Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Monday, October 8, 2012

a few days in Stanley, Tasmania staying @VDL

After the arrival of our latest shipment the store has been very busy.  We are putting pieces out daily and sending other pieces all over the countryside.  So we decided to take a little mini break in Stanley, my favourite coastal town situated on the North West of Tasmania.  It is a good 5 hours drive from Hobart, but very much worth the distance. 
Stanley is famous for The Nut an ancient volcanic formation overlooking the historic fishing village (image of The Nut later in this post).  The village was settled in 1826 and even today is home to less than 500 people.  The original settlers were workers from the Van Diemen's Land Company, who were granted land in 1825.  So the most fitting place to stay is @VDL a boutique accommodation in the original stone VDL Company Store.  It was built in 1843 and sits no more than 20 metres from the waters edge and a short walk from the village.  My idea of heaven!

 The architecture is European in style and it is built out of bluestone with colonial winidows.

The grounds are beautifully kept and gives a very welcoming feeling upon arrival. 

The downstairs shared lounge area is inviting and tastefully furnished.  The huon pine trunk is hand made by a local craftsman in the village.  If you fall in love, you can walk up the street and buy one!

We got settled in and strolled to the village.
We stocked up on some supplies at the local providore.  They bake their own bread (coming straight out of the oven as we walked in the door) and have a modest but good selection of cheeses and other goodies. 

Next stop was the browndog homewares and gift store, owned I believe by the @VDL managers. 
Comfy and earthy homewares displayed in the browndog store.  I love the big canvas floor cushions.  

I also fell in love with these little porcelain lamps, perfect for a little person's room. 
They also stock local products such as the Stanley Soap Co soaps, these looked yummy enough to eat. 
Dinner was at Xanders Brasserie, a local and tourist favourite.  

 The specials board consisted of as many dishes as the menu.  It made it quite hard to choose!  But I settled on the seafood cornucopia, Xander's version of a fisherman's basket.  I managed to fit it all in, but only just! 

 The village consists of many beautiful cottages, such as this one above. This one would date from the late 19th century and sits above the top road of the village with the nut behind. 

The next day was very windy and the chair lift to the top of the nut was not operating for safety reasons.  So it was a morning trek to the top.  But I loved every minute of the hard slog.  Well maybe not loved, but it was certainly a good feeling working off the seafood cornucopia from the night before!  I didn't really enjoy almost blowing off the nut, though.  A walk on the beach in the afternoon was great for taking photos and just enjoying nature.

And then the journey up to Highfield, a historic farm and residence built in the 1830s on the hill overlooking Stanley and the nut.  On the road up to Highfield are these ruins, they look like two entrances from an early building. 

Another ruin on the way to Highfield.  This was actually the original convict quarters and dates to the 1830s.

Highfield is built in the Regency style, partly evidenced by the gorgeous verandah.  Highfield is open to visitors.  I have already been through the property a few times so on this occasion I admired it from afar.  I do recommend a tour though if you ever have the opportunity. 
I am back home now preparing for the Runnymede antiques fair that begins this coming Friday the 12th October (see previous post).  I will post pictures from the fair early next week. 
Have a wonderful week


  1. I just adore Stanley, but clearly haven't been there in a while as I didn't realise they have a providore now. My Mum was born up in Smithton and I still have many relative in 'Mifton and Stanley. It is a wonderful, peaceful place which brings back so many wonderful memories for me. I love Highfield and my imagination goes wild when I see those two window arches. My sister is lucky enough to own a meat plate that was once used at Highfield. SO much history!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Yes, it is truly a magical place, especially all of the history! You must visit again, so much to see end enjoy. I also found the time to curl up with a book for a few hours...blissful!

      Thank you for stopping in,

      Regards, Tammy

  2. Tammy et al - all the best for the run up to Runnymead - Decorative Arts Fair . . . I sent on the previous link to Warwick and he said he hadn't been to the blog . . . I've roused on him and told him we are followers of each other's blogs. We are in Brisvagas until our end December drive down.
    mal E + Bh

    1. Hi Mal,

      Thank you for your wishes for the fair. Thank you also for giving Warwick a gentle nudge!

      We may see you later in the year.

      Regards, Tammy

    2. Back again, our clients (our accountant + his wife) were down for 6 days - hated MONA (a few reasons given) - loved the Drill Hall and bought a few things and want to buy more so I've said to send a request via the blog . . . her name is Mary Edwards of Stafford Brisbane.
      Nice to see your set-up at Runnymead and to know it went so well. See you all early 2013.
      mal E (+ Bh

  3. It looks like a great trip......have a nice week darling....love Ria...xxx...

  4. Hi Tammy,

    I had to laugh at Sarah's comment with the pronounication of 'Mifton' as we say it here too!!

    I've only been lucky enough to go to Stanley once a couple of years ago. I would really love to go back. We didn't get to go out on the boat and look at the seals. We also didn't get to tour Highfield.....we drove past in the car. Red Dog weren't opened either, so I think I just breathed and fogged up the window.....seing what they had in their shop. I think my husband was secretly relieved! Down near the wharf was a fish and chip shop and they have the BEST fish and chips. The kids still rave about it. We climbed the nut too, not for the faint-hearted, maybe that's showing how unfit I am. We treated ourselves to an icecream at the end and watched the other poor souls trek up. We had the best day, I would certainly go back in a heart beat. There's a certain feel to the place, isn't there, some of those houses are really beautiful and the old graveyard with the fence around it....it has a certain beauty too.

    I hope you've had a great week. All the best for the fair Tammy

    Take care

  5. Sorry meant to say BROWN Dog not RED Dog....think I need to go and lay down Day Light Savings has caught up with me!


  6. Hi Janine,

    Your day in Stanley sounds fun, it was too cold for us to have ice cream. I would like to go every year if I could as it is great for the soul.

    The fair is over, now just for packing up!

    Take care, Tammy

  7. What a wonderful Tassie tourism ambassador you are Tammy! Will need to put off climbing the Nut til I get a new knee soon & become Bionic Millie! Will be in Hobart in early Nov., so will make a call to TDHE a must.
    M xx

  8. I grew up around Stanley and absolutely love coming "home". I love being able to walk for kilometres on the beach without seeing a soul :) Glad you had a wonderful time Tammy!