Card-car­ry­ing Fox opens den

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - ESCAPE - WENDY HUGHES

Afriend told me I needed to go to this fab­u­lous place at Brunswick Heads on the NSW north coast. She knew I would love it. She even gave me a card, which I car­ried around in my wal­let for a year be­fore I stum­bled on a shop one day called The Fab­u­lous Mrs Fox. It was en­chant­ing and fab­u­lous. Why hadn’t any­one ever told me about it be­fore, I won­dered?

The shop sits at the foot of a build­ing that you would swear had been part of the Brunswick Heads sky­line for decades but is, in fact, quite new, just mas­ter­fully ren­dered and decked out in a man­ner that harks back to an­other era. There are swans on the roofline, like im­agery you might en­counter in the pages of some old South Amer­i­can magic re­al­ism novel.

The shop stocks new and old wares, and own­ers Wil­liam and Jo­hanna White have turned a room out the back into a truly beau­ti­ful, sur­pris­ing space that they rent out. Through an old wrought­iron gate, a path leads to a weath­ered tim­ber door painted with the words One Fab­u­lous Room. It opens to an astro-turfed nook with a ta­ble, vin­tage sun chairs and a con­crete gar­den gnome ready for his Instagram close-up.

But the breezy, beachy mood changes when you step through French doors into your room. Ev­ery inch is con­sid­ered and lovely – there’s a chan­de­lier, an or­nate mir­ror and glo­ri­ous vin­tage linen. There’s a lit­tle wooden ta­ble be­side a tim­ber­shut­tered win­dow that al­lows nat­u­ral light to pour in on a bowl of fruit, a still life wait­ing for paint. It’s the kind of room in which you know you’ll sleep and dream well. There’s more – a thought­fully dec­o­rated bath­room, plus all those mod­ern-day ne­ces­si­ties such as re­verse cy­cle air-con­di­tion­ing, a cof­fee pod ma­chine, tele­vi­sion and mi­crowave. There is po­ten­tial, yes, to dis­ap­pear and not emerge for a week if you want to.

So rested am I af­ter my first night here that I am up early enough to wan­der to the ocean to see the sun rise. It’s about a four-minute me­an­der along a de­serted lane, onto the foot­bridge across the river, then on to the beach. Un­like so much of coastal Australia, this stretch re­tains a sleepy charm. The sun­rise is pretty enough but I can’t wait to get back, via the Foot­bridge Cafe, to my room to plan my day.

One Fab­u­lous Room is po­si­tioned ide­ally for jaunts into the hin­ter­land and tasty vis­its to places such as the Har­vest restau­rant at Newry­bar, a few kilo­me­tres south-west of the Heads. I re­turn for a sec­ond fab­u­lous night. And as I nod off, I make a men­tal note to call my friend and in­quire what other places she thinks I would like.

One Fab­u­lous Room 10 Park St, Brunswick HeadS, NSW PH (02) 6685 0200; 0477 172 692 WE­BLINK one­fab­u­lous­ Rates From $165-$220 per night (win­ter deal: $700 for seven nights from June-Aug).

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