Sinking into the supersized bathtub, which is big enough for two.
There are no flyscreens on the windows, forcing you to battle the little blighters.
The Estate Trentham.
One of the (many) good things about Melbourne is its close proximity to some cracking country towns. Trentham is little over an hour's drive north-west of the city and has pretty much everything you'd want. Classic boozer? Tick. Award-winning bakery? Tick. Overpriced Swedish forest axes? Tick. The town sits on a spur of the Great Dividing Range and is set amid the Wombat State Forest. It's also home to the Great Trentham Spudfest, where the humble potato has its chance to shine. For different tastes, the bustling towns of Daylesford, Kyneton and Woodend are a short hop away.
The federation-style two-bedroom home, which opened in 2015, has been revamped by designer Lynda Gardener, who also owns The White House, in Daylesford, and Melbourne's The White Room and The Apartment St Kilda. Fresh white walls, dark floors and a ridiculously comfortable sofa give the small house a warm and cosyfeel. The motley furnishings include vintage crockery, deer antlers and more cushions than you could shake a stylist at. Double French doors open on the harvest garden and orchard of pear, apple and quince trees. Overlooking the backyard is an old potato pickers' shed, which houses a light-filled third bedroom and a barn that's available for functions.
The main bedroom at the front of the house is small but cosy. Linen sheets, a thick mattress and masses of blankets make it a sweet space for sleeping. Personal touches - such as the vase of fresh lavender and tweed sleeping masks - are a welcome change from an anonymous hotel room. A second vintage reading lamp would have been nice. The two-toned walls are dotted with oil paintings and portraits, in which no one is smiling. French doors open to the side lawn, where we spent a lazy afternoon in cane chairs hanging from the veranda.
The Scandinavian-style kitchen is supplied with locally baked sourdough, eggs, fresh juice and muesli. We also fried vegetables and herbs from the flourishing garden. It's a short walk to Trentham's main street, where du Fermier offers French farmhouse cooking for anyone lucky enough to snag a seat. We enjoyed the big hunk of hummingbird cake at The Trentham Collective, while the Colliban Foodstore's charcuterie board was a good excuse to linger over lunch. For something lighter, try RedBeard Bakery for a slice of sourdough pizza and a "nice bun".
We stumbled upon locals playing trivia at the bar of The Cosmopolitan Hotel on a Monday afternoon and were invited to join in - only to be embarrassed by our ignorance of African countries starting with 'G'. There's live music on Sundays in the beer garden, under century-old elm trees. Much of the town shuts up shop on weekdays. On weekends, bypass the obligatory antiques stores for Phillip & Lea, which stocks wood-handled tools and copper kitchenware for hunter-gatherers. For something more active, the 12-kilometre Domino walking trail runs past The Estate and into the forest, with a turnaround point at Lyonville's eclectic Radio Springs Hotel. Further afield are Kyneton's boutique furniture and food shops, Daylesford's mineral spas and a cheeky pale ale at Holgate Brewhouse, in Woodend.
Stylish, intimate and cosy, The Estate Trentham is a boutique version of the traditional country house and garden.
Peter Munro was a guest of The Estate Trentham.