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Sleeping in the country

BEECHWORTH: we chose to stay two nights at the highly awarded 5-star Freeman on Ford B&B,  winner of the 2013 Travellers’ Choice Awards Top B&B in Australia awarded by the Trip Advisor website.

Owners Heidi and Jim made us feel welcome even before we arrived, with welcoming emails and by booking a table at the nearby Provenance restaurant in our name (review here).

These are attentive but discrete hosts, with advice on where to go during our stay without being effusive. The gallery pictures of our stay at the restored historic building tell the story, but really, this is probably the high point of our B&B experiences over the past hectic 12 months.

From the Ford Street entrance this appears to be a nice B&B … which it is. But from the rear, where a heated lap pool and paved gardens provide guests with room to relax, it seems like a resort where we hadn’t expected one, complete with meticulously trimmed topiary hedges.

Fit out in our room was extravagant and hit the 5-star mark squarely, with king-sized bed, high ceilings, roomy marble bathroom and French doors onto a balcony with table and chairs overlooking the pool.

In the rest of the building: the front parlour was home to a miniature version of the famous Chloe nude portrait which hangs in the Young & Jackson’s pub in Flinders Street, Melbourne; the breakfast room was wide and appealing at this most delicate time of day; a rear lounge room included a fireplace, coffee machine and a small library, also opening on to the pool and garden area.

Our breakfasts helped the days start happily … Filling and tasty, and not too many carbs.

Yes, try this one.

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