Pappa Sven's Summer Cabin review, Cooks Hill, Newcastle

Read our writer's views on this property below


Pappa Sven's Summer Cabin, Cooks Hill, Newcastle


If you're visiting Newcastle, this stylish Nordic-inspired cottage offers one of the best possible locations to stay, with the only thing missing a sea or harbour view. In Cooks Hill, with its tree-lined streets and rows of historic terrace houses, the cottage is a short stroll from the hip Darby Street strip, with its plethora of restaurants, boutiques and cafes. Around the corner is the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery and Civic Park where the colourful Olive Tree Market is held each month. In the opposite direction, Welsh Blacks, a cool cafe serving up single origin coffee, is a couple of blocks walk away.


Owner Libby Helinski has transformed this humble cottage, one of four identical "gun barrel" homes in a row, into a stylish self-contained two-bedroom cottage furnished with Scandinavian furnishings from her nearby homewares store Pappa Sven. The exterior is smart dark grey with white window trims, while the inside features white walls, grey sheer linen curtains, white shutters, Bell lamp pendant lights, Marimekko textiles and Finnish ceramics. The sitting room has a lovely (non-working) fireplace, there's a brand new IKEA kitchen and laundry while the smart, minimalist bathroom features Marimekko towels and L:A Bruket Spa products. A charming courtyard garden completes the package.


There are two bedrooms almost the exact same size, both with built in robes, queen size beds dressed in 100 per cent linen and Normann Copenhagen lighting. My husband and I opt for the front room which looks out on the street lined by historic homes and enormous fig trees, while our daughter sleeps in the second bedroom with its quirky art work. Both rooms are simple, tasteful and peaceful.


A stay includes a self-catering breakfast pack inclusive of muesli, yoghurt, Baked Uprising jam, tea and plunger coffee but with so many options on your doorstep you'd be silly to eat in. On Darby Street, you'll find Coal and Cedar, across Civic Park is Rascal for gourmet burgers, while Napoli Centrale in King Street offers authentic pizza. The Edwards owned by Silverchair bassist Chris Joannou, offers terrific food and wine (about 10 minutes walk) from sun up to sundown. If you want to go all out, Subo, a one hatted restaurant headed up by Beau Vincent, former head chef at Melbourne's Bistro Guillaume, and wife and front of house Suzie Pollack-Vincent, is 500 metres away (book well in advance).


The former Steel City offers more than enough to easily fill a long weekend. Don't miss the new Anzac Memorial Walk for phenomenal clifftop views, take a dip in the historic Merewether or Newcastle Ocean Baths, take a walk out on the breakwall to Nobbys Lighthouse or mosey around the Olive Tree and Hunter and Gather markets.


Pappa Sven's Summer Cabin is my pick for a weekend in Newcastle offering the chance to live like a local amid one of the city's most interesting enclaves.


7 Bruce Street, Cooks Hill, Newcastle. From $275 per night mid-week (minimum two-night stay) plus a $70 cleaning fee. Phone: 0416 333 346. See


Exploring the historic streets of Cooks Hill and then returning to this magic little cottage.



The shady fig-tree-lined street means it's chilly in winter; however, good heating keeps it cosy.

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Pappa Sven's Summer Cabin.