Photos by Natalie Hayllar
Where does a Travel Writer Go to Escape? The Writers Retreat in Hardy's Bay of Course. Fiona Caulfield, acclaimed travel writer and founder of Love Travel Guides believes that "falling in love with a city is just as exciting as falling in love with a person. Your senses become more engaged and you simply feel alive". Well I fell in love with Fiona's beautiful holiday home in the stunning little nook of Hardy's Bay, Killcare just a short drive north of Sydney. I was lucky enough to meet Fiona a few years ago when she was launching her amazing travel guides to Jaipur India, and listening to her stories of India had me almost packing my bags to leave the next day. Since then Fiona and I have reconnected at a few events and Sydney Kinfolk Dinners, and I was so honoured to be invited to Fiona's stunning Writers Retreat to take some photos and share in a little of the magic of the Hardy's Bay/Killcare area.
Fiona's waterfront cottage was built in 1927 and has been beautifully restored and upgraded, with sweeping views across the bay. This is a home with heart and soul and the place where many of Fiona's travel guides have been written. We had three wonderful days with the family here, and the boys loved it as much as I did. The house would be perfect for a family retreat, or a group of four friends with separate upstairs and downstairs areas. We spent most of our time day and night on the upstairs balcony gazing over the bay, watching the changing colours of the water and the cockatoos flying home. This is the quintessential Australian holiday home, and a place to enjoy the simple pleasures. Just a short stroll into town, you can enjoy local coffee and boutique shopping, read the papers by the bay, indulge in some bakery treats, or take a short drive to some of the most spectacular beaches on the central coast. We absolutely loved swimming at Putty Beach (the Northern end of Killcare beach) - I even jumped in with my clothes on as the water was so crystal clear and inviting. The locals here were truly some of the friendliest I have found on my travels.
Eat: The local cafes were wonderful, great coffee from the Hardy's Bay general store, and the well known luxury retreat Bells at Killcare is just up the road if you are up for excellent Italian by Stefan Manfredi.
Read: Fiona has rows and rows of amazing books, all categorised into travel sections. I loved the stacks of Penguin classics in every room.
Love : The Hardy's Bay locals were really so nice. From the barista to the local store owner and the pizza shop, everyone was really friendly and that is important to me when I travel. I don't mind a little chat. Moochinside had some really lovely interiors!
A huge thank you to Fiona for inviting us to enjoy the beautiful Writers retreat. We will most definitely return again and again. To inquire, please go to Stayz and be sure to mention you spotted the Writers Retreat on Eat Read Love.
Love Travel Guides began in India in 2007 with a goal to enable readers to fall in love with each destination. These gorgeous little guides are beautifully crafted and curated with the luxury vagabond in mind. Fiona is committed to conscious travel, travel that is environmentally and socially responsible and 10% of the profits of all Fiona's books of to the Love Travel Foundation to contribute to conscious travel in India.