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THE BEST OF COUN­TRY LIV­ING IS EN­CAP­SU­LATED IN A GRAND OLD RU­RAL COT­TAGE, WRITES SHAUN HOL­LIS

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - ESCAPE -

Win­drush Cot­tage, Ash­bourne Rd, Strathal­byn, Ph 8231 4210, win­drush­cot­tage.com.au

AS we fetch the fresh coun­try-laid eggs and ba­con from the fridge we catch a glimpse out the kitchen win­dow of a young roo in the next pad­dock. It stares straight at us and the chil­dren go through the full gamut of emo­tions about it hop­ping off – pure ex­cite­ment at the hop­ping and gut-wrench­ing dis­ap­point­ment at the leav­ing.

This is break­fast at Win­drush Cot­tages, a farm­house B&B set on nearly 1ha 7km out of Strathal­byn.

The young­sters are also trans­fixed by the an­i­mals in the next pad­dock – one horse, a large bull, sev­eral other as­sorted bovines and a flock of black­headed sheep.

The horse takes to say­ing hello and the bull, soon chris­tened Donk (for ob­vi­ous rea­sons), just stares us out.

The birds too are a hit – shrikes war­bling and cock­ies screech­ing. Wrens are hop­ping around the am­ple gar­dens which brim with the colours of the rain­bow – flow­er­ing laven­der, irises and daisies just to name a few. The cot­tage pro­vides pam­phlets for bird-watch­ers to spot the rarer types.

We’d just driven up from the Lime­stone Coast and still smelled of salt and had a sker­rick of sand in our tow­els. In­side the large cot­tage we find three bed­rooms and a room big enough to ac­com­mo­date a fam­ily, with a TV and DVD. The floors are cov­ered with plush ori­en­tal-style car­pets and there’s an open fire for the cooler nights. Din­ner in Strath turns out to be a lucky find. We pick out the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel just off the main street with its claims of an “award­win­ning bistro”. We soon learn to love the place – un­der­stated his­toric ar­chi­tec­ture, friendly and re­spon­sive staff and a good value, classy meal.

Later, with chil­dren safely asleep, we lie back in front of the open fire with a bot­tle of wine bought ear­lier from nearby Bleas­dale in Langhorne Creek and a DVD and let the coun­try tran­quil­lity en­velop us.

Wak­ing up early to the long shad­ows of sun­rise we cook up a five-star meal – what city cafes call the “full-on break­fast”. This in­cludes eggs, ba­con, tomato, mush­rooms, toast, orange juice, plunger cof­fee and tea.

We had a thor­oughly en­joy­able stay in our own ru­ral pri­vate get­away. Ac­com­mo­da­tion re­views are unan­nounced and paid for by SA Week­end.

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