A taste of Europe in the Hunter Valley
This four-bedroom, five-bathroom masterpiece has all the hallmarks of the great estates of France with that welcoming country-house appeal and stunning views to match.See our handpicked guides to the HunterValley
BY KACEY JOHNSTON
If you’ve ever wanted to travel to Europe but don’t have the coin (or time) for a full-fledged overseas adventure then we’ve got some very happy news for you. Nestled at the foot of the Brokenback Mountains lies a magnificent French Provincial inspired Estate called Talits. It’s right on your doorstep and just waiting to be discovered.
Located in the wine and farming region of Broke, Talits Estate is a family owned vineyard and luxury holiday home set on 50-acres of pure beauty – sprawling vineyards, manicured gardens and bountiful olive groves.
The homestead itself, which looks out onto all this splendour, is warmly referred to as ‘the Farmhouse’ by owner Gayle Meredith but I can assure you, it’s the rustic-glamorous kind. This four-bedroom, five-bathroom masterpiece has all the hallmarks of the great estates of France with that welcoming country-house appeal and stunning views to match.
According to Gayle, the house was designed by French Architects as an exact replica of a country home in Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. After chatting with Gayle and doing a bit of casual research online, I’m excited to get a firsthand look at Talits. And let me tell you, it exceeded my already high expectations!
Driving up to the property, along the olive-tree lined dirt road, with the grand property in view and vineyards on my left and just like that, I’m not in the Hunter anymore.
From the outside, the Farmhouse is all French, with a traditional Provençal ochre façade, blue-grey shutters and a welcome adornment of green climbing vines. Surrounding the property are lavender bushels, giant flower-filled urns and stone pathways leading to hidden terraces and beautifully manicured gardens.There’s even a pétanque surface – a boule/bocce style game played traditionally in Provence – set up outside.
I’ve only been here for a few short minutes, exploring the gardens and yet I’m decidedly relaxed. After purchasing the property, Gayle spent a lot of time creating and tending to the gorgeous gardens at Talits which has certainly paid off.
Heading inside, the home has a number of elegant casual and formal living areas to enjoy with friends and private balconies when you’re after some quiet time. There’s no doubt that this would be an amazing weekend retreat for the girls, brides or for couples looking to unwind.
Inside, the spacious lounge area is decked out with traditional French furniture and has an open fireplace, great for those cooler nights in. It’s easy to see yourself kicking back here or sitting around the long dining room table with your mates, enjoying a delicious meal, prepped in the adjoining country kitchen, with a bottle of two of wine.
There’s even a gorgeous morning room to enjoy your first hot brew of the day or if you want to take in some more amazing views, a vine-covered courtyard
that overlooks the lovely gardens.
The bedrooms are just what you’d expect too – little retreats, each with their own private bathroom.
The bathrooms are quite amazing in their own right and, like the rest of house, are adorned with European fittings. I’m talking walk-in overhead rain showers, antique copper bathtubs, and old-school faucets and decor. Please, oh please, can I stay!
Back outside again, and just a few metres from the house is the swimming pool. The perfect place to lounge in the sunshine and take in the incredible mountain views after a long, very long, alfresco lunch or wine tasting.
Using talented local winemaker Daniel Binet, the Talits produce a range of delicious drops under the Talits Estate label from their own vineyards and are
more than happy to arrange a private tasting or supply you with some wine for the duration of your stay.
They're actually in the process of building a cellar door which is set to open in February 2020 and from what we hear, it’s going to be amazing!
Wine tasting and long lunches aside, if you’re in need of some down-time at Talits, just take a walk around the property - it’s a practice in mindfulness and the best way to disconnect. That said, you may wish to have your phone on hand to capture the natural beauty which is around every corner.
If you’ve never visited Broke, this has got to be the clincher. There’s a whole lot of fantastic little wineries and farm-gates here to discover, but you’d be quite within your right to just chill here and block out the world. This property has everything you need and will transport you to another place and time entirely.