Sojourn, Berry review: In a meadow far, far away

Read our writer's views on this property below

Inhaling deeply, Mags King discovers a country escape of high-end simplicity.

We find ourselves laughing on the deck, not from anything particularly funny but from the sheer pleasure of being away, being still, a moment untainted with niggling reminders of that perpetual "to do" list.

We are at Sojourn in Far Meadow, close to Berry on the South Coast.

Having driven at night, our senses tell us we have arrived in the country the waft of fresh manure, the shrill calls of crickets piercing the dark, moths clinking relentlessly against glass. We are compelled to relax.

We do what comes naturally to us (sadly) and carry out a keen inspection of our lodgings.

Within seconds of sliding open the rather heavy glass doors to our cabin at Sojourn, the gushing begins.

We like the simplicity of its design, floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to a deck with the promise of a view come daylight and high-end Scandinavian furniture. Then there is the clever use of the modern bathroom area built in the middle of the cabin, creating compartments within what is essentially an open-plan studio space.

In the living area, there is a bright orange armchair in front of a dormant wood-fire combustion heater that would be ideal in colder months. What we also find impressive is how spotlessly clean everything is.

In the kitchen are ample provisions: ground coffee specially prepared for Sojourn's guests by a local roaster, a loaf of sourdough bread from the popular Woodfired Sourdough Bakery, free-range eggs, rindless bacon and butter in the fridge. The care package doesn't stop there there's also a box of Lindt chocolates, an assortment of jams from local producer The Treat Factory in Berry and, to balance it all off, a bowl of fresh fruit. We might not get to see Berry after all.

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We wake to a lively chatter between the birds and the cows and find the landscape shrouded eerily in fog. Is anyone out there?

It isn't too long before the mist lifts and our view is revealed.

Our cabin is one of two positioned perfectly on meadows punctuated by a copse of mature, spotted gumtrees. Vast skies, rolling hills, flitting butterflies and distant glipmses of coastal escarpment framed beautifully by the two tall gumtrees in front of our deck who wouldn't be seduced?

We move the table from inside to the outdoor deck and tuck in to our gourmet breakfast.

I could stay slouched on the deck chair all day, hypnotised by our view.

It gets harder to move as the warm breeze picks up; it's the type of breeze that can lull you into a delicious midday nap.

But, typically, one of us gets fidgety and feels like we're missing out on something, so we eventually step off the deck.

There are 21 grape growers and 15 cellar doors in the Shoalhaven coast wine region and we choose Two Figs Winery, a 10-minute drive away.

Perched above the picturesque Shoalhaven Heads, this boutique winery is a lovely surprise for anyone who, like me, has not visited a winery in the area before.

Shayne Bricker, the owner of Two Figs, traded in his IT career for a "balanced life" as a winemaker and the fruits of his labour are clearly appreciated as his award-winning wines fly out this working cellar door.

We eventually say goodbye to Bricker, carrying a few bottles to remember him by, and head down a dusty drive towards to Gerringong. I've been to the wee village of Gerringong several times before: its small strip of boutique shops and cafes offers a gentler alternative to Berry's weekend tourist buzz.

The warmth of the day is burning through nicely and we think a swim would be grand. We head to Seven Mile Beach, a short drive from Sojourn and from the wineries.

The water is at first fresh but it soon warms up after a couple of shrieks.

We finish the day where it started, on the deck, well, beside the deck actually, where a Webber and a bag of charcoal are waiting for some serious barbecue action.

We could have gone out and sampled the likes of Hungry Duck, a new addition to Berry's food scene, but a barbecue it is.

The colours become more saturated as the sun goes down and the sea breeze blows stronger through the cabin from the fields.

As evening descends, moths start to gather around the lights once again and we decide to call it a night, leaving them to their merry little dance.

The writer was a guest of Sojourn in Far Meadow and Tourism NSW.

TRIP NOTES

Address Sojourn, 47 Bryces Road, Far Meadow, Berry.

Bookings Phone (02)44485497, see sojournatfarmeadow.com.au

Rates $580 a cabin/couple a weekend.

VERDICT

Magical place, peaceful, with luxurious accommodation.

Why you'd go The beach, shopping and great food are just seven kilometres down the road.

Why you wouldn't You have an aversion to birdsong and need plenty of distractions.

FIND TIME TO

- Stroll, swim, surf or picnic on Seven Mile Beach.

- Taste at Two Figs, a boutique winery 12kilometres from Berry. See twofigs.com.au

- Visit Berry's galleries, antique shops, boutiques and cafes.

- Visit Gerringong's great village shopping and cafes, a 15-minute drive from Berry.

- Stock up on croissants, cakes and sourdough loaves at Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery, 23 Alfred Street, Berry.