Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last Days of Winter

Anth and I spent the last days of Winter in beautiful Yallingup
(a small coastal town 257kms South-West of Perth, situated on the edge of the Indian Ocean). 

And gosh we had a wonderful time!

We stayed at Caves House, an iconic Hotel built in the inter-war old English style (as described in its Heritage Council listing) between 1938-1939. It looks like the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie mystery.
Well it does to me anyway...the English Roses among you may not agree(?)
We last stayed at Caves House over twenty-one years ago when I was heavily pregnant with our eldest daughter. It was gloriously faded and charming back then (shared bathrooms were still the go!), and we really felt like we were stepping back in time. 
Unfortunately recent renovations (necessary to preserve the building) have stripped it of some of its character. In our opinion, lovely as it is, it felt a little sterile compared to the Caves House we remembered.

Here I am in 1992 in the Guests Lounge
That beautiful art deco fireplace and etched mirror are still there, but the timber paneling has been painted and the Axminster carpet, club lounges and smokers stand are long gone.

It was also a pity the fire wasn't lit and that there were fake flowers in the vases - especially when there is an abundance of lillies to pick in the garden.
note: but it was really lovely to see the original terrazzo retained in our bathroom and that the exposed plumbing to our toilet was left in tact too.
my Nan and Pop had this terrazzo in their bathroom - mustard coloured strip and all.
The 'Ladies' at the foot of the stairs has retained a lot of its original features too. Love that mirror.
This old advertisement was hanging in the Ladies Loo. I thought you'd like to see it...
Similar images from old magazines and books, and original photos of Caves House in its heyday are framed and hung throughout the hotel.

The gardens at Caves House are beautiful. Over-grown and wild in places - they are very special. 
What hadn't changed for us, in over two decades (ahem!)is the magical experience of walking through the terraced gardens, along the dark and slightly creepy path (tunnel like, and always slightly damp and musty - even in Summer) to find yourself at Yallingup Beach at the other end.
Lillies, lillies everywhere!
What's the story Morning Glory?
(sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Round the bend and then...
Yallingup Beach
Anth dipping his toes in the icy water of the Indian Ocean. 

We ate well on our little sojourn too. Dinner at Lamonts at Smiths Beach Resort  (ten minutes down-the-road) was a particular highlight for me. I tried duck leg confit for the first time and it was deee-licious! (the bread and butter pudding I had for pudding wasn't too shabby either! Mmmmmmm!) It was so good we went back for breakfast the next day! (Speaking of pudding, I rolled out of the car when we got home, I tell you!)
Me at Smiths Beach. If this is (was) Winter, who needs Summer?!

Lastly and (as far as this post goes) totally randomly, I just want to say: "Carn the Tiges!!!"  


  1. That's how long it has been since we stayed there too.....we stayed a couple of times....once in the little rooms off to the side of the main house.....loved the gardens and that walk to the beach.....I think you may have inspired us to venture down there some time soon and remember our child free days...... And yes we have nothing to complain about our winter. Xxxx

  2. You haven't changed a bit in 21 years, Kylie - I demand to know your secret!
    Caves House looks lovely - I do like a bit of faded grandeur - and the gardens and walkways are beautiful. And then there's more - a beach! Look at those skies, just stunning. Did you have a really romantic time? Any From Here To Eternity moments in the surf? Do tell! xxx

  3. That's such a beautiful place! I love the 1992 photo of you, and I can see why you love walking through those amazing gardens.

  4. When i was a dental assistant in Kojonup we used to do one day a week in Gnowangerup (very outback, lots of farmers and big aboriginal family groups), and one day a week in Boyup Brook (lots of lawn tennis club ladies and orthodontics). I LOVE WA!!! xxx

  5. What a lovely trip down memory lane for you Kylie, this reminds me of a hotel we stayed at regularly as children, with my parents naturally! Oh and GO TIGERS from me too x

  6. "as described in its Heritage Council listing" ha ha, this is where I work LOL

    Oh and go any team that isn't from WA :)

  7. What a glamourous, grand atmospheric place to swan about in! You sure you didn't discover a mystery? It's magnificent! Bet it was lovely to be back there. And oh yes. Go Tiges! Dare to dream!

  8. Hi Kylie! Nice to stop by here after so long! What an adorable place to stay, I would spend hours exploring and taking photos! As for your movie post - well done! Its actually one of my favourite things to do - go to the movies alone!Hope you are really well:)

  9. How wonderful to take such a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. I agree, it's definitely Agatha Christie-worthy! It's so lovely to see you as a child bride, in that cosy room. I love that Rexona poster. What an amazing garden with a beach at the end. That makes up for any changes in the house for sure. Curtise just really made me laugh with her question about From Here to Eternity. She's a naughty one! Xxxx

  10. I think it looks very Agatha Christie - I really prefer old-style hotels to be a little rundown too, though not actually filled with murderers. And terrazzo - we have terrazzo in a boring cream colour in our bathroom, but my neighbour has magnificent azure blue with matching fittings and I AM SO JEALOUS. I think I'd expire from envy if it was pink.

  11. It looks beautiful and to walk through the lovely gardens and find your self at the beach is just like a passage from a story book. Its a shame when people decided to change buildings especially getting rid of original features. Bet it was lovely to go back and relive your wonderful memories, dee x

  12. Naww how lovely! The gardens are crazy beautiful as are you in your skinny jeans on the beach. You look like a school girl! What's your secret?! Ps love the pic from your first visit especially.

  13. Looks heavenly Kylie. A perfect weekend getaway. I love the look of the lounge in 1992 with you in the pic. You had gorgeous Winter weather.

  14. What a great break! I'm going to go look it up...isn't it great to finally be getting more sunshine!