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