Perched on a ridge in north Leura between the valleys to Mt Hay National Park in the east and Minni Ha Ha Reserve in the west, Rawson Retreat is quite simply an enchanting home.
Its spacious open plan, colonial style structure opens to polished wood floors and lush interiors redolent of years in the Orient.
Hand spun textiles, wool and antique silk hangings and draperies in spice pots colours complement the rich hues of Baluchi and Shirazi hand woven rugs.
Intricately carved teak sideboards, mirrors and tables from Rajasthan, Java and Burma are melded with simple contemporary wooden pieces by local craftsmen.
From intimate assignations to family celebrations this warm, tactile haven welcomes you, embracing the senses and restoring the spirit.
Seasons and the House
Originally settled by early colonial families, Leura’s alpine climate offered respite from the depredations of Sydney’s heat and humidity.
The mauve eucalypt scented miasma, visible for hundreds of kilometres, earned its name the Blue Mountains, where both the winter snow and the cooler summers were a reminder of the European seasons.
Rawson Retreat’s north-easterly orientation captures each distinctive mountain season in the many windows and doors that open to decks in every direction.
Winter fills the house with light and sunshine melting the occasional snow drifts that dust the landscape as children make carrot noses in snowmen.
Spring bursts through every window with greening buds and burgeoning blossom on every tree and crisp nights heavy with jasmine and jonquils.
Summer waterfalls, mountain streams and deep mossy pools beckon bushwalkers and picnickers as readily as heritage pubs, hip cafes and bijou tea shops gather in the less adventurous.
Autumn leaves - gold russet, burgundy and copper, first in the spectacular trees that line every roadway, then swirling in fierce gusts to colour every path and lawn and finally in the peaty crackling bonfires that resign us again to winter.
Dawn spills onto the vine fringed easterly deck inviting sheltered year-round breakfasts.
Or a cool refuge to stretch out on daybeds with the newspaper on summer afternoons.
Another deep covered deck spanning the entire back of the house offers spectacular sunsets overlooking a boardwalk and garden terrace into the valley and up the ridges to Yosemite Creek.
Huge day beds heaped with cushions and comfortable chairs and couches; barbeque and dining facilities and café quality clear blinds and gas heaters encourage entertaining in every season
And in winter, there’s the instant comfort of natural gas central heating.
The kitchen is fabulous – large, very well equipped and laid out for lots of cooks to prep and chat and drink together.
And that combined with long gentle days working up an appetite bushwalking, and the local weekend farmers markets just begs you to gather fresh produce, artisan goodies and create…..
Zest a lime, baste a turkey, whip up a paella, a cake, a stir-fry, slow braise a ragout, blend a cocktail, puree a soup, steam basmati, roll pastry, grind coffee, shave parmesan, melt chocolate!
A soup tureen, a cake stand, martini glasses, a cheese board, a wine decanter, Oolong tea, a herbal infusion…..every gastronomic indulgence is anticipated.
And to present everything from afternoon tea to a lavish celebratory feast, there are all the goblets, glasses, plates, platters, dishes, bowls, napery, candlesticks and other accoutrement you could wish for.
Plus a dishwasher.
O, and a list of great local cafes and restaurants……….
And so to sleep………
In cushion topped chiropractic beds with pure Egyptian cotton sheets, downy duvets, and throws in wool and silk.
There are 4 bedrooms
· 1 king (with an additional single day bed) and en suite with spa bath
· 1 queen room
· 2 twin bed rooms that may be configured as king beds
· plus a double sofa bed.
There are two additional full bathrooms (a total of three)
And of course electric blankets for pre-warmed beds on chilly nights.
Despite the magnificent native sclerophyll landscape you just can’t resist tulips, camellias, dogwood, magnolias, rhododendrons, lavender, violets, roses, jasmine, clematis, azaleas, hydrangeas, lilac, daffodils, jonquils, narcissus, daisies, maples, weeping cherries, viburnum, petunias………so you don’t!
The combination of the rich soil, the alpine climate and the profusion of European exotics that herald every season beguiles you eventually.
Rawson Retreat resolves the dilemma with a series of gardens – some exclusively exotic, a north facing wintergarden, an extensive native garden surrounding a large grassed terrace and a few transitional areas where gnarled banksia, scribbly gums and burnished leafed immigrants cohabit harmoniously.
The abundance of grevillea, callistemon, acacia and other natives entices the parrots, rosellas and lorikeets, finches, honeyeaters, bell and butcher birds, cockatoos, kingfishers and kookaburras, doves, owls, magpies and currawongs………..Cayley’s bird book is always on hand!
And there’s wild bird seed to fill the bird feeders dotted throughout the garden for additional entertainment on a slow day.
Rawson Retreat is a 15 minute walk or a 4 minute drive from Leura Mall famed for its baristas and bakers, bars, cafes , restaurants and quaint little emporia with everything from handmade chocolates, paintings, jewellery, woodwork and apparel to bijoux from around the globe for your home, your garden, yourself and your loved ones.
Mt Hay National Park is in walking distance from the house offering several spectacular destinations anything from an hour to a half day’s hike away. And the Three Sisters and Echo Point in Katoomba, the Everglades and the Cascades in Leura and other well-known natural, environmental and historical attractions in Wentworth Falls, Medlow Bath and Blackheath are a short drive away.
Festival and Events
These combined with the Winter Magic Festival in the June Solstice, the Leura Garden Festival in October, the Rhododendron Festival in November, the Blues Festival in March and other wonderful community food, music, drama and art events coupled with monthly markets in almost every village provide an abundance of distraction for every inclination.
More than any other delight for many city folk is that of peace and pampering. The mountains probably have more masseurs, osteopaths, herbalists, healers and well-being practitioners, spas and retreats per square metre than anywhere else in Australia! And with a mere phone call, we can organise for someone to come home and spoil you.
Enjoy the luxury and comfort of a quality family home in a garden setting a short distance from Leura Mall and the valleys of the Blue Mountains
1 x king + single; 1 x queen; 2 x twin or king; 1 additional daybed
3 full bathrooms with toilets:
1 x en-suite with spa bath, 1 x bath, 1 x shower
Granite surfaces, double sink; gas cook top, electric oven; microwave, dishwasher, large fridge freezer and wine fridge, blender, food processor, rice steamer, slow cooker, Global knives and every kind and size of cooking utensils, pots and pans.
Additional condiments on hand as well
Fully stocked red & white wine glasses, goblets, highball, shot & martini glasses
Flat plates in 27 & 30cm, sizes, flat rimmed bowl plates in 25 & 30cm, 3 sizes of cereal/noodle bowls and the usual white-ware, ramekins, platters, tea sets, a great selection of napery
Brivas natural gas
Gas Barbeque – 6 burner with wok attachment
Café style gas patio heaters
Music systems including ipod dock in dining and lounge rooms and on the back deck
ipod docking stations in some bedrooms
Large flat screen television, Foxtel and DVD
Wi-fi and a landline set up to receive all calls and to make free local calls
Extensive deck at rear overlooks the valley to the ridge beyond while at the front of our house the huge main bedroom opens onto the north front deck