Cosy retreats to warm body and soul
ORCHARD HOUSE, BAROSSA VALLEY: Skies may be grey and the arthritic old shiraz vines bare but the welcome at Maggie Beer’s Orchard House is typical of the Barossa — warm, generous and all about the next meal. The slick chef’s kitchen (with two ovens no less) is packed to the gunnels with Beer’s own produce along with free-range eggs, jersey milk and black pig bacon for a hearty cooked breakfast; the fireplace is neatly stacked and ready to strike; and hot-water bottles in knitted cosies sit on the end of the incredibly comfortable beds in two ensuite guestrooms (Maggie consulted hoteliers James and Hayley Baillie of Baillie Lodges to nail crucial details such as these). Hidden away at the end of a gravel track in a century-old working orchard, a short walk through the pear trees to Maggie’s Farm Shop (perfect for coffee and cake), the traditional farmhouse with wraparound veranda has been rebuilt inside to create a light-filled home decorated with art from Maggie’s private collection and full of homely touches including flowers from the garden, bowls of fruit and pots of orchard jam. More: orchardhouse.com.au.
MONA PAVILIONS, HOBART: Since 2013, the Dark Mofo festival has been a compelling reason to head for Hobart in winter and get good and freezing, warming up by the blazing fire pits at the bacchanalian Winter Feast on the waterfront. When you head to the festival’s mothership,