboriginal ochre mine on a nearby hill. The Adnyamathanha people tunnelled between the rocks into rich seams of red ochre. This was shaped into oval cakes that were carried on heads or in dilly bags. At a certain time of year, the men would walk hundreds of kilometres to trade the ochre for boomerangs, shields, and pitjuri (an intoxicant leaf). The trail south from this noticeboard exemplified the picture postcard idea of the Flinders — big, gracious river gums growing out of a dry stony creek bed, smaller cypress pines studding the steep scarps on either side. After days of cloud and misty rain, we were cheered by a sky of deep cobalt blue. We kept going until we reached the junction of Wild Dog Creek, from where we could look down valleys in three directions. We sat and painted within a stone’s throw of each other until we were hungry.
On our last day we walked across the big circular plain to the southern side of the Pound at Bridle Gap, over nine kilometres away. It was a big effort for Eloise, but we all agreed the view from the Gap was worth it and I cracked open a tin of baked beans to celebrate. We did watercolours on the rocky bluff. On the trek back, Eloise, growing weary, kept stopping to scrape mud off her white trainers. I worried that I’d cajoled her to walk beyond her limit. “C’mon, you’ll only get them muddy again in the next puddle,” I said. “Look, I promise to clean them for you when we get back.” I’m ashamed to say I didn’t do that. * Tom Carment is the winner of this year’s $20,000 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize, so it’s no surprise painting outdoors was a primary objective of his Flinders Ranges trip. This is an edited extract from Tom and Michael Wee’s book, Seven Walks: Cape Leeuwin To Bundeena (Roc-Hin, $69.95.) As a special offer, readers can order the volume with a 15 per cent discount at sevenwalks.com, or telephone (02) 8003 4299 and quote the code ACS 2905.
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See what’s possible
BRAND NEW SEASON PM AEDT
BERRY NSW DOG TA LES
A SERIES OF RESCUES BROUGHT THIS FAMILY OF KELPIES TOGETHER. WORDS BARBARA SWEENEY PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL WEE
ogs have always been part of the Costello household. Years ago, if you visited Merelyn and Chris, and their children Joel and Emma, you would have had a flurry of six Scottish terriers weaving around your ankles and claiming your attention. Time has brought changes. In 2007 Merelyn and Chris, art dealers and owners of Fine Art Australia, moved from Sydney to the town of Berry on the NSW south coast, and the Scotties, sadly, are no longer with them. The yelps of excitement and dancing blur of black, tan and white that greet you on arrival belong to a family of five kelpies. Arkie, Tilly, Bo, Diddley and Molly are part of the furniture — literally. The dogs have pride of place in the living room, where they recline on large beanbags, and the rug by the fire is an especially nice spot in winter. With so many acquaintances to be made at the same time, is it any wonder that there’s a little confusion? It takes a while to get a fix on who’s who. So that’s Arkie? “No, that’s Diddley.” Okay, how about that one? Molly? “You can always pick Molly, she’s got a little bit of cattle dog in her.” The dogs came to Merelyn and Chris via family connections in Hillston, in western NSW. Chris’s great-grandfather, John Costello, was a pioneering grazier in the late 19th century, exploring vast tracts of NSW, the Northern Territory and Queensland with his brother-in-law, Patrick Durack. Chris grew up on a merino property near Hillston. The kelpies are all descended from an earlier Bo, a prized working dog that belonged to Chris’s father. It was on a visit to Hillston in 2009 that Arkie, 11 months, and four-month-old Tilly were pressed on Merelyn and Chris. “They were excess to requirements on a neighbour’s farm and would have been put down,” Merelyn says. Three years later, in 2011, on another visit out west, Merelyn and Chris again made the trip back to the coast with canine cargo. Bo was a rescue dog in the truest sense of the word; poor eyesight had ruled him out as a working dog and that would have sealed his fate if not for the Costellos. Bo’s arrival coincided with the Costellos move to Berry and the plan was for Arkie and Tilly to remain in Sydney with Emma and Joel. It was decided that Bo, who was going to make the move to Berry, would need a companion. Calls were made and a drop-off was arranged: a tiny six-week-old fawn kelpie, soon to be known as Diddley, had found a new home. The addition of Molly was just as spontaneous, the
FROM LEFT Molly, Bo, Arkie, Diddley and Tilly at NSW’s Berry.
last in a litter that Emma was finding homes for. Eventually, all five dogs came to reside in Berry. The daily ritual involves a turn of the property. Merelyn, Chris and the dogs are trailed by their very own entourage: Nelson, Felix and Oscar — three rather inquisitive British Alpine goats — and Maurizio, a ferocious Peking duck. Emma, a veterinary bioscience student at the University of Sydney, rescued Nelson and Maurizio from the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home when she was on placement there. “Nelson had been found wandering the streets in Sydney,” says Merelyn. “Emma phoned, saying, ‘Mum, would you like a goat for your birthday?’ He’s utterly divine!” Hot on Nelson’s heels were Felix and Oscar, twins with a huge size disparity and named after the characters in The Odd Couple. “I did some research and found that goats need company,” Merelyn says. “Those three goats cost absolutely nothing,” says Chris. “Except maybe $3000 for fencing…” Later in the day, Chris will get on the motorbike and race the dogs around the property: they clock up five to eight kilometres every day. “These dogs need to be walked and exercised constantly,” he says. Back when they had terriers, the long-term plan had been to rescue senior dogs — but the kelpies’ arrival put that plan on hold. “Kelpies are full of life and made for country living,” Merelyn says. “I just really like the breed. They adore us — and we adore them. Rescuing senior dogs? That will be the next step.” * Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 103
PHOTOGRAPHY FELIX FOREST STYLING CLAIRE DELMAR STYLING ASSISTANT NATALIE JOHNSON
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT ‘Botanicals’ wallpaper in Cerulean, $259 for 6m x 48.7cm, and ‘Digital Bird’ fabric wallpaper, $129 for 1m, both from Emily Ziz. Workshop lamp, $330, from Doug Up On Bourke. Paint brush, stylist’s own. Spanish glazed tile in Emeralda, 100mm x 100mm, $110 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. Adex ‘Modernista’ tile in Gris Azulado 150mm x 75mm, $60.50 a square metre, from Bisanna Tiles. Encaustic cement tile in Sea Green, 200mm x 200mm, $93 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. Pure Low Sheen paint in ‘Just White’, $82 for 4 litres, from Murobond. Paint tin, $5, and green bottle, $6, both from St. Vincent de Paul. ‘Monger’ soap dish, $45, from The Society Inc. ‘Lost & Found’ vintage chair, $149, from Murobond. Background, canvas, $14.99 a metre, from Spotlight. Canvas painted with ‘Eggshell’ acrylic paint in Elegance, $43.20 a litre, from Porter’s Paints. For stockist details, see page 151.
RENOVATING FROM WEEKEND DIY TO MAJOR PROJECTS, A DESIGNER PUTS PRINCIPLES INTO PRACTICE AND NEW IDEAS FOR KITCHENS, BATHROOMS AND LAUNDRIES.
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A coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to change the feel of a room — here you can see how what a dramatic statement the black chosen for the loggia at South Australia’s Kingsbrook estate makes. (This beautiful property is available for events and accommodation; kingsbrook.com.au)
time for change INSPIRED BY THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY HOMES WE HAVE FEATURED OVER THE YEARS, OUR DESIGN EXPERTS SHARE THEIR TOP TIPS.
WOR DS CATHERINE McCORMACK
ew pastimes are as challenging or rewarding as home renovations. Creating light-filled interiors that make life easier and more enjoyable is the end goal — but there’s plenty of scope for creativity and fun along the way. “Some of my fondest memories of renovating are sitting on upside down buckets at the end of the day — so sore, but filled with joy,” says Brisbane-based stylist and photographer Kara Rosenlund. For more than a year, Kara and her husband Tim spent every weekend transforming their neglected worker’s cottage into a bright and beautiful home. Telltale signs it’s time to renovate? Marked and dirty walls, cracked paint, cornices or skirting boards, structural issues, and a lack of space and natural light. Most experts recommend you live in a house for some time before changing it, but there are many ways to revitalise without knocking down walls. We asked the experts to share their best renovation ideas for those who have a weekend, a few weeks or more…
RENOVATING DECOR ATING
WE E KE N D WARRI O RS
If time and money are in short supply — or you just need a change of scene, fast — try these fantastic DIY ideas.
For a quick update, you can’t go past the power of paint. “I would say maximum impact with minimal effort would have to be the paint job,” says Kara, whose preference is always classic white. Colour still has its place — “I’m loving using warm greys and deep colours in the living space,” says interior designer Sarah Trotter of Melbourne’s Hearth Design. A simple trick to enhance space in the living room: paint the wall behind the television dark grey or charcoal and watch it ‘disappear’. Another quick change: “You can paint the kitchen cupboards, too, if they’re not poly,” says Sydney interior designer Denai Kulcsar.
Another easy way to breathe new life
3 PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS, ALICIA TAYLOR, CRAIG WALL STYLING CHARLOTTE BELL, INDIANNA FOORD, LOUISE MARSHALL. FOR STOCKIST DETAILS, SEE PAGE 151.
I N TH E B OX
esigner We loved d clever DIY ’s Fliss Dodd tion in son lu storage so om — crates o Max’s bedr the wall. n mounted o
Get a similar look to the kitchen cabinets shown above with ‘Pure Aqua Gloss’ in Seaglass, $39 a litre, from Murobond.
the average bathroom far more pleasing.”
Improve the appearance of bedrooms by de-cluttering, incorporating ample storage and “changing to beautiful white linen,” Sarah says. “It’s what I do when I need to refresh my own room.”
The fastest, most cost-effective renovation of all? Rearrange your furniture. “Nothing says ‘weekend’ more to me than moving chairs from room to room and restyling the shelves,” says Kara. >
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M O RE THAN A WE E KE N D
Invest a little more time — and money — in these renovation projects and reap the rewards.
Change your flooring. A key design element, flooring links and defines living spaces. Rip up or replace old carpet, re-tile, or sand and stain timber boards. “Stain pine floorboards to achieve a walnut colour,” advises Sydney interior designer Karen Akers. “Knotted pine often doesn’t let furnishings ‘sit well’ within a room.” For more ideas, see our flooring special on page 120.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a new kitchen, give the existing one a facelift. Update the door hardware and replace the sink, benchtops and splashback, and the kitchen will look “fresher, brighter and more modern,” says Denai. On trend now are cement benchtops and splashbacks, dark cabinets and copper accessories.
Update your bathroom. Most new bathrooms take around 12 weeks from design to completion. Get there faster, while spending less, by keeping plumbing in its original position and updating key fixtures. “Replace the vanity and tapware, remove border tiles, paint the room and make the shower screen frameless or semi-frameless,” Karen says. Swap to a freestanding bath at the same time. “Visually, a freestanding bath grounds the space,” says Kara.
A few architectural tweaks can help your living areas look new. “Widen openings or square off arched doorways,” Karen suggests. Decorative cornices can also enhance the sense of space and height.
Turn an open fire into a feature. “A lovely stone or tiled hearth adds so much character, as well as efficient wood storage near the fire,” Sarah says. > A beautiful hearth turns a fireplace into a feature.
CHECK M AT E
hite tiled w d n a k c Bla graphic ﬂoors gave riter and impact to w Silm’s NSW stylist Sara ighlands home. Southern H
RENOVATING DECOR ATING
PHOTOGRAPHY BRIGID ARNOTT, SHARYN CAIRNS, SAM McADAM-COOPER, PRUE RUSCOE, SUE STUBBS STYLING INDIANNA FOORD, SHANNON FRICKE, LISA HILTON, AMANDA MAHONEY, SARAH SILM. FOR STOCKIST DETAILS, SEE PAGE 151.
Adding architectural details such as this fretwork in an Inverell home can transform a space. BELOW Flooring choices can set the tone for paint and furnishings.
BELOW Paint isn’t just for walls — think of it when planning ﬂooring, too.
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DECOR ATING RENOVATING The secret to a smooth renovation, no matter what you’re tackling? “Be very patient and organised,” says Denai. For a new bathroom, allow at least a month for construction.
Need more space? Open plan is where it’s at. Consider approaching an architect or interior designer before embarking on these major works.
Extend for the future. “People so often overlook the growth of the household and renovate for now rather than considering their future needs like storage, extra bedrooms and larger bathrooms,” Kara says. Can’t quite picture your perfect home? An architect or interior designer can help. “We can give you advice and guidance about things you wouldn’t have thought of, which can create better flow and a better use of space in the house,” Denai says. “We can also engage the right professionals to get the job done. It all comes down to the team you’ve got — if you’ve got a great team on board, it saves so many headaches.” Setting a realistic budget is crucial. “Most people’s budgets will be too low for all the work they want to complete,” Karen says. “You need to allow for additions or unforeseen costs, which can be as much as 30 to 40 per cent of the original budget.” Living on site while works are underway can also cost you: “You are actually slowing down the tradies as they’re working around you and need to spend time every day cleaning up,” Karen says.
A new bathroom adds instant value to a home. Overseas, the trend is for spaces that are larger and more open-plan. In the design stage, it can help to break the room into task-specific zones and incorporate fittings and fixtures made to be shared — think double basins and a bath big enough for two. Concrete and timber-look tiled floors are an emerging trend, as is natural marble with a tint of colour. As for the practicalities: allow four to six weeks for construction. “You’ve got to understand from day one that it’s a big project and you’ve got a lot of tradies working in a small space,” Denai says.
Open-plan living. “Often the first thing clients say when they come to me is, ‘Our house is too dark’,” Denai says. “They want to open it up and make it feel
PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS, SAM McADAM-COOPER, MARK ROPER, MIKKEL VANG STYLING ZOË DOYLE, INDIANNA FOORD. FOR STOCKIST DETAILS, SEE PAGE 151.
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D I N I NEGS C O ALF R ce
door spa t u o n a t a Tre room and a r t x e n a like rdingly, o c c a t i h s furni louvred d n a r g s i like th ndah. a r e v d n a l Queens
Big windows and high ceilings create a bright, welcoming space. BELOW LEFT Georgie Oates of Tamworth’s Redchair Interiors made the island bench a focal point of her own kitchen.
bright and happy and airy. There are a lot of ways to do that, but often it’s just about knocking out a few walls and putting in bigger windows.” If you’re planning an extension, factor in time for council approvals and remember orientation is everything — north-facing is ideal for passive heating and cooling, but an architect will be able to advise how to best capture light and airflow on any site. Inside, open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas continue to inspire, with living spaces extended outside via bi-fold or sliding doors onto a covered deck. To visually connect indoors with out, Tessa suggests creating a beautiful alfresco dining scene: “I’d start with a big wooden dining table, glass vessels for candles so they stay lit in the wind, half wine barrels and zinc tubs planted up on the deck, ideally under a canopy of grapevine or wisteria,” she says. “Perhaps add a big basket of floor cushions in the corner that you scatter on the deck when it’s balmy.”
Dreaming of a new kitchen? “Custom-built kitchens usually need to be in the planning stages for around 12 weeks before they are installed,” says Karen, who warns that working to a shorter timetable may mean you have to settle for the fittings and fixtures that happen to be available in-store at the time of purchase. Flat-pack enthusiast? These are a fast and cost-effective option, but do have their limitations. “They are usually white, cupboard sizes are predetermined and the style of doors is simple,” Karen says. You can also expect hiccups at the installation end. “You often end up with gaps that shouldn’t be there or things that don’t line up,” Denai says. “You have to understand it won’t be a perfect finish.” Her advice? Pay the money to have a qualified tradesman install it. “That way, if any issues pop up, they’re on site to rectify them and make the situation work.” * Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 111
QUEENSLAND INTERIOR DESIGNER ANNA SPIRO’S PASSION FOR VIBRANT COLOUR AND MIX-AND-MATCH COLLECTIONS IS UNFURLED IN HER HOME. WOR DS LEAH T WOMEY PHOTOGR A PH Y JARED FOWLER ST Y LING ANNA SPIRO
DECOR ATING An iron pendant lamp, custom-made for Black & Spiro Interior Design, helps illuminate works by NSW artists Karlee Rawkins, Hilary Herrmann and Gemma Smith. The white-framed drawing by Pip Spiro, Anna’s sister-in-law, hangs in the centre above the ticking covered sofa offset by patterned cushions. FACING PAGE An antique chair has been covered with a striped Scalamandre fabric (now discontinued), with the added colour of a pink and red cushion in a Lisa Corti fabric and a needlepoint cushion from the US.
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ecorator Anna Spiro is known for her kaleidoscopic style of clashing patterns and vibrant fabrics, along with her keen sense for mixing collections of traditional pieces with modern wares. The inspiration, she says, comes from her grandmothers, and from her mother, who instilled a love of blue and white, taught her that the best collections are eclectic and never themed — and declared that there is nothing quite so beautiful as fresh flowers from one’s own garden. Anna’s home near Brisbane’s Wellington Point is a 30 minute drive from Black & Spiro, her interiors shop and decorating business. It’s an 1880s open-plan timber Queenslander with wide verandahs and a large garden that’s planted with poppies, astors, calendulas and cosmos among the hedges, with dahlias planned for the end of spring. Home to Anna, her husband Brad, sons Harry, 12, and four-year-old Max, and golden retriever Ned, there’s enough garden for a life lived outside, tending to the flowers while the boys play on the grass. Inside and out, Anna’s house has been painted in one of her three favourite shades of white — Wattyl Magic
White. (The other two are Dulux Vivid White and Porter’s Paints Absolute White.) The one exception is her bedroom, a dark sanctuary in navy blue complemented by a white French quilt and white quilted bedhead under a collection of antique flower paintings. Blue and white GP & J Baker curtains complete the look. When it comes to colour there is a trick to getting the mix just right. “I like beautiful jewel colours, and I like to include a little of every colour — pink, orange, yellow, blue, green — and a bit of brown to ground the colour. That’s the biggest secret of all, the brown, because it neutralises the colour and stops it being so tutti-frutti.” While she swears there will never be a place for grey in her decorating, Anna also avoids black, saying the right navy blue will do what black does, only better. “It’s still dark and strong, but not so gothic.” Vignettes of collected objects, such as ginger jars and stacks of books, are balanced against scatterings of cushions (always an odd number and always on the square), and a mishmash of furniture that’s perfect in its imperfection. This is what Anna calls “neo-traditionalism” or bringing >
CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE A small stool covered with a yellow Burmese silk next to the antique chair; the 1880s Queenslander is similar to the homes of Anna Spiro’s childhood; in the navy blue bedroom are two framed antique paintings alongside a canvas by Brisbane’s Maureen Hansen; a flea market lamp has gained a green linen shade and sits on a table found on a Sunday walk; Ned the retriever by a Dutch bench seat; Anna on the verandah. FACING PAGE An antique French bedhead upholstered with a Designers Guild fabric is paired with a floral cushion from New York’s Carson & Co. The vintage cane table and lamp are from Pigott’s Store in Sydney.
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CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Kitchen shelves display woven baskets, apothecary jars, platters and jugs; plates and bowls from Italy beside an old French wine jug; a David Bromley artwork hangs above an inlaid chest decorated with books and snow globes; an old sideboard supports a French gilt mirror and a classical bust on the verandah; appliqué and vintage textile cushions arranged underneath a painting by Sydney’s Julian Meagher.
118 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
back the old and doing it in a new way. “The imagination and cleverness come when you have a room of furniture that doesn’t match,” Anna declares. “Sometimes people use too many pieces from the same collection — how uninteresting and boring!” Her childhood was spent in old Queenslanders with big gardens and this is where she developed her colour palette. “Mum’s garden was bright and beautiful, and that’s how I see colour.” Anna’s first book — Absolutely Beautiful Things (Lantern, $49.99) — was launched in October, and the author’s pride is mingled with poignant memories. Last Christmas, with chapters yet to be completed, she read her 98-year-old grandmother, Ann Curlewis, the dedication page. Anna had a feeling the painter who had steered her towards a life in design would not live to see the book in print — and she was right. With tears in her eyes, Anna’s voice wavers as she recalls that special moment. “She taught me all sorts of amazing things. On Christmas Day I said, ‘Grandma, I’d like to read you something special that I’ve written about you in my book.’ A few days later she called my mother and said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about what Anna wrote — and isn’t it lovely that what I did made such an impact on her and she holds it so close to her heart.’ ” * Black & Spiro Interior Design is at 768 Brunswick Street, New Farm, Queensland. (07) 3254 3000; blackandspiro.com.au Turn to page 148 for more information on Anna’s new book and more inspiration for interiors.
In the main bedroom, all door and window frames are painted the same shade as the walls, so the effect is of seamless colour. The white flower painting is by Sydney’s Robert Malherbe and the artwork on the top right is by Anna’s beloved grandmother Ann Curlewis.
SHE SWEARS THERE WILL NEVER BE A PLACE FOR GREY IN HER DECORATING...
DECOR ATING FLOORING 3 2
WHEN PRODUCING A NEW LOOK, THESE FLOORING TRENDS CAN PLAY MAJOR ROLES. WOR DS CATHERINE McCORMACK PHOTOGR A PH Y FELIX FOREST STY LING CL AIRE DELMAR
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1 ‘Allure Locking’ vinyl plank ﬂooring in Aspen Oak, $69 a square metre, from Harvey Norman. 2 A3 tracing paper, $19.60 for 50 sheets, from Eckersley’s Art & Craft. 3 Coloured cork tile in Mid Grey, POA, from Calypso Cork. 4 ‘Largo’ laminate plank in Dominicano Oak Grey, $59 a square metre, from Quick-Step. 5 Coloured cork tile in Iceberg White, POA, from Calypso Cork. 6 Niro ‘Yura’ glazed porcelain tile (300mm x 600mm) in Lead Grey Matt, from $53.90 a square metre, from Choices Flooring. 7, 8 ‘Curlicue’ cut-pile wool carpet in To Die For, $128 a square metre, and ‘Tussore’ chunky loop-pile wool carpet in Sumac, $117 a square metre, both from Cavalier Carpets. 9 Dolomite marble tile (305mm x 305mm), $270 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. 10 Niro ‘Yura’ glazed porcelain tile (300mm x 600mm) in Snow, from $53.90 a square metre, from Choices Flooring. 11, 12 Intergrain ‘Natural Stain’ timber stain in Iced White and Silver Fir, both $44.90 a litre. 13, 14 ‘Bianco Mosaic’ wool/sisal carpet, $125 a square metre, and ‘Quartz Lattice’ wool/sisal carpet, $175 a square metre, both from The Natural Floor Covering Centres. 15 Handmade cotton ﬂowers, from $25 each, from Paper Couture. Background, Formica laminate ﬂooring in Whitewashed Oak, from $50 a square metre, from Formica. All other props, stylist’s own. For stockist details, see page 151.
STYLING ASSISTANCE NATALIE JOHNSON
DECOR ATING FLOORING
eflecting the worldwide trend for elegant, pared-back interiors, the latest flooring draws inspiration from nature, with a move toward organic colours and beautifully nuanced materials that create a seamless flow between spaces. “I like to create the feeling of as much light as possible in a space, so wood or concrete with a soft grey tone are my favourite looks for flooring,” says stylist Claire Delmar, who compiled our edit of the latest products and finishes. In her home, Claire installed spotted gum floorboards finished with Bona Naturale. “It’s a matt finish, which is always my preference,” she adds. “People seem to be more interested in texture rather than pattern now,” observes interior designer Danielle Signorino from Signorino Tile Gallery. Large format, concrete-look tiles, which come in a broad spectrum of grey tones, are right on trend. “These are far more durable than concrete floors and have a refined but still somewhat industrial, imperfect look about them,” Danielle says. Bigger is better when it comes to timber and timber-look floors, too. “Wider, longer boards are certainly the current trend,” says Shaun McGovern of Harvey Norman Flooring, whose popular Classica XXL Oak laminate range features boards at 236mm x 2260mm. “Combine this with a rough oak finish in natural or off-whites and you have today’s most fashionable floor,” he says. Similarly, timber-look tiles — which offer all the colour and character of the real thing but are scratch-resistant and waterproof — can be as large as 330mm x 3000mm. Despite the benefits of porcelain, vinyl, laminate and bamboo flooring (cost effective, hard-wearing and more consistent in colour and finish), most designers remain advocates for recycled timber and Australian hardwoods, such as blackbutt, tallowwood and
Tasmanian oak, which inject a feeling of warmth that their engineered counterparts may lack. Parquet flooring in a herringbone pattern is also making a comeback, with designers choosing blond timbers or dark stains. For an organic look, treat timber with oil or a matt stain rather than slick, glossy polyurethane. Another trend in open-plan spaces is a seamless transition between indoors and out, with outdoor decking that matches the colour and size profile of the floorboards or tiles inside. Untreated timber — which fades to a gentle grey — is a new direction outdoors but can suffer from the weather in the long term. Instead, look to products such as Feast Watson’s Grey Look Deck, which delivers a silver-coloured, aged patina while still protecting the wood. Back inside, “A stone look that creates an organic feel is also very appealing,” says Claire. The latest designs? Brick-shaped marble tiles laid in a herringbone weave — as pictured on page 128 — look particularly beautiful in kitchens, bathrooms and transition areas. Just remember that natural stones do require additional care. “They’re porous and must be sealed after installation, and cleaned with non-abrasive cleaning products,” Danielle says. For a softer touch in living areas and bedrooms, sisal continues to inspire, with the latest carpets blending sisal with wool, and featuring dark hues such as charcoal, black and navy. Want to inject more colour at home? Stick to soft furnishings. “It’s always great to start with a neutral base then add to this with rugs,” says Claire. “That way you can always update your look and you aren’t locked into a certain style.” Again, directional patterns such as stripes and diagonals are a great way to add layers of colour and texture, or make a design statement with colourful kilims and pretty Middle Eastern boucherouite rag rugs. *
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10 1 ‘Eggshell’ acrylic paint in Blackheath, $43.20 a litre, from Porter’s Paints. 2 Calico, $7.99 a metre, from Spotlight. 3 ‘Classica XXL’ laminate ﬂooring in Glacier White, $49 a square metre, from Harvey Norman. 4 Vintage Japanese bowl, $230, from Planet. 5, 6, 7 ‘Murowash’ mineral ﬂat paint in Salt, Donkey’s Tail and Lamb’s Ear, all $39 a litre, from Murobond. 8, 9 ‘Tussore’ chunky loop pile wool carpet in Sawthorn and ‘Lisburn’ chunky loop pile wool carpet in Damask, both $117 a square metre, from Cavalier Carpets. 10 Spanish glazed ceramic tile (100mm x 100mm) in Emeralda, $110 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. 11 ‘Curlicue’ cut-pile wool carpet in To Die For, $128 a square metre, from Cavalier Carpets. 12 Alison Fraser teacup, $15, from Slab + Slub. 13 Coloured cork tile in Snow, POA, from Calypso Cork. 14 ‘Dry Martini’ textured loop pile wool carpet in On The Rocks, $83 a square metre, from Cavalier Carpets. 15 Belgian ‘Platinum Lattice’ wool/sisal carpet, $175 a square metre, from The Natural Floor Covering Centres. 16 ‘Clore’ Glazed Lava Stone tile in Caviar, from $700 a square metre, from Pyrolave. 17 ReadyCork Vita cork ﬂooring in Oak Blanc, $78 a square metre, from Quick-Step. 18 Encaustic cement tile (200mm x 200mm) in Sea Green, $93 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. 19 ‘Variano’ timber ﬂooring in Light Oak, $53 a square metre, from Quick-Step. 20 ‘Woodwash Interior’ woodwash in Syrupwash, $43 a litre, from Murobond. 21 ‘Eggshell’ acrylic paint in Blackheath, $43.20 a litre, from Porter’s Paints. 22 Bianca Carrara marble cobblestone (200mm x 200mm), $330 a square metre, from Aeria Country Floors. 23 Royal Oak Floors ‘Concreate’ wall panel (1200mm x 600mm) in Natural White, $93.50 a square metre, from Harper & Sandilands. Background, canvas, $14.99 a metre, from Spotlight. Canvas painted with ‘Eggshell’ acrylic paint in Elegance, $43.20 a litre, from Porter’s Paints. All other props, stylist’s own. For stockist details, see page 151.
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DECOR ATING FROM LEFT Green Loves Blue print, from $59 (unframed), from The Minimalist. Blue ceramic bowl, stylist’s own. ‘Birdy’ green vase, $120, from Koskela. Ceramic pears, stylist’s own. Extra large rope bowl in light blue, $50, from Koskela. Ish tea towel, $35, from Koskela. Resin-coated Carrara marble table top, from $269, from HC Commercial Furniture. Wooden utensils, stylist’s own. Flowers from Mandalay Flowers. For stockist details, see page 151.
PHOTOGRAPHY CRAIG WALL STYLING SAMI SIMPER STYLING ASSISTANCE HENRIETTE GABREAL
TAKE INSPIRATION FOR THE PRACTICAL SPACES IN YOUR HOME FROM THESE ROOMS BY MELBOURNE DESIGNER TERRI SHANNON.
Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 125
DECOR ATING KITCHENS
Working for a couple who love cooking, interior designer Terri Shannon aimed for a classic but contemporary look with plenty of space. “We made the kitchen larger by building a big island bench outside the original kitchen area.“ The ‘Versailles’ solid European oak floor is $250 a square metre from Floors by Greensborough.
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MAIN PHOTOGRAPH ARMELLE HABIB PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY GUY BAILEY PRODUCT STYLING JOSIE TAYLOR
YOU, THEN ADD STYLISH ACCENTS.
1 Lindsay Blamey Peninsular and In The Pacific prints, $95 each. 2 Green Loves Blue print, from $59 (framed from $159), from The Minimalist. 3 Le Creuset 28cm round casserole in Dune, $599. 4 Thonet barstool with custom paint finish and natural sock detail, from $368. 5 Tony Sly bowls, $29.95 each, from The Bay Tree. 6 Marlux pepper mill, $70.25, from The Bay Tree. 7 ‘Madrid’ oil bottle, $12.95, from Freedom. 8 Metal tray, $95, from Kova Lifestyle. 9 Tumbler, $9.95, from The Bay Tree. 10 ‘Marquis’ pitcher, $99.95, from Waterford. 11 Linen tea towel and ‘Fog’ plaid linen tea towel, $16 each, from Dunlin. 12 ‘Devonshire’ tile in Sky (25080), $88 a square metre, from Bespoke Tile and Stone. 13 ‘Signature’ A50.08.V2 kitchen mixer in chrome, $628, from Astra Walker. 14 Pordamsa glass dome, $66.50, and 20cm tasting plate 15 ‘Eggshell’ acrylic paint
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DECOR ATING BATHROOMS “The owners wanted a five-star bathroom,“ explains designer Terri Shannon, “and they love marble, too.” For the floors in the bathroom and laundry, marble was cut to size and laid in a herringbone pattern.
MAIN PHOTOGRAPH ARMELLE HABIB PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY GUY BAILEY PRODUCT STYLING JOSIE TAYLOR
AND REFLECTS YOUR STYLE
1 Lee Broom clear crystal bulb and pendant, $402, from Café Culture. 2 Appelles Blackseed shampoo and Tamanu $39.95 each. 3 Douglas and Bec oak-framed mirror strap, $1020. 4 Victoria + Albert ios bath, $5500. 5 ‘Milan’ soap dispenser, $49.95, from Bed Bath N’ Table. 6 English’ a51.57.9 900mm double towel rail Astra Walker. 7 Dulux Wash & Wear 101 Barrier Technology in Spanish Olive (left) and Natural White, both $41.45 a litre. 8 ‘Shefford’ under-counter basin, $659, from Canterbury Sink and Tap. 9 Calacatta Oro Polished tile, $259 a square metre, from SNB Stone. 10 Vanessa Megan Mint & Citrus soy wax $39.95. 11 ‘Ambrose’ bath towel in smoke, $54.95, and ‘Living Textures’ bath towel in white, $39.95, both from Sheridan. 12 English’ A51.20 bath mixer and hand shower Astra Walker. 13 Sun Valley Bronze CK-400 cabinet knob from Mother of Pearl & Sons.
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DECOR ATING L AUNDRIES
The sleek laundry features plenty of storage, a marble benchtop and 50-millimetre timber venetian blinds from Think Shutters.
TIDY, EFFICIENT AND WELCOMING .
1 Science beaker, $24.95, from Vintage & Nostalgia Co. 2 DF Subway White Bisel tile, $27.50 a square metre, from De Fazio Tiles and Stone. 3 Sun Valley Bronze CK-603 cup pull, $59.70, from Mother of Pearl & Sons. 4 Calacatta marble bench top, POA, from Apex Stone. 5 ‘Signature’ A50.08 kitchen mixer in chrome, $538, from Astra Walker. 6 ‘Boholmen’ stainless steel, single-bowl sink, $69, from IKEA. 7 ‘Sockerärt’ vase, $19.99, from IKEA. 8 ‘Mandalay’ rattan basket, $96.80, from Satara. 9 ‘Bumerang’ clothes hanger, $9.99 for eight, from IKEA. 10 ‘Classic 600’ Egyptian cotton bath towels, $35 each, and hand towels, $18 each, from Abode. 11 Annie Sloan ‘Provence’ reed diffuser, $57. For stockist details, see page 151. Interior design and project administration Terri Shannon of Bloom Interior Design & Decoration. (03) 9397 4343; bloominteriordesign. com.au Builder Carsen Building Concepts, 0402 085 185.
10 9 5 7
8 130 Country Style NOV EM BER 2014
DECOR ATING APPLIANCES
3 4 1 AGA S-Series Six-Four oven, $13,750, from the AGA Shop Australia. 2 Fisher & Paykel E522BRE4 519-litre ‘Elegance’ refrigerator with bottom-mounted freezer, $1759. 3 Sunbeam KE5200W ‘Retro’ kettle in White Choc Chip, $109. 4 Electrolux EBR7804S ‘Expressionist Collection’ blender, $69.95. 5 Trent & Steele 4-slice toaster, $119, from Harvey Norman. 6 Ilve 600STC 60cm oven, $2399. 7 DeLonghi Nespresso ‘Lattissima Plus’ coffee machine in Pearl White, $429, from Harvey Norman. 8 KitchenAid KSM156 ‘Platinum’ stand mixer in Frosted Azure, $849. 9 Miele W1913 7kg washing machine, $1799. For stockist details, see page 151.
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STYLING ASSISTANCE KAYLA GEX
WHILE BOATS BOB AT ANCHOR, TAKE A TURN BY THE WATER’S EDGE. Tommy Hilﬁger ‘Dalamance’ blouse, $159. Sylvester ‘Chevron’ skirt, $195. Dinosaur Designs ‘Shield’ bangle, $115. Peter Lang ‘Nina’ silver bracelet, $85. Repetto ‘T-Bar’ shoes, $335. FACING PAGE Baku Swimware ‘Essential’ swim singlet, $119.95, and ‘Casablanca’ swim skirt, $79.95. Koolaman ‘Phillipa’ necklace, $135. Lovisa bangles, $16.99 each. Busatti ‘Riveria’ beach towel, $150. For stockist details, see page 151.
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UNDER THE BOARDWALK
WHEN THE SUN BEATS DOWN, FIND A COOL BREEZE IN THE SHADE. Ginger & Smart ‘Riviera’ dress, $399. Koolaman ‘Phillipa’ necklace, $135. Dinosaur Designs ‘Shield’ bangle, $115. Ginger & Smart ‘Naked Heart’ sandals, $299, and ‘Primacy’ tote, $569. Chairs, stylist’s own. FACING PAGE Trelise Cooper ‘Moonlight Serenade’ dress with pearl detail, $699. For stockist details, see page 151.
KEEP AN EYE TO WINDWARD FOR A WELCOME SAIL. Eileen Kirby ‘All I Want’ dress, $970. Elk ‘Stacked Disc’ necklace, $65, and ‘Spike’ bangles, $45 each. Peter Lang ‘Nina’ silver bracelet, $85. Deckchairs, $140 and $300, from Ici Et Là. Cushions, $225 each, from My Island Home. Vintage rattan hamper, $180, from The Bronte Tram. For stockist details, see page 151.
JUST ONE THING MISSING FROM THE PERFECT PICNIC...
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TIME AND TIDE WILL REWARD YOUR PATIENCE — EVENTUALLY. R. M. Williams ‘Katnook’ shirt, $99.95. Sylvester ‘Marina’ jacket, $255, and ‘Marina’ skirt, $195. Lovisa bangles, $16.99 each. Repetto ‘T-Bar’ shoes, $335. For stockist details, see page 151. Hair and make-up by Andrea Black. Photographed at Vaucluse Amateur 12 Foot Sailing Club, Sydney, NSW. va12sc.org.au
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&ŽƌEĂƟŽŶĂů^ƚŽĐŬŝƐƚƐ(03) 9486 9277 | ǁǁǁƚŚƌĞĂĚǌĐŽŵĂƵ Threadz Cotton Top $79.95
9.95 nt Dress $8 Threadz Pri
Threadz Dress $79.95, Slip $59.95, Pant $79.95
JULIETTE WINTER EXPLAINS WHICH ESSENTIAL OILS CAN HELP YOUR COMPLEXION GLOW. PHOTOGR A PH Y CR AIG WALL ST Y LING SAMI SIMPER
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ESSENTIALLY SOUND A selection of feel-good skincare products that utilise essential oils; clockwise, from top. r Dry skin adores the Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment (25ml, $75). Dab it straight on cleansed skin, or add to your moisturiser for a super hit of hydration with evening primrose, rosa damascena and orange flower oils. r The Aromatherapy Company Therapy Range Natural Soap Bars (150g, $13.95 each) come in Wild Mint & Bergamot or Wild Rose & Vetiver with a dash of oatmeal to gently exfoliate. r Described as a ‘multivitamin for the skin’, Vanessa Megan Nature’s Elixir Face Oil Serum (20ml, $79.95) contains sea buckthorn and argan oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass and vetiver. r Prep your skin for summer with this Natio Spa One Minute Miracle Body Polish (400g, $19.95), which uses apricot seed and oils of lemon myrtle and ginger. r Aveda Shampure Composition (50ml, $49) is an aromatic oil with 25 calming flower and plant essences. Sprinkle in a bath, rub on stressed shoulders, massage into the scalp or add to your clothes dryer for freshly scented laundry. r Using essential oils of rose, magnolia and geranium, Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil (25ml, $250) leaves skin soft, smooth and revitalised. r Enjoy the silky blend of organic coconut, rosehip and jojoba oils mixed with the subtle scent of tangerine and neroli in Vanessa Megan Body Beautiful Oil (200ml, $59.95). For stockist details, see page 151.
STYLING ASSISTANCE HENRIETTE GABREAL
ur sense of smell has a profound effect on our everyday life — it is fully formed and functioning even before we are born and is 10,000 times more powerful than our sense of taste. Smell is the most sensitive of our senses, which may help explain why aromatherapy has become such an integral part of modern life. Whether used in an oil burner, added to a bath or applied to the skin, essential oils can influence our mental and emotional wellbeing as much as our physiological state. Take neroli essential oil, derived from the waxy white blossoms of the Seville orange tree. “Neroli not only has great therapeutic properties, but also has the most incredible smell,” says Vanessa Gray, director of Australian-based organic skincare range Vanessa Megan. “It has a greatly relaxing effect on the body and mind, and has a wonderful rejuvenating and regenerative effect on the skin.” We now know that it’s the high content of linalool and linalyl acetate that makes neroli a general tonic — not only is it prescribed for anxiety and nervous tension, it is also highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Combating inflammation is important to your spring skincare routine. While it’s traditionally the season of renewal, this is also a time that marks the arrival of far less agreeable issues, from redness and irritation associated with hayfever and allergies to post-winter congestion. “The best essential oil to reduce any redness on the skin is German blue chamomile,” Vanessa says. “The deep blue colour isn’t actually present in the plant, but it forms in the oil and has the most incredible healing properties for red skin. It’s a miracle worker on skin, calming redness, dryness and irritation, as well as allergies, eczema and psoriasis.” If your skin is suffering congestion, geranium essential oil is beneficial for sluggish complexions or oily skin types prone to breakouts, as it can help balance the secretion of sebum. Rosemary essential oil can work wonders on discolourations. “It’s known to have skin lightening effects and helps to naturally correct age spots,” Vanessa says. “Rosemary is recommended in anti-ageing skincare due to its powerful regenerating, rejuvenating and stimulating activities. It stimulates biological activity and cell growth to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and can also help skin look firmer and more elastic.” While many skincare companies use essential oils for their anti-ageing properties, they also serve a secondary purpose: studies show that our emotions are sometimes influenced by our sense of smell. “There are so many great essential oils with therapeutic properties — they have the power to lift the spirits, pep you up and help you feel full of joy,” Vanessa concludes. *
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Cass Brothers Petersham & Waverley 02 9569 5555 www.cassbrothers.com.au
Bentons Finer Bathrooms 1300BENTONS
Routleys Bathroom Kitchen Laundry Malvern 08 8291 3000 www.routleysonline.com.au
Tuck Plumbing Fixtures Osborne Park 08 9444 7988 www.tuckplumbtec.com.au
IN THE GA RDEN
DELIVERING POPS OF PINK, PURPLE OR BLUE DEPENDING ON THE SOIL ACIDITY,
in the garden WORDS KYLIE WALKER ILLUSTRATION KATT FRANK
Inspiring gardens to visit, good reading and favourites to plant this month.
work of art BE ENTHRALLED AS KAREN HALL AND PETER COOPER, OWNERS OF WYCHWOOD, A TRULY MAGICAL TASMANIAN GARDEN, SHARE THE EVOLUTION FROM BARE PADDOCK TO TODAY’S BEAUTIFUL SCENERY. (MURDOCH BOOKS, $59.99.)
OPEN GARDENS NSW November 1–2 Sustainable practices feature at Kentgrove Victorian Kitchen Garden, one of several open gardens at Goulburn on the ﬁrst weekend of the month. Vegetables, mini fruit trees, vines, herbs and berries in covered raised beds plus a rose garden, a four-tiered pond and walking trails. 67 Gorman Road, Goulburn, 10am–4.30pm. $8. Queensland, November 22–33 This romantic garden (above), designed by Carolyn Robinson, features a spring palette of blues, mauves and pinks. Also vegetables and chickens. 321 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin, 10am–4.30pm. $7. For more listings, visit opengarden.org.au
IN THE SHADE PERFECT FOR A SUNNY SPRING DAY, THE WASHABLE AND FOLDABLE NOOSA HAT, $49 AND SHOWN IN ‘SANTA MONICA’ LINEN, COMES IN MORE THAN A DOZEN COLOURS. 0412 099 081; TOPSHOW.COM.AU Country Style NOV EM BER 2014 145
IN THE GARDEN
planting guide LATE SPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO BE WORKING IN YOUR GARDEN. HERE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES FOR PLANTING IN NOVEMBER. NAME OF PLANT Aster flowering perennial
HEIGHT OF PLANT
SUN OR SHADE
C T S Tr
Beetroot annual vegetable
Capsicum perennial vegetable grown as an annual
C T S Tr
Chilli annual or perennial fruiting bush
Chinese cabbage annual vegetable
Cucumber annual vegetable
Daylilies flowering perennial
Dianthus flowering perennial
Gerbera flowering annual
Nasturtium flowering annual
up to 1.2m
T S Tr
Summer savoury annual herb
Turnip annual vegetable
Zinnias flowering annual
Petunia flowering annual or tropical perennial Phlox flowering perennial Rosella flowering annual Sage perennial herb often grown as an annual Silverbeet annual or perennial vegetable
C = Cool climate T = Temperate S = Subtropical Tr = Tropical
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the little things Add character to garden corners, or your potting bench, by collecting interesting boxes and jars. Give them a second life as planters or use to hold tools and seeds. French metal table, $590, from Andrew Wilson Antiques. Seed packets, stylist’s own. Glass lantern, $24, from Est. Vintage wasp catcher, $35, from Andrew Wilson Antiques. Wooden box, $60, from Izzi & Popo. Nutscene twine, $5, from Est. Oooh 7cm rubber pot, $10, and Twee pot in green, $19.95, both from Shelley Panton. Jug, $45, from Andrew Wilson Antiques. Pocket pruner, $39.95, from Garden of Eden Nursery. Jar with teal lid, stylist’s own. Oooh pot, as before. Blue twine, $4.95, from Gewurzhaus. Garden book, $12, and tool (part of a pair), $36, both from Waverley Antique Bazaar. For stockist details, see page 151.
Artist Cressida Campbell’s woodcut designs now feature in a series of card sets. Six diﬀerent sets, based on themes such as the bush and the verandah, in a decorative box. $59.95 for a set of 36, from galleries and bookstores. cressidacampbell.com
Looking for an easy way to kill weeds fast?
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COIR VALUES HANDWOVEN IN INDIA, THE ‘GERANIUM’ COIR RUG ADDS RUSTIC TEXTURE. 1.8 METRES IN DIAMETER, $685, AT ARMADILLO & CO. (02) 9698 4043; SHOP. ARMADILLO-CO.COM
table is $1495 from Weylandts. (03) 9445 5900; weylandts.com.au
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ANNA SPIRO PHOTOGRAPHY JARED FOWLER
These three wallpapers have been designed by Anna Spiro for Porter’s Paints: from left, ‘Round and Round The Garden’ in Ginger Jar Blue, ‘Rosey Posey Trellis’ in Pink Ginger, and ‘Higgledy Piggledy Stripe’ in Chilli Coral. Her talent for mixing colour and pattern gained attention when she launched her blog, Absolutely Beautiful Things. Anna’s artful arrangements — seen in her Brisbane home (pictured left) that we also feature on page 112 — are admired by many and her new book shows how to achieve her signature style. (Absolutely Beautiful Things, Lantern, $49.99.)
book club R EV IEWS ANNABEL L AWSON
November’s usually a busy month — all the more reason to escape on a book-propelled journey to realms unknown. TERRENCE HOLT, BLACK INC, $27.99
In looking back to time spent as a resident physician, Holt pulls no punches, but staff and patients, including their families, receive his expertise and compassion. He shares his unspoken, sometimes scathing, reflections with us. This magnificent memoir pulls you in and ‘graduates’ you as intelligent support to the ailing and ageing. A DOG WALKS INTO A NURSING HOME
government. This is his 13th adventure. An unnamed Syrian dictator is ordering up stolen Caravaggios and Van Goghs as though they were toasted Bath buns. Allon pulls off a dangerous mission and his boss promotes him to a full-time post in Tel Aviv. Never again will Allon lift tiny flakes of dirt and varnish to expose the dazzling colours of a 15th-century original, so grab this last chance to revel in the international art scene with its freeloading rogues, and pink and white popinjays.
SUE HALPERN, ALLEN & UNWIN, $27.99
No, it’s not the first line of a funny story. Halpern has a labradoodle called Pransky who works in a public nursing home. These therapy dogs do so much good. It’s usually the least likely patient, the profoundly sad or the curmudgeonly one, who’s first to weaken under that gaze that only dogs can do. A buck-me-up read.
SONYA HARTNETT, HAMISH HAMILTON, $29.99
VILLAGE OF SECRETS: DEFYING THE NAZIS IN VICHY FRANCE CAROLINE MOOREHEAD, CHATTO & WINDUS, $35
During World War II, villagers in the Plateau Vivarais Lignon in France’s Massif Central sheltered men, women and children hunted by Nazis. In contrast to the Vichy government’s often eager compliance with the Nazi persecution of Jews, these villagers risked torture and death to help strangers. They wanted no thanks. An arresting body of research that Moorehead manages with aplomb. WIFE ON THE RUN FIONA HIGGINS, ALLEN & UNWIN, $29.99
The funniest scene in this very funny novel occurs in a beauty salon in Daly Street, Darwin. In the opening chapters Paula ceases to trust her husband and is wracked with feral loathing for the cyber bullies who attack her teenage daughter. She gathers up father, son and daughter and off they go to live for three months in a caravan without computers, Facebook or phones, and without the errant paterfamilias. Higgins is generous with twists and turns, nothing formulaic here. It’s the perfect home-alone read, though maybe a wee bit unfair to males in general. See what you think. THE HEIST DANIEL SILVA, HARPERCOLLINS, $29.99
His friends know Gabriel Allon only as an art restoration expert, one of the best in Europe. We, his fans, know of his secret life as an underground agent for the Israeli
The arrival of wise and winsome Rex Jenson as the neighbourhood dentist makes Freya Kiley keenly aware of her own father’s inadequacies; he’s a violent drunk. Her mother, trapped by too many pregnancies, is ineffectual. Colt, the dentist’s eldest son, is strangely ambivalent about his father’s ambitions for his family and his practice. There’s a price to pay for so much passion and the one who pays is the least to blame. A novel that steadily gains momentum and eventually achieves greatness. TOP WITH CINNAMON IZY HOSSACK, HARDIE GRANT BOOKS, $39.95
I can’t remember when I’ve had this much fun with a cookery book. Izy is 18 and has her own website (topwithcinnamon.com). I’ve made zucchini and cornmeal fritters, vegetable galette, ‘red velvet cakies’, cranberry and flaxseed scones with treacle butter, chocolate chip cookies (with a hint of basil), Izy’s reconstructed Anzac biscuits, a matchless Swedish ‘chocolate’ cake that contains no chocolate, and finally gingerbread gussied up with malt, molasses and apple. Outstanding. *
PHOTOGRAPHY GUY BAILEY
collectables John McPhee evaluates readers’ precious objects.
I was given this painted wooden plaque by my 90-year-old grandfather, who came to Australia from Germany during World War II. His sister, who remained in what became East Germany, sent him this in the 1960s. Before the reunification of Germany things were very difficult in the east; there was not much available to buy as gifts, so this is very precious to me. I’m curious to find out where exactly it may have come from.
Louise Marshall, Tempe, NSW
Souvenirs of this kind have been made in Germany for centuries, especially in the Black Forest region. The tradition reached the height of invention in the 19th century and continues today. The best known examples are cuckoo clocks, and furniture with carved decoration incorporating stags, bears, guns and displays of game, birds and hares.Your slice of wood, bark and all, with painted stag head is probably more a celebration of the wild than a successful hunt. Obviously, its value for you is sentimental, but it is also a reminder of a long tradition.
tUI"VTUSBMJBODPMPOJBM BOUJRVFBOE IJTUPSJDBM.PTTHSFFO .FMCPVSOF A fabulous mixture of things to tempt browsers. mossgreen.com.au tUI5IF-VNTEFOGBNJMZ DPMMFDUJPOPG$IJOFTFTOVGGCPUUMFT Bonhams, Sydney. Specialist sale for specialist collectors. bonhams.com tUI$IJOFTFBOE"TJBO BSU.PTTHSFFO .FMCPVSOF A dedicated auction bound to attract attention. mossgreen.com.au tUI*NQPSUBOU"VTUSBMJBO "SU4PUIFCZT"VTUSBMJB 4ZEOFZ This will be the last big art sale for the year. sothebysaustralia.com.au
If you have a precious (or simply mysterious) object that puzzles you, send your inquiry, along with a colour print or highresolution digital image, your suburb or town, and your daytime telephone number, to Collectables, Country Style, Level 1, Locked Bag 5030, Alexandria, NSW 2015, or send an email to Josie Taylor at [email protected]
The photographs must be clear and show the whole object against a white background. Photographs will not be returned, even if they are not published.
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