Styled with sheets of corrugated iron and cow hide couches, The Springs is a country chic retreat in Peats Ridge.
Surrounded by greenery and far from the sea, the rural suburb is a different side to the Central Coast.
We love the coast but every now and then it’s nice to head inland for some fresh country air.
We set out on our country drive on a wintry Sunday afternoon.
As soon as we veer off the M1 at Peats Ridge Road, only 20 minutes or so from home, gum trees and wattle crowd the empty road making for a pleasant and scenic drive.
With no one else on the road and no buildings in sight, it feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere.
The Springs is home to an 18-hole golf course and in lieu of a traditional clubhouse, there’s a stylish bar and bistro.
During a refurb in 2013, the venue was transformed into a modern and sassy establishment that wouldn’t look amiss somewhere like the Hunter Valley. Probably why it’s fast becoming one of the Coast’s premier wedding venues.
The stylish spaces roll out the moment we push through the grand doorway.
Charming country touches include a hat stand, bouquets of lavender and hydrangeas, vertiginous candle holders and sheets of corrugated iron and cow hide galore. Even the bathroom is chic.
In the spacious main dining room, groups gather around large tables under a magical canopy of pendant lights. This is also where wedding receptions are held, which explains the picturesque set up.
Whether its a seat by the fire or a striking cowhide couch overlooking the rolling green hills, there are lots of cosy places to enjoy a glass of red or a cuppa.
If it’s a beautiful day, the terrace offers unhindered views over the 18th hole and beyond.
While we nibble on zesty potted crab with sourdough and crunchy salt and pepper squid, moorhens pick their way across the green and fairywrens flit about the gardens.
You’ll feel a million miles from the city among the wide open spaces and fresh country air.
The cuisine in the Sitting Duck bistro is modern Australian.
Winter share plates include a genius reinvention of a culinary classic – Dan’s ‘Ducking Doughnuts’ are delicious doughnut balls filled with Peking duck that you dip in a hoi-sin and plum sauce. While the mushroom Chico Roll with chili jam is another clever remake, and it’s always hard to go past truffled mac’n’cheese.
For afters, get cosy in a leather chesterfield by the fire and indulge in a butterscotch and caramel Irish coffee or stickydate pudding with cinnamon ice cream.
Although the course has been in action for almost 20 years, The Springs has only just swung onto our radar.
We knew Peats Ridge had a monthly market and a helluva New Year’s bash but had no idea it was also home to this country gem.
While some of The Springs’ charm lies in the fact that it’s remote and undiscovered, it would be an injustice to keep it a secret.