A pretty country house with a chequered past
THIS attractive country house has been many things since it was built in 1863 in the gold rush town of Clunes, according to locals. Starting life as the Telegraph Hotel, it also had a stint as a bus station, a boarding house and a brothel, which might explain the crimson tone to the posh furnishings in its main sitting room.
The house has recently been refurbished and reopened as accommodation, with five upstairs rooms of varying size and decoration. My room is a pleasant chamber on a corner of the building, with lots of natural light and a view over the garden. The decor is quirky but soothing, with elegant timber furniture and light blue wallpaper bearing images of birds and birdcages.
The bathroom is spacious, with a high ceiling and a large spa bath. There’s no TV in the rooms, an intentional omission by the owners in order to provide a place to withdraw from the wider world and relax.
Downstairs there’s a number of spaces for guest use, including three lounges (where you will find a TV) and a large dining room. Another room contains a pool table and books. The vast garden is one of the major assets of the house, stretching away behind the building toward Creswick Creek. It’s a beautiful area, dotted with fountains, rose bushes, a basketball/tennis court and a golf driving range.
The town’s main shopping strip on Fraser Street is a short walk away. It’s an impressive slice of Victoriana, with wall-to-wall 19th century shopfronts that have often been used as film sets.
The town specialises in the sale of second-hand books, with several permanent bookshops and a big influx of booksellers and readers for the annual Booktown Festival in May.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity to pick up a dog-eared old book to read in that garden.
Tim Richards was hosted by V/Line and Tourism Victoria.
Keebles Country House
114 Bailey St, Clunes Victoria 3370
Phone: 0412 788 816
Rates: House (for up to 10 people) from $650 per night, rates negotiable for smaller groups.
Tags: , GP Getaway