Three former dairy buildings in the Victorian countryside have been renovated to the sublime heights of minimal designer delight with an inspired use of materials and a stirring sense of place. The result is a trio of separate, self-catered getaways where asceticism is tamed by considered touches of creature comfort that make it completely magnetic. There’s plenty to do nearby – a walk in the bush, a drive to the beach, a coffee in town – but there’s also plenty of detail to savour and sink into at the farm.
Where is Ross Farm
Ross Farm sits outside the one-pub town of Meeniyan in Gippsland, two hours drive south-east of Melbourne and 2.5 hours from Melbourne airport. It’s close enough to town to walk for coffee or a beer but far enough removed from its sights and sounds.
Andrea Moore’s design follows the footprint of the site’s original buildings, taking Nordic and Japanese-leaning inspiration and rendering it in an arresting and laconic Australian style. Fleece is layered on leather layered on slabs of reclaimed blackwood for a lounge nook; brass handles, taps and door-pulls accent pink granite surfaces; and a spiral staircase of folded black steel corkscrews down from a loft bedroom, providing a note of drama against a blond expanse of raw particleboard. The Cabin has one bedroom and sleeps two, the Barn has two bedrooms and sleeps four and the Dairy sleeps six across three bedrooms. Though they share 2 hectares (and a chicken coop and a kitchen garden), each has its own outside area with a firepit and barbecue. The careful design keeps spaces discrete and sight-lines private.
Restaurants and bars
More B&B than hotel, this is a self-catered stay. The good news is that the kitchens of each part of the farm come stocked for your arrival with milk, good bacon, eggs, bread, a bottle of wine and a little local produce. There’s Love tea in the cupboard and Allpress pods for the coffee machine. Augment finds from the local providores and markets recommended in the thoughtful and very detailed compendium with eggs from the henhouse and the peppers, basil and parsley from the kitchen garden. Lay the table with splendid ceramics from Victorian firm Robert Gordon.
Travel for work
The property has been designed with leisure as its primary role but the wi-fi is functional and free. The opportunity to rent all three buildings together could make for a pleasant (albeit intimate) small-scale retreat.
Spa and gym
There’s no gym or spa here but the bathing options, whether you’re talking the oversized circular bath in the Dairy or the deep cypress soaking tub in the Barn, are topnotch. For something a little more high-energy, rent a bike from Great Southern Ride in Leongatha, 20 minutes down the road, and explore the Great Southern Rail Trail.
Ross Farm is a shining advertisement for the possibilities of high-gloss results from reclaimed materials.
What you need to know
This place feels wonderful. The combination of the sauna scent of timber, the gorgeous plushness of the linen and the beautiful management of the light conspire to produce an effect that is at once soothing and tonic.
Best for: Country-loving aesthetes
Number of rooms: One bedroom (Cabin); 2 bedrooms (Barn); 3 bedrooms (Dairy)
Rates: From $290 per night (minimum two-night stay)
Wi-fi: Free and functional
Parking: Free on site
Address: 84 Hewett Street, Meeniyan, Victoria