It’s school holidays in NSW and it’s always a bonus if you’re able to go away for a few days to just relax and have some family time. With the bills for Archie’s 21st coming in thick and fast, we knew an exotic or far-flung holiday wasn’t on our agenda – I wasn’t sure we could even afford to pitch a tent in the backyard!
But life has many blessings and good friends asked us if we would like to unwind on their farm which is situated less than an hour and a half from Sydney. We have stayed there on other occasions and I have brought you news of it before. It’s in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of NSW; a part of the State that I love very much for its scenery, space and serenity.
As I pulled the suitcases out of the cupboard, the girls became very nervous. This usually means they’re going to be banished to the horrors of Balmoral slopes (one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs), where my parents lovingly look after them, while we dance off without them. But when they saw me packing their basket and their food and their liver treats and their leashes, they were on high-alert. I think the pre-departure excitement exhausted them before we even set off in the car.
Alfie loves the farm. He loves being outdoors and getting dirty and doing things he can’t do in the city like building fires and riding quad bikes and even having a driving lesson in my car, lurching it backwards and forwards across the paddocks.
The best thing about the farm is that we don’t have to do much. There’s no racing around, no hurrying and no schedules so our usual lifestyle comes down a few notches. There are some restaurants in the town but we prefer to stay at the homestead and put some steak on the bar-be-cue and serve it with some corn on the cob or baked potatoes with a salad tossed in balsamic vinegar. Very simple and easy. And while it’s cooking we’ll enjoy a pre-dinner drink with some olives or pate or hummus. It’s all very laid back and super-relaxed.
We take things down a few notches where we cook what we have on hand and make do with what we have and don’t worry about what’s missing and that’s a lovely way to live. Those simple pleasures are surprisingly therapeutic.
I didn’t know what to pack as it was all done in a screaming hurry and I did forget my hairdryer and my skincare but I did manage to pack a lot of winter woolies. But Mittagong was experiencing its last throws of summer and we had the most amazing weather with lots of clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine and temperatures of around 26C (80F). After washing our hair, Arabella and I sat outside and leisurely allowed the sun to dry it (if I’d known this photo was being taken I would have styled myself a little better).
We had four lovely days at the farm and we’ve come home feeling very much refreshed. There’s really nothing better than a country sojourn.
“Oakvale” is currently for sale. You can find out all about it on realestate.com.
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