Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat, Thirroul

I promised to tell you more about our visit to the tiny coastal town of Thirroul where we dined at Flanagans Dining Room.  DH Lawrence stayed in the town of Thirroul while writing his novel, Kangaroo and the following quote is taken from the book’s opening chapters and describes the town as it was back in the 1920’s.

‘The town trailed down from the foot of this mountain towards the railway, a huddle of grey and red painted iron roofs.  Then over the railway, towards the sea, it began again in a scattered, spasmodic fashion, rather forlorn bungalows and new ‘stores’ and fields with rail fences and more bungalows above the fields and more still running down to the creek shallows toward the hollow sea…’  DH Lawrence.

What we love about Thirroul is that if DH Lawrence was to return today, he probably wouldn’t find things were all that different.  I love going to places that have somehow side-stepped the progression of time.

Thirroul Olympic Pool - just like in 1920, there's still free entry

Thirroul Olympic Pool – just like in the 1920’s, there’s still free entry

Our accommodation had been booked into a B&B and when we arrived at Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat the rain was so harsh there were rivers of water running down the street and so we parked outside the house and waited for it to ease up before trying to run for shelter with our luggage.

The homestead built around 1900 that started as a boarding house

The homestead built around 1900 that started as a boarding house

Finally the downpour relented (marginally) and so in between downpours we pulled our bags out of the car and headed into the Glen Ayr Coast Retreat.

The peaceful and serene rear garden

The peaceful and serene rear garden

Donna runs the Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat that is situated in the most desirable part of the town; the stretch that runs between the railway line and the beach.  The house itself is over 100 years old and has been in her family since 1942.  It was where her grandparents brought up eight children and in 1988 Donna purchased the property and has recently opened the B&B.

A grotto built by Donna's Lebanese grandfather

A grotto built by Donna’s Lebanese grandfather

The self-contained and separate accommodation is situated at the rear of the property and is relatively new but has been built sympathetically to blend with the existing home.

A great place to sit - on a fine day

A great place to sit – on a fine day

The accommodation is spacious, comfortable and adequate.  This is not an architectural or interior decorating masterpiece, instead what stands out are the homely touches, the freshness and cleanliness.  I did find the interior wall colour a little overpowering and thought perhaps a more neutral colour would be less startling and give a greater feeling of space.

The bedroom.  I wasn't so keen on the colour on the walls thinking a more neutral colour would probably allow the room to feel more spacious

The queen-sized bed is very comfortable

Listing the homely touches there were little boxes of  homemade ANZAC biscuits, (Carl ate all of his before we’d even unpacked), a welcome fruit basket, a pantry stocked with every conceivable condiment and a complimentary bottle of wine.  The room rate includes breakfast which consists of seasonal fruit, homemade granola or cereal, a jug of juice, excellent organic sourdough fruit loaf and inside the fridge there are eggs and bacon to make a hot breakfast.

The lounge and kitchen area

The lounge and kitchen area

However, after our dinner at Flanagans we certainly didn’t drink the complimentary wine and we were still too full the next morning to take cook ourselves an enormous breakfast with all the generous items provided.

Complimentary bottle of wine

Complimentary bottle of wine

Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat is in a very peaceful and serene setting with the room opening onto a private deck where you can sit and enjoy your breakfast or a glass of wine (later in the day).

Complimentary fruit basket with ANZAC biscuits

Complimentary fruit basket with ANZAC biscuits

What is lovely about staying in a B&B is that often the owners are happy to go to great lengths to ensure you enjoy your stay.  When Donna heard we were dining at Flanagans Dining Room she very quickly offered to give us a lift.  The B&B is so centrally located it is only a 3-4 minute completely level walk to the restaurant but due to the rain, we accepted Donna’s kind offer.  Fortunately, by the time we left Flanagans the rain had eased and we were able to walk back to the B&B.  We found the short stroll back just what we needed after the seven-course degustation meal.

A well-appointed kitchen

The kitchen

A spacious bathroom

A spacious bathroom with lovely touches like fresh flowers

Glen Ayr Costal Retreat is perfectly positioned for you to enjoy all that Thirroul has to offer.  It is walking distance from the train station, you can walk to the local shops, walk to the beach, Olympic pool, park and playground and of course, Flanagans Dining Room.

Everything you need in the kitchen cupboard

Everything you need in the kitchen cupboard – even Tim Tams!

For around $130/night including complimentary wine and breakfast, we found this to be extremely good value.  For anyone wanting to dine at Flanagans but not drive home, I would recommend staying the night at Glen Ayr.

Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat:  19 Station Street, Thirroul NSW

Ph:  0402 507 985

A private deck

A private deck

Hotly Spiced stayed at Glen Ayr Coastal Retreat as a guest of the owners.

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  1. This place looks like an awesome bargain. I love those anorak deck chairs.

  2. Looks like it was a lovely retreat!

  3. I would stay here any night. And the description of the community makes me even more so want to spend time here. Sounds like a lovely place for a quiet respite.

    On a separate note, Charlie, watch for an email from me.

  4. What a beautiful place to stay for a weekend getaway… I would love to be able to travel as much as you do!! Camp keeps us too busy for that!!

  5. What fun and such a relaxing environment! I’ve been trying to talk my husband into starting a B&B for many years. I think it would be so rewarding…. Maybe with a little gluten free bakery attached to the side?

    ~ April

  6. What a lovely retreat! Nice areal, so it seems.

  7. Again, my kind of place. I love the home-feel charm and when possible, this is really my cup of tea. I don’t like spending a small fortune to stay at trendy places nearly as much as having a home base that allows me to explore an area, relax and shake off stress with ease. I love this town…It’s lovely that your excellent review skills are being used. You do a great job of promoting, and since you’re honest, it’s a welcome review. ox

  8. what a great place! And HORRAY! your site works!!!

  9. It does look like a wonderful accommodation and the owners have taken care to make their visitors feel welcome and satisfied with the extras provided.

  10. Colourful and beautiful accommodation my friend, it looks so accessible and relaxing 😀


    P.S I seem to have lost around 1000 subscribers on my blog and I don’t know how, so if you were subscribed, could you resubscribe please? it would really help me out!

  11. It looks like a place you could definitely relax in- but I agree with you about the colour! 🙂

  12. Is it bad that I got more excited about the tampoline? Looks like a beautiful place but that fluro wall is a bit off putting! Love that they give you tim tams 😛 So necessary. Flowers make such a difference in a B&B.

  13. It’s so green…so inviting…..craving in this cold cold place.

  14. How lucky such a quiet location was within walking distance from the restaurant. Perfect.

  15. Tim Tams in a B&B is the quintessential, and perfect, Australian touch 🙂 This place sounds lovely.

  16. OMG i love these types of B&B and it’s so sweet! They literally give you everything you need for breakfast ranging from cereal, oats, to TIM TAMS hehe I love buying them for my friends overseas they always associate Australia with Tim Tams 🙂

    Now I want to go on a weekend retreat! So over work this week! Have a lovely weekend xox

  17. G’day Charlie, looks to be a very peaceful relaxing place, would want to stay more than overnight, true!
    Glad you had a lovely retreat to walk back to after your multi course enjoyable meal too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  18. I had never heard of Thirroul before your posts but it looks like somewhere I would enjoy. I had to laugh at Carl eating all the ANZAC biscuits before unpacking, that is something J would do. We had a night away recently where we had been left a packet of meringue drops and do you think I got to try one???

  19. It’s always nice when the owners take an interest and go out of their way to be helpful – makes the stay all the more homely. Although I’m with you on the colour scheme!

  20. That’s amazing value! That fruit basket alone would set you back a small fortune if you were to buy it somewhere. I love all the little touches like the berocca in the cupboard. What a lovely little spot.

  21. What a great value! I love the fruit baskets and the kitchen is all set! You did a great review and now I want to travel. 🙂

  22. That is very good value indeed! And hehe at Carl eating the Anzac biscuits! I love home made ones 🙂

  23. That’s a lovely spot. I agree on the colour choice but I’d rather have that AND all the thoughtful inclusions rather than neutral and empty. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate.

  24. I love that the south coast has so many little quirky places like this. So cute!

  25. What a cozy looking retreat! Nothing better too than a quick getaway to make you feel refreshed. Glad you enjoyed it.

  26. the place is really cute and neat!

  27. What a fantastic place, hate the colour of the walls, we have that colour in the bedroom and keep saying we must paint it a different colour but we still haven’t one day……. 🙂

  28. It looks like you both had a nice place to stay, save for the rain. Even so, the accommodations were a steal at that price and your hosts seemed eager to please. I hope you can get back there when the weather is better.

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