Or to be more precise, the homestead at what is now O’Reilly’s vineyard, where there is a pleasant lawn out back running down to the river for picnics, an alpaca farm next door, and the homestead plays host to functions and wine tastings
My interest was that we had assumed there was a restaurant, and we were going to have lunch. There might be one, but not the day we visited, it was just cafe food or a picnic available.
I was more interested in the old homestead because it was a fine example of the homesteads built in the ‘outback’.
Today we are having lunch in the Platypus room, in the O’Reilly’s vineyard farmhouse, which, if you close your eyes and let your imagination run free, could see it as the master bedroom of a homestead.
Certainly, the building is old, made completely of timber, inside and out, with the traditional high ceilings to keep the heat at bay.
At one end, a large bay window, which would be ideal to sit and view the outside, past the sweeping verandah. There is a small lawn and a rotunda, but beyond that what might have been extended gardens, is the vineyard.
The homestead is in an ideal position midway between the main road and the river, has the traditional surrounding verandah, and shows signs of being extended on almost all sides.
On the other side of the wide corridor that leads you to the bar, and, coincidentally, down the centre of the house, is a smaller bedroom, also used as a dining room, and ubiquitously named the library.
It may be small but it does have a fireplace, which the assumed master bedroom does not, but now I’m thinking that room might have been the morning room.
Behind the room, we’re in is another bedroom, or perhaps this might be the master because it does have a fireplace and is quite large. And a name, the Ambassador room. Now it serves as the pickup place for picnic baskets.
There is another room on the opposite side of the corridor called the Drawing Room but is not open to the public. But, going into the room with the fireplace adjacent to it, you can sell the aroma of pizzas, so it’s probably an extension of the kitchen, and, walking around the outside that side of the house proves it to be the case.
After all, they do catering for weddings and need a very large food preparation area which I discovered runs down the whole of that side of the house.
At the end of the corridor I’d the bar and spare space, and running off that and behind that is where there is a large dining area, perhaps prior to COVID, the restaurant.
It’s not hard to imagine that area as a very large entertaining area, either for very large dinner parties, or dancing.
As for the food, it’s either a picnic basket or pizzas. We chose the latter, not realising the bases were not homemade, but bought in.
The toppings however were both plentiful and tasty. It could have been hotter, because it was a cold day, and it was cold in the room.
As for something to do other than taste the wine, and buy a few bottles, you can get up close to the vines, which, at this time of the year gave been pruned back and look quite dead, look at or walk an alpaca, even feed it, or all of them, or go down to the river and see if you can spot a Platypus.
Perhaps next time we’ll have a picnic down by the river.