Secreted down a country lane off one of the main roads in the heart of the Hunter Valley, the Longhouse is perfectly situated to visit some of the wine region’s many cellar doors.
Hunter Valley, NSW
385 Palmers lane, Pokolbin
Phone: 0402 101 551
The location Secreted down a country lane off one of the main roads in the heart of the Hunter Valley, the Longhouse is perfectly situated to visit some of the wine region’s many cellar doors. Set among gently sloping chardonnay vines on a 25-hectare vineyard – and with views to Barrington Tops and the Brokenback mountain range – it is almost ethereally quiet.
The place Built by architecture students using timber from a 130-year-old woolshed in Western Australia, three two-bedroom units open onto a long communal deck. Accessed by a heavy corrugated-iron sliding door, the units have an industrial feel with polished concrete benches and utilities such as fridges and dishwashers cleverly hidden behind a wall of pine cupboards. Bathrooms are sleek and black and the bedding is snowy white. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors mean the view is central, whatever the weather.
The experience Once here, there are plenty of reasons to linger, not least of which is spotting kangaroos from the deck at dusk – or thumbing a novel from the intelligent selection on the bookshelf (Ulysses, anyone?). The kitchen is well stocked with utensils and there is a chilled bottle of wine waiting for you on arrival. The Longhouse is run as a charity, with all profits used to support architecture students, which may explain some lapses, including the lack of kindling wood and matches to build a fire.
Don’t miss Consider using the Longhouse as a base for the many events in the Hunter Valley such as Sculpture in the Vineyards starting November 3 (see visitnsw.com.au). Lauren Quaintance
Need to know
Cost: from $399 a night for a one-bedroom unit (two-night minimum on weekends) or $500 a night for a one-night stay in a two-bedroom unit.
Where: 160km (2.5 hours’ drive) north of Sydney.
Wheelchair access: yes.