Driving up the Calder, it always surprises me how quickly the weatherboards and brick veneers fall away to reveal the graffitied industrial estates, followed by the mysterious and brash Raceway, then the soaring gorges and flat paddocks of the countryside.
Melbourne’s freeways lead me to all kinds of adventures and curiosities – and I have a particular love for the Victorian townships that lie in the state’s interior. Goldfields, farming towns, tulip fields, lunatic asylums. Country Victoria is practically a paean to Nick Cave (or vice-versa). Remember when I visited that taxidermy-filled haunted manse in January? That little gem was courtesy the Calder’s winding tarmac and my cold-calling various Mt Macedon businesses. My latest adventure also came via the same freeway, as Terri and I ventured up to Kyneton to document a most delightful scandi-gorgeous weekender sweetly dubbed the Flop House.
In around an hour, you’ll find yourself far from the madding crowds of Collins Street, and in the gentle hamlet of Kyneton. It’s a not-so-little town chocka-block with fancy dining making use of beautiful local fare, Frankie-Mag worthy bricka-brack, a museum, and ‘historic Piper Street’. That’s where we found ourselves peckish, and happened upon Duck Duck Goose and Larder (which is also a fresh produce market). They are housed in a lofty landmark which was the former Kyneton Market, serving simple and pleasing lunch and my favorite coffee – Supreme.
Quiche and salad, and a potato and bacon soup to make your belly chuckle at Duck Duck Goose.
After lunch, we headed to the Flop House – an ex-harpsichord studio which has been lovingly resurrected into a ‘just right’ weekender. The moment I saw photos of its minimal-but-crafty interior and heard it was previous a harpsichord studio, I couldn’t get there fast enough. With its high-gabled roof, snowy white exterior, buttery-soft leather couch, stack of Penguin classics and ‘oh so quiet’ surrounds, the Flop House will warm the cockles of your heart should you love scandi-style and value local craftsmanship. Carefully curated by Genevieve and Sonny (who are on-premises, caring for their vegetable gardens and array of wonderfully clucking chooks), the Flop House is packed with beautiful objects and artwork to behold and enjoy.
Why not grab a spotty-dotty sunhat and sit on your private balcony with a cuppa in hand?
Have couch, will sit. Host Genevieve’s attention to fine detail is present in all the Flop House’s spaces, from wonderful journals and books to artwork to the luxury products on-hand for guests’ use.
Luxuriate in the Flop House bath using special products presented with simple elegance.
Feel like snuggling in? The Flop House has oodles of blankies and pillow to keep you warm as you reach for another slice of toast. There’s Apple TV if you want to binge-view Game of Thrones, and Genevieve even has a custom Flop House cycling tour of Kyneton if you’re feeling more athletic. Ride on!
My very own Maria Von Trapp: Terri popped up to the quaint gable bedroom like a character from the Sound of Music sans hills.
Ahhh, here’s a fine chaise upon which to rest my weary, writerly bones. PS see more on ‘The Secret History’ on my Beauty and the Book blog!
The Flop House has its own kitchen for you to potter in, with a bevvy of delicious items provided for your breakfast. Think seasonal fruits, muesli, fresh bread and orange juice and eggs and bacon.
Genevieve told me that thes giant-sized booties they present to guests (my Yiayia makes something similar, she calls them calciuni) are made by a local Kyneton dame of advanced years. Knowing the provenance of any item always makes it that much more special, don’t you think? I’m imagining a snowy haired Miss Marple type having Earl Grey with lemon, listening to Magic 693AM and click-clacking away to make these colorful socks. There’s a pair waiting for your tootsies at The Flop House too – it’s their gift to you.
Wearing: Uniqlo silk culottes (ooh, fancy!), Country Road jumper, RubiShoes boots, H&M knit tights.
Although Ruby Slipper’s adventure to Kyneton was but a day-trip, I am so looking forward to making my way up that mysterious Calder to enjoy a full weekend flopping out at the Flop House later in winter.