After the markets we headed off westwards along the Lyell Highway hoping to find another market. We never did. However a short stopover beside the fast current of the Derwent River was most refreshing. Idyllic.
Then we meandered through the hamlets of Lowitta and Magra before returning to New Norfolk with the intention of finding a particular tea house.
The Glen Derwent Tea Rooms were easy to find. A few peacocks greeted us as we parked then wandered towards the historic Georgian house.
Later we were to see up to 15 peacocks and peahens roaming the place along with proud glossy roosters and a multitude of hens. While enjoying our cup of tea, we learnt that a brood of ducklings were having their first swim on the pond – when we looked they were hidden from view. The property owners planned to gather them for the night in order that crows would not peck them off. Another reminder that the natural world is not pleasant for all.
The massive trees and hedges effectively blocked the sound of the highway and obliterated any view of traffic. This was an oasis offering gentility and kindness.
A parterre garden has been established in the front garden with box hedges creating spaces for roses.
This Glen Derwent property operates as both a bed and breakfast Heritage Retreat facility and a tea room where high teas are available by appointment.
We wandered in without an appointment. A fire was burning, crisp white tablecloths coated the furniture, the spaces had glorious high ceilings and period furnishings, and outside we could see the croquet once tennis court with lounge chairs resting on the lawn. All so gorgeous.
Our host Liz appeared from the kitchen where she was preparing delectable morsels for high teas for 25 people later that day. We asked for a pot of tea. She asked if we wanted to eat and my friend ordered fresh scones, jam and cream. Then Liz disappeared, reappeared with the largest ever tea pot with tea made from leaves not bags, then disappeared again – to make the scones from scratch. What superb service! With barely a wait, the scones arrived steaming and had a remarkable internal texture like soft pillows that melted in your mouth. Made using lemonade and from the best fresh cream, she said. The black currant and raspberry jam were home-made and terrifically flavoursome.
Afterwards we were given permission to wander around the property and one of the accommodation cottages was left open for us to have a look at. Very cosy and comfortable situated in a stunningly beautiful environment. The outbuildings all showed their age, in the best possible way.
As a historic property, it’s exotic rather than native trees are to be expected. For example I spotted willows, poplars and a holly tree in close proximity.
The landscape glowed with greens, a bounty derived from a good rainfall and excellent soil.
All terribly interesting. This environment and experience was an antidote against the vapidity of the morning markets. A much needed tonic.