Read our writer's views on this property below
Kerambi Cottage captures the charm of the Blue Mountains, writes Sarah Maguire.
Kerambi Cottage is in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, a short drive from the town centre and on a quiet street lined with trees that at this time of year are in pretty autumn shades.
The weatherboard cottage looks small from outside but is a rambling affair inside, with three bedrooms, one of them tucked away at the end of a large enclosed verandah, two lounge areas, and a modern bathroom and French provincial-style kitchen with travertine marble benchtops. There must be fairies at the bottom of this garden; it is an enchanting place with its mossy lawns, shade trees, garden benches and, hidden like surprises about the place, old implements and small ornaments.
Accommodation-wise, the Blue Mountains has carved a niche for itself defined by a celebration of heritage as opposed to cutting-edge style. Kerambi Cottage is a fine example. It also feels like someone's home - again, a Blue Mountains hallmark. The furniture is antique or vintage; there is nothing out of a modern furniture catalogue here, apart from fixtures in the bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. An eclectic collection of ornaments ranges from retro Australiana to glassware and what look like travel souvenirs. Artwork on the walls includes limited-edition prints by Pro Hart. The picture over my bed is of two kangaroos.
With European-style hydronic heating throughout the cottage, you can leave the mountains' winter cold on the doorstep (although initially the house takes 30 minutes to warm up. And thank goodness for the idiot-proof instructions. Also, we hitched up curtains to get them off the heaters). There is also a fireplace in the lounge room with kindling and wood laid out for you. Take your slippers - the excellent heating does not extend to the floors in the kitchen and bathroom, which are so cold they make bare feet hurt. The clawfoot bathtub is a deep and marvellous place for a night-time soak; with its large rain-shower head, the shower holds its own as well. Toiletries, by the Melbourne-based brand Mor, add a dash of luxe. The bed linen, too, is reminiscent of a high-end hotel.
Blackheath has plenty of dining options, from budget pub dinners to the expensive and quite posh. The Kerambi Cottage owners provide a helpful list of suggestions of places to eat. We have delicious scrambled eggs and ham at Anonymous Cafe on the Great Western Highway, but the $70 bill for three (including a child) seems a lot for breakfast. The Victory Cafe proves a cheaper option. Dinner is at the 1831 Gardener's Inn, the oldest licensed hotel in the Blue Mountains, which is also on the highway through town. I've never been able to go past their house-made, high-top pies.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
After a morning of lookout-hopping, we take a three-hour round trip to Jenolan Caves. Formations with names such as Wall of Noses are pointed out on a one-hour guided tour of Chifley Cave. We also go horse riding and have a picnic at Megalong Valley Farm, encountering unexpected moments of bliss.
Kerambi Cottage is a well-located cottage combining classic Blue Mountains nostalgia with mod cons where you want them.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car from Sydney, a 90-minute journey. Take the M4 Western Motorway towards Penrith/Blue Mountains. When you reach Katoomba, continue on the Great Western Highway for 10 minutes to Blackheath. Regular trains and buses service Blackheath from Sydney, departing from Central.
Kerambi Cottage, 74 Hargraves Street, Blackheath. From $540 for Friday-Saturday nights (minimum two-night stay). See bluemountainsholidayhome.com.
The writer was a guest of Kerambi Cottage, Jenolan Caves and Megalong Valley Farm.