From Coast to Country

Oct 13, 2011

All photos by Natalie Hayllar {eat read love}

From Coast to Country…

On the regular three hour Friday night drive from Sydney to the South Coast, it is usually about the time that we drive down the hill and cross the railway line into Gerringong that I start to feel relaxed and unwind….normally we continue on into the night to Mollymook, our ‘home away from home’. But this time was a little different. 

Instead of driving through Gerringong, we turned off into Bella Chara – the beautiful boutique resort just five minutes before Gerringong central. My beautiful baby boys were in the good care of their lovely Daddy, while me and four very special girlfriends enjoyed some much needed time out from the craziness of work, kids and Sydney!
Some serious Eating Reading & Loving was on the agenda, with sleep a special request on the menu for five busy mums! Arriving just before twilight we were very happy to reach The Bella Suite to find chilled champagne, strawberries and personalised fresh white robes laid out for us in anticipation for the next day’s spa pampering. The Bella Suite was decked out with beautiful furnishings and the huge sunken, candlelit bath was fabulous.

After some much needed champagne (and sleep), we hit Berry the next day for a little retail therapy, only a short 15min drive from Bella Chara. Our first stop - the Berry Sourdough Bakery for essential strong coffee and delicious pastries. Famous for its fabulous sourdough, hidden away off the main street, the bakery is a favourite for tourists and locals. It is always buzzing with people, and very friendly service – you can sit and enjoy your coffee in the sun, or takeaway as you please.

Coffee in hand, an essential visit to Roots & Wings boutique, the home of gorgeous designer clothes, beautiful coastal inspired homewares and gorgeous stylist and owner Rebecca Riles. You can’t miss it – the entire shop front is covered in ivy and a destination in its own right. 

The NSW South Coast and surrounds, where the countryside meets the sea, has always held a special place in my heart. You can be on the beach in the morning, and driving through beautiful countryside 5 minutes later. After getting married at the Old Church in Milton, followed by an amazing wedding reception and honeymoon at Bannisters Point Lodge in Mollymook, this very quiet and relaxing little part of the world inspired me to start Eat Read Love.

So do yourself a favour, pack up the car with a few essentials, and head South to Gerringong, hit the shops in Berry and continue on to Mollymook and Milton – you won’t be disappointed, but you will be relaxed and inspired. Perfect for pampering weekend away with the girls, or lovely for families too.

EAT: Berry Sourdough Bakery, lunch at the Berry Gourmet Deli, a local beer at the Berry Pub, 3 course dinner at Bella Chara restaurant.

STAY: at Bella Chara Gerringong - enjoy the contemporary Black & White luxury suites. We loved the personal welcome note upon arrival - a very nice touch indeed.

LOVE:  the day spa and high tea experience at Bella Chara was heavenly! The new Lisa Madigan store in Berry is definitely worth a visit too.

The full story was recently featured on the Mums Lounge Billboard if you want to read more!

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This post is dedicated to a very special friend Nathan Metcalfe, who loved the South Coast, and left us 15yrs ago today. x x x

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