If relocating to Australia hadn’t ingrained in me a fervent desire to live by the ocean, I’d happily move to Berry. A vogueish village just two hours south of Sydney, it’s the perfect place for city-dwellers in need of a country escape. Oozing charm and charisma in spades, the township of Berry is surrounded by scenic drives, sandy beaches and wonderful walks a-plenty. As someone who loves travel almost as much as I love books, I’m always on the look-out for boutique stays with a literary twist, and was thrilled to find this rustic barn complete with library while down a Google rabbit hole one balmy summer’s night. And so, not long after ogling the beautiful pictures of Milkwood Barn, I was en route to Berry for a mid-week bookish break.
Milkwood Barn Review
Just moments before approaching the barn, we drove past peaceful fields dotted with llamas and a lone kangaroo, and from the moment we pulled into the secluded gravel drive of Milkwood Barn, the sense of serenity was palpable. The towering trees and verdant green surrounds make you feel like you’re in a different world entirely to Sydney; silent except for the whisper of the trees in the breeze and birdsong, it has a peaceful ambience unlike anywhere I’ve stayed before.
A chic barn set on a hill in the countryside, Milkwood Barn is a dreamy escape, perfect for Sydneysiders wanting a sea change from fast-paced life in the city. Original, charming and utterly unique, the barn is as spacious as it is sumptuous and has stunning attention to detail throughout. From the stylish Smeg appliances, to the rustic ladder from which pots and pans hang over the kitchen island, to the polished concrete floors, exposed steel beams and timber louvres, it really is the ultimate country retreat, and the type of home would make a wonderful weekend bolthole for city dwellers searching for that elusive slower pace of life. The Barn itself spans various levels, and alongside the loft-style bedrooms (perfectly styled with French bed linen and tasteful touches) guests will enjoy breathtaking views from the dining room, sitting room and lounge area, which give the barn a beautifully outdoorsy ambience. Huge sliding doors open to a wide timber deck that boasts an outdoor dining area and a fire pit outside – the perfect setting for a glass of wine as the summer sky darkens into the night.
There are ample living areas to choose from – all of which offer guests wanting to curl up with a good book endless spots from which to read – one with a comfy chesterfield and chaise lounge near the kitchen, one with an expansive window seat with a gorgeous green outlook and the third, a raised cosy library area with a huge selection of books around the slow combustion fire.
Perfectly positioned to explore the stunning nearby surrounds – after a relaxing first night in which we ordered pizzas from the local Italian, and ate them to the crackling of the fire – we ventured into Berry the next morning for breakfast before heading to Gerringong beach to laze in the summer sun for a couple of hours. Wanting to make the most of the barn while we were there, the afternoon was spent, book in hand, lounging by the pool.
On our second and final night (would-be visitors take heed: two nights is not enough – I could have happily moved in for a month), we grilled tuna steaks and veggie kebabs on the BBQ, and glugged on glasses of chilled prosecco as the sun set and the sky around us turned golden, and the trees dappled in the early evening light. When darkness fell we moved inside, lit the fire, sipped on Moscow Mules and played card games, until the embers of the fire died down.
Wanting to stretch my legs after an indulgent night, the next day I walked into Berry, enjoying the silence and peaceful surrounds and the nature and the greenery and the flowers and the birds. I picked up hot coffees and sweet pastries from Milkwood Bakery (you can view the Milkwood Bakery menu here) before heading home for a final walk around the grounds, coffee in hand; dew still wet on the grass.
From the stylish interiors to the home away from home vibe, to the absolute unparalleled tranquillity, to the meticulous attention to detail, to the chic interiors and the endless books to read, this charming barn comes as close to idyllic as it gets. Picturesque, peaceful and utterly picture-perfect, Milkwood Barn really has it all – and then some.
Milkwood Barn Location
Tucked away down a leafy drive, Milkwood Barn is nestled in the heart of Broughton Vale. A picturesque suburb of Berry, Broughton Vale is known for its stunning scenery and close proximity to Berry’s boutiques (including the mouth-watering Milkwood Bakery), both of which make it a dream destination for anyone wanting to spend some time savouring the lush serenity of the Shoalhaven.
Milkwood Barn Literary Links
With floor-to-ceiling bookcases packed with paperbacks a-plenty, Milkwood Barn is a bookworm’s dream. From well-thumbed Enid Blyton’s, to much-loved modern classics and beyond, visitors won’t be short of reading material during their time at Milkwood Barn. And in addition to the literary offering, there too are ample places to curl up with a good book. If you fancy a spot of alfresco page turning, opt for a seat by the swimming pool, or in the spacious treehouse wrapped around a huge Turpentine tree; when climes are cooler, curl up by the indoor fire on the chaise lounge, the gorgeous leather sofa, or one of the oversized chairs that are conveniently found in front of the book cases.
Useful information about Milkwood Barn
Address: Broughton Vale, New South Wales
Website: Book direct on Airbnb.
Price: Milkwood Barn costs $750 a night on Airbnb
Images © David Wade
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