Our family of 5 and dog stayed here in the peak Christmas/New Year period ($2,500 for the week). The property is lovely and private, in a delightful garden setting with lots of native birds, rabbits grazing at dusk, and even a kangaroo a few metres from our bedroom window one night. Lots of secluded spots to sit, relax, read a book and contemplate life. The pool was my favourite spot to sit, under the shade of an apricot tree.
The cottage is gorgeous, with stone floors and walls, even the bathrooms bath/showers were made of stone. It is a rustic retreat though, no dishwasher and only ceiling fans (not airconditioning) for cooling. However, the main cottage seemed to stay very cool on a 39 degree day (but the lounge and bungalow got a bit uncomfortably hot).
In winter you would need to keep multiple wood heaters running (kitchen is a fair distance from the lounge area), but there are electric blankets in the bedrooms. The 2 bedrooms in the main cottage are inter-connected and the doorway between them doesn't have a door, which may be a privacy/noise issue.
Just a short drive from Castlemaine, maybe 5 or 10 minutes, so easy to pop in and sample the fabulous cafes there.
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Wonderful experience in lovely location. Comfy bed and great host. Really great place to relax and get away from the modern world.
Driving down the poplar lined lane to arrive at The Potager is much like leaving behind the 21st century. The stone miner’s cottage, nestled at the foot of a hill is warm and welcoming, with a curl of smoke from the chimney, the call of frogs in the air, towering eucalypts and beautiful gardens. There’s even a babbling brook at the bottom of the garden! Days were spent enjoying Castlemaine and surrounding areas, and buying up local produce and wine to enjoy in front of the roaring fire, or a sunny spot in the garden. The Potager is very well appointed, with comfortable beds, beautiful linen, fully equipped kitchen and bookshelves and big comfortable sofas. Flat screen TV and electric blankets are a nod to modern lifestyle. A wonderful weekend and we definitely have plans to return in summer to relax by the pool!
I spent a 'girl's' weekend at The Potager, and it was wonderful. The sandstone miner's cottage welcomes you the moment you step inside. Stone floors, scrubbed wooden tables, lovely soft sofas, bookcases to keep you occupied for days in front of the huge fireplace. The house is decorated with flair and personality, giving you the feeling that you are visiting a friend's home. The beds are really comfortable and there is an amazing view from every window. There are 4 acres, which include a huge swimming pool and an amazing herb and vegetable garden, espaliered apple trees, sculptures, a creek and huge old poplars and gum trees. There is also a beautiful self contained stone studio within the grounds, if you need more accommodation. At sunset, the cicadas and frogs come out in force, and the eucalyptus reminds you that you are in Australia. We sat outside for an evening glass of wine enjoying the beauty surrounding us, before cooking dinner in the well equipped kitchen. A truly special experience.
The Potager was just the tonic my husband and I needed after a busy few weeks at work. The house is a charming renovated 1880s miner's cottage and has kept much of its original rustic charm; the furniture an eclectic mix of antics and more moderns finds.
Four fireplaces require constant tending to keep the house warm (the only downside), but it's certainly a quaint way to wile away the hours! The main lounge area is spectacular complete with enormous fireplace, cosy couches perfect for nestling into and panoramic views of the surrounding bushland.
The owner gave us thorough instructions and promptly left for Melbourne for the weekend, leaving us with a set of keys and the opportunity to enjoy the farm for ourselves with minimal distractions! An inground pool would make this the perfect place to visit during warmer months.
Castlemaine is a 10 minute drive (by car) with a few restaurants and antique stores to chose from - perhaps not as much to do here as nearby Dayelsford and it lacks some of its polish (though some might argue it's part of the charm).
We absolutely loved our weekend away at The Potager, though it was fairly expensive. Be prepared to stock up on food prior to arrival (it's not provided) and stoke the fires yourself throughout the weekend. Otherwise you risk a very frosty and hungry weekend!