2A Trade Winds Avenue, Lorne
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We, the wanderlusters….
As many of you know, Nic and I are major wanderlusters. We’ve ticked off nearly 40 countries together and often have the next trip planned before we’re home from the last. Our destination list includes some pretty spectacular places and enough once-in-a-lifetime experiences to deny us the right to use the term “once-in-a-lifetime” anymore. Because of this, we tend to overlook the many breathtaking treasures that await us much closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, we travel frugally so that we can travel more often. We’ve had some indulgent luxury escapes together, but we’ve equally had our fair share of showers out of buckets (our trips to India, Africa and the Middle East were very “character-building”). What we haven’t done enough of is domestic travel, perhaps influenced by the warped perception that if you don’t have to get on a plane to go somewhere then it’s not a very exotic place to go. While we’re ashamed to say it, it took some international visitors to remind us of how many beautiful places there are within driving distance of home (and that even if WE don’t have to catch a plane to get there, other people do!)
Escaping to the Ocean House
When we took two friends along the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles last year, it was my first visit as well as theirs. Time constraints made it a quick trip but I was struck by the beauty of the Surf Coast and the fact that it was such a short drive from Melbourne (only took me 26 years of living here to figure that out). I had been following the Ocean House on social media for some time (#housegoals), being a shameless insta-stalker and also a regular at the stunning One Hot Yoga studios which were designed by the same architect, Rob Mills Architects. While that particular trip was too last minute to book the hotly demanded Ocean House, the stars recently aligned and we were given the opportunity to spend a few days there thanks to the wonderful team at Hatching Communications. We had been hunting for a venue for some of our Matcha Maiden photography and videography and my “social media research” had confirmed that nowhere would be more photogenic than the Ocean House.
Making Matcha Maiden magic in the stunning kitchen with our amazing new Vitamix!
A side effect of the unexpected success of Matcha Maiden since its launch last year has been the intensive hours and work that it demands. In such a rapid stage of growth, we can’t venture very far (at least not at the same time) and even if we could we’re generally too sleep-deprived to organise ourselves (totally worth it, but still sometimes challenging). I always say everything happens for a reason, including (and especially) timing. Our visit to the Ocean House came just when we were both approaching complete exhaustion and in desperate need of a recharge. Because we didn’t have to get on a plane and the visit was connected to work, we didn’t quite appreciate how wonderful our stay would be. But the minute you pull into the driveway of this absolutely stunning haven, a sense of tranquility and peace comes over you. Having insisted that we don’t always travel indulgently, we have occasionally spoilt ourselves with safari lodges in the Serengeti or isolated island resorts in South East Asia. In the fiercely competitive luxury accommodation game, the Ocean House certainly holds its own.
Ohhh the serenity!! Watching the sunrise on the beautiful sprawling balcony #robelyf
Heavenly but homely
The Ocean House is a beautiful fusion of signature Rob Mills monochrome minimalism and comfortable homeliness. As much as I love stark white/grey/beige everything when I’m scrolling through interior design blogs mentally designing my dream home, in real life I also need to be able to snuggle up and get cosy. The place boasts stunning, clean (and very photogenic) surfaces in neutral tones with sleek and minimal furniture choices, but still feels warm and inviting. The overall stark minimalism of the interior design is tempered by the homely touches of a big textured rug in the main living area, sprawling comfortable couches to lounge on and that gorgeous open fire place. The house is situated on a hill and is split over two levels with an external stair case entry that allows access to the external doors on both floors. It can be separated into two separate residences with a kitchen, living area and multiple bedrooms in each area. While there were only two of us in a place with so many rooms, somehow we never felt like we were rattling around in a mansion. The place is spacious yet intimate at the same time.
That amazing open fireplace – on the wish list!
Andddd putting le feet up on the famous round bed – genius!
With as many floor to ceiling windows as is structurally possible and balconies on both levels on the ocean-facing side, the sea views are breathtaking and the Ocean House is filled with natural light. The other side of the place has an unobstructed view of the tree-covered hills that also form part of the property – nothing like a bit of greenery to restore your sense of balance. Everywhere you look, you’re surrounded by nature which contrasts beautifully with the innovative and modern design of the interior. In just a few short days, this unique and serene environment had replenished our energy levels and restored our sense of calm. The main balcony is perfect for entertaining with a BBQ, table and beautiful day beds to soak up some sunshine. If you walk up the hill to look back over the house towards the water, you’ll notice that there is actually a third floor too. There is an incredible rooftop level with beautiful sea views and an amazing outdoor bathtub. You can’t imagine how much fun it was pretending that it was our home.
Saluting the sun – literally. Sunrise yoga!
Enjoying the beautiful rooftop! Too cold for the outdoor bathtub…
Everything under one roof
With 4 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 living areas and 3 bathrooms, the Ocean House has all bases covered. You could pretty much lock yourself in for a few weeks and never have to leave. The layout is quite interesting – the main living area is on the second floor along with one regular bedroom. The first floor also has a living area along with two more regular bedrooms (a double and twin) and an absolutely spectacular master bedroom. The famous round bed is an absolute delight with an ensuite, beautiful shower and a day bed – it’s positively royal! There are two additional bathrooms both with showers and one with laundry appliances. Strangely there isn’t one on the top floor which, in our lazier moments, got a bit frustrating (but it made a nice excuse to go up and down the beautifully curved stone interior staircase and got us up from in front of the fire where we could easily stay without moving for days). Both kitchens are fully equipped with everything from staple ingredients to coffee machines. For the mobile workers, the wifi is fast, the power points are accessible and the desk options are numerous. Even after a few days there, we still couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and that we had the privilege of spending some time there – as I said, you could stay forever without leaving and we were very tempted to do so!
Lolcanos in the first floor kitchen and living area.
Not a bad office at all, if you ask me…
Things to look out for
Aesthetically, the place is absolutely faultless. Everything was just so incredibly pretty right down to the crisp white bath robes. There were a few small things that could become frustrating over time, perhaps during a longer stay, but the house isn’t designed to be lived in permanently. For example, the door and cupboard handles were all fabric (including the fridge and dishwasher) and it was difficult sometimes to get enough grip to open them. You can also make all the lighting and electricity work on sensors, but we found it took us a day or so to get used to it. If you have dietary requirements, I would recommend taking food down with you as there are some great local options but they close quite early and become limited unless you are prepared to drive a while. Finally, there isn’t much storage which obviously isn’t a huge issue during a short stay but even our small amount of clothing and equipment got in the way of the beautiful minimalism (and photogenic quality) of the place over a three day stay. Again though, storage and practicality aren’t exactly what you look for in your luxury accommodation choices!
Making matcha latte love in the beautiful main kitchen
Here’s one we prepared earlier. DELISH!
I could keep writing about this place forever – it’s just such a special place to go to get away from it all and we were lucky enough to go when we really did need a getaway. We all too easily forget to prioritise our health and wellbeing and just keep pushing our minds and bodies to their absolute limits, but you can’t expect your body to perform for you if you don’t look after it in return! Even though we ended up working the whole time (I’m discovering that it never stops when you run your own business), just being in the Ocean House environment had such a relaxing and rejuvenating impact. If you’re needing some time out and are on the hunt for a luxury escape, stop googling Thailand beaches or Bali resorts – just jump in the car and head to the Ocean House. Couldn’t recommend this wonderful place more highly. Head to www.oceanhouse.com.au or @oceanhousegreatoceanroad to find out more.