Secret places are by far the best. The feeling of being somewhere that is either unexplored or out of bounds is inextricably linked to the very best stories and fables and brings with it the notion of adventure.
You can’t see Holberry House from the road because it’s situated on top of a wooded hill on four acres of land, but you imagine from its name that it’s going to be something quite special, and it is.
When you ask, “where to stay in Nannup,” this is it.
As you walk through the front gate from Grange Road there is a notion of having discovered something, a secret garden maybe because the grounds are peppered with statues and sculptures set amongst a woodland of tall Jarrah trees and there’s also Mount Folly Creek where ducks quack and waddle. Is that Jemima Puddleduck, perhaps? I daydream a little, thinking that it is the sort of place where you might expect May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the gumnut babies or Beatrice Potter characters to peep out from behind the bushes.
The long driveway winds up a steep hill, through gardens of native flora. The light is dappled by the trees and as you approach the house the feeling of an English country garden is compounded by beds of roses, pale blue mimosa bushes, silver birch trees and the rise of a stately looking two story manor house complete with a conservatory. But this is Australia’s south west and the scenes here are expansive, while the birds are raucous. The garden is filled with birds including yellow necked parakeets, and big black crows that moan like babies.
What’s it like?
Inside the house the huge guest sitting room is like something out of a 19th Century travellers’ lodge, discreetly elegant and dominated by an open fire and a leather Chesterfield sofa. There’s antique furniture and lots of magazines, including (much to my own delight) the Sunday papers. Tea and coffee are available in the lounge throughout the day – but there are no mugs here – only dainty china tea cups with saucers, along with big slabs of dark chocolate cake.
Once upon a time the property was a dairy farm and used by settlers when they ran their cattle on the stock route from inland grazing to the coastal properties. The old, dilapidated shed on the property was once the dairy itself. In 1980 Holberry House was purpose built as a Guest House, and opened its doors to the public in 1986. Current owners Louise and Chris Stokes have been running the business for the last 10 years. “We came with a five year plan, and we ended up staying because we love the property so much,” says Louise.
The swimming pool, with a shady gazebo, is to the left of the house and seems to be right in the forest. When you look up from the sun loungers all you see are the tree tops, and the feeling of peace and serenity is hard to beat. I walk across to the verandah with my cup of tea, there’s a sense of being at one with nature and apart from the rustle of a slight breeze all I can hear are the possums in the trees below.
Holberry House is all about space and relaxed ambience. Here you can lose yourself, relax, unwind and re-energise to the “sweet music of peace” either in the garden or in one of the many nooks and crannies around the house itself. There are 6 ensuite rooms ranging from $140 – $160 per night including a continental breakfast. Holberry House can cater for various different events including music and weddings.
Address & Contact
Nannup WA 6275, Australia