You can’t quite tell from the outside, but this unassuming single-storey house about an hour’s drive from Melbourne is where 1950s style meets contemporary comfort.
Polperro Farmbouse accommodates six people, and every inch of it is designed to make you feel at home – if your home is a beautifully appointed cottage dotted with a mix of a vintage and modern decor.
“To us it’s a lot more than a bed,” says owner Emma Phillips. “It’s for couples that love the region, love the celebration of food and wine, and want to come down and just nestle in and enjoy everything Red Hill has to offer.”
Situated on a working vineyard beside a lush pine forest, the newly converted cottage is all about relaxing and taking your time. Light a candle and soak in the deep, roomy bathtub with a glass of wine. Stretch out in front of the open fireplace with a book on a lazy afternoon. Outside, gather around the flickering flames of the firepit on a wintery night, and cook a meal in the outdoor kitchen that’s so well equipped that it would put many indoor kitchens to shame.
Phillips and her husband, winemaker Sam Coverdale, first bought Polperro Winery – about a five-minute drive from the farmhouse – in 2006. They had modest plans. “We only intended to do a cellar door,” Phillips says with a laugh. But the property came with four villas, which are now often booked out months in advance.
“We always need extra accommodation. We’re 100 per cent occupied every weekend of the year down there,” says Phillips. “We were looking for somewhere that can accommodate slightly larger groups and just a little bit more elevated in the design and the execution.”
When the cottage became available the pair decided to go all in. It was designed by award-winning Richmond studio Hecker Guthrie, which worked with Phillips on the villas and also designed the The Mitchelton and Lindenberry hotels. Polperro Farmhouse is decked out in earthy tones that reflect the surrounding landscape. It has three bedrooms – each with its own aesthetic and either vineyard or tree views – two bathrooms, a large kitchen and dining area, and a light-filled living room.
Dotted between original period features are luxurious additions. There are heated floors in the bathrooms and the in-room beauty products are by Santa Maria Novella, an Italian fragrance brand that traces its history all the way back to 1221.
Or stock up and bunker down – the kitchen and wine cart offer bottles at cellar-door cost.
Polperro Farmhouse is at 64 Donaldsons Road, Red Hill and has a two-night minimum stay starting at $1000 per night. The minimum stay is extended on public holidays, long weekends and during peak periods.