Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tinonee Estate in The Hunter Valley

Last week my kids and I spent a few days in the Hunter Valley with our friends at their parents' vineyard. We had such a wonderful time and the estate is so beautiful I wanted to share it with you.

Our friends' parents bought the property about 15 years ago and grow grapes but sell them and lease out the tasting room. They stay about 3 days a week at the house (the rest of the time in Sydney) but rent out the main house on the weekends. There is also another house, the Dairy, on the property for rent. The house is a beautiful old house with heaps of pretty bedrooms and a huge kitchen with a black and white marble tiled floor. The lounge room has a long beautiful French dining table that seats a huge amount of people and we all gathered around for a big feast at night.  There is an open fire and lots of couches to chill out on. 

This is the bedroom I slept in. Photo via Stayz website
I spent a lot of time reading my book while the kids ran free around the vineyard. Phil had bought me Khaled Hosseini's Latest book  And The Mountains Echoed and I was mesmerised by it. I love it when you get sucked into a book. The house at Tinonee has lots of little nooks where you can sit in the beautiful winter sunshine and relax.

The first day and second day it was just my friend Leanne and I and our kids who get along so well. The sunset on the first evening was spectacular  it was as though fire was raining from the sky. So beautiful especially after all the rain. We watched it over the vineyards as the kids played chess on the huge outdoor set. 

We mooched around, took some walks through some vines, the kids set off in the gardens with a packed picnic and Leanne and I sipped Prosecco, read our books and chatted and solved the problems of the world.  That evening other friends arrived as well as Leanne's husband and his parents, Robyn and Tony, who own the property.  After a huge dinner we had a huge bonfire. The kids just loved it and roasted marshmallows on sticks after the flames died down.

The kids may have loved it but my little city living dog was just petrified. We were joking that he was bred to sit on the couch not run on a farm. Stuart had to hold Charlie in his arms as he could not stop shaking.  Funny puppy.

One morning there was a beautiful mist over the valley. I love the ethereal light. I was going to say it was worth getting up early to take photos but I think it was actually about 8 am when I got up and took these. Holiday time keeping.

It was so beautiful staying there and so much fun going away with friends. The kids had a ball running freely and making there own fun, and driving the golf cart around the property - a real highlight for my kids. Leanne and I both dream of moving to the country and Jen already has a farm down south so we were in our element. I could quite imagine being what we termed people when we were at boarding school, Pitt Street Farmers. City people who have a property they visit on the weekends and not trying to make a living off the land which is much less romantic than it sounds. But I doubt it will ever be a reality for us so I will just enjoy the time at friends' country properties.

If you are interested in staying at this beautiful property yourself, you can rent it here. Click through for more photos of this stunning property.

Do you have friends with holiday houses? have your own? it's great to get away isn't it. But always good to come home also.

Fiona xx

btw Robyn has 6 beautiful French Louis upholstered chairs that her mother imported from Europe. They are in need of reupholstering but otherwise are in great condition - structurally sound and not needing new webbing or foam just recovering  If anyone is interested in purchasing them (in their current state) please send me a message and I will put you in touch with Robyn. I would buy them myself but I don't need any more chairs and they are too time consuming to do up and sell.


  1. what a gorgeous property! i could spend my evenings on that porch!

  2. That's so lovely that you are able to take the kids to a beautiful country property for a wee "holiday". They'll cherish the memories for years. I have the odd memory of holidaying on farm-stays in NZ and it's made me wish I could live on a farm!

    1. Thanks Petra, I definitely could live in a farm- except for snakes!

  3. Looks beautiful, ill have to remember that for future reference :)

  4. Beautiful thank you for sharing the beauty of Australia


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