Grand central by lindayy


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									+                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sunday Mail        l   escape    l   March 8, 2009           3

    Grand central
    A Clare B&B has revived the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ED: STATE COL: C M Y K
    railway charm of bygone
    days, says ELISSA DOHERTY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frequent
        T is not hard to see why a young girl
        growing up in this charming Clare Valley
        residence was inspired to become an
    author. Forget for a moment that the historic,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WITH BRAD CROUCH
    picturesque home sits proudly in one of the
    prettiest regions in South Australia – perfect
    fodder for a writer.

      Because the award-winning Stationmaster’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ELCOME to your new-look Escape,
    Residence – the former home of international                                                                                                                                                                                                                              your guide to great getaways, deals
    best-selling author Monica McInerney – is an                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and the occasional surprise in the
    experience in itself.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            paper of the people, the Sunday Mail.
      If the walls could talk, they would no doubt                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Newspapers evolve with changing times,
    regale visitors with tales of the golden era of                                                                                                                                                                                                                  introducing new sections as demand war-
    rail, and the antics of seven railway children                                                                                                                                                                                                                   rants, discarding some that have passed
    whom Father Christmas would visit by train.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      their use-by date and freshening up to keep

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PUB: MAIL ESCAPE DATE: 8-MAR-2009 PAGE: 3
      McInerney’s father, Steve, was the station-                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pace with reader demand.
    master for 35 years, and the property was                                                                                                                                                                                                                           While we value tradition and old favour-
    home to the family from 1959 to 2003.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ites, times do change – can you imagine a
      Grand yet quaint, it has in recent years been                                                                                                                                                                                                                  newspaper today putting the shipping news
    reincarnated by couple Chris and Christine                                                                                                                                                                                                                       on the front page, or not having a TV guide?
    Jones into a decadent bed and breakfast, with                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The changes introduced today freshen
    throwbacks to its rail-time past. The term                                                                                                                                                                                                                       some aspects while maintaining our com-
    B&B, however, does not do this gracious stone                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mitment to bring readers informative, en-
    1913 home justice. Strolling past the ivy-                                                                                                                                                                                                                       tertaining and inspiring stories of travel.
    covered facade and sprawling garden into the                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We will still have great deals, good ideas
    elegant hallway is like stepping back in time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and newsy spots on Page 2; Page 3 will still
      The original pressed-tin ceilings drip with                                                                                                                                                                                                                    generally carry terrific holiday ideas from
    chandeliers, the sunlight shines through                                                                                                                                                                                                                         South Australia or just over the border.
    stained glass, and the tasteful furniture all                                                                                                                                                                                                                       My column jumps from Page 2 to here on
    imbue a foregone era.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Page 3, and while my old picture byline
      It’s easy to imagine a time when the station-                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (complete with Hawaiian shirt and lei) was
    master would entertain, the children would                                                                                                                                                                                                                       considered one of the best in journalism, it
    play hide and seek in the sprawling garden                                                                                                                                                                                                                       was due for retirement.
    bursting with gladioli, agapanthus and fruit                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We will continue to bring a mix of des-
    trees, and tea would be taken under the ivy                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tinations that we hope will make turning
    on the wraparound veranda.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       each page a journey in itself. This will
      But if this sounds like a weekend at                                                                                                                                                                                                                           include a blend of discount and affordable
    grandma’s, think again – country charm is                                                                                                                                                                                                                        trips to expensive dream holidays; in des-
    mixed with mod-cons, including a spa and a                                                                                                                                                                                                                       tinations ranging from down the road to the
    barbie. And the real surprise is out the back.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   most exotic places on Earth.
      Inside a corrugated iron shed is the ‘‘Coun-                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Subtle changes will allow us to give more
    try Club’’ – a modern games room with                                                                                                                                                                                                                            information with layouts designed to be
    jukebox, pool table, a plasma TV, comfy sofa                                                                                                                                                                                                                     pleasing to the eye.
    beds, locally-commissioned art works, a sec-                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We are keen to hear from readers who
    ond bathroom and a bar fridge.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   have great holiday tales, with our occasional
      Every whim has been catered to – quality                                                                                                                                                                                                                       My Favourite Holiday section, so don’t be
    chocolates, a full wine rack, supply of port and                                                                                                                                                                                                                 shy about sending us a few words and a
    scotch, magazines and novels, including                                                                                                                                                                                                                          happy snap. Favourite sections like Week-
    McInerney’s Those Faraday Girls and The                                                                                                                                                                                                                          end Wanders, Siteseeing and Gadget Chat
    Alphabet Sisters, and tourist brochures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         will continue to inform and entertain.
      For the budding chef, the kitchen is stocked                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And while you might not be able to get
    with anything and everything, while the                                             Elegance at The Stationmaster’s Residence                                                                                                                                    to all the places we feature, we’ll try to
    expansive pantry is generously decked out                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ensure the quality of writing is of a standard
    with a season’s supply of food.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that is a pleasure to read. After all, some-
      Links to the golden age of rail can be found                                                                                                                                                                                                                   times being an armchair traveller is the
    throughout, harking back to the days when                                                                                                                                                                                                                        most comfortable way to go.
    the old track would have hummed with
    locomotives bustling into Clare station.
                                                                                                                                                                             Plan around                                                                                Hopefully our stories give you itchy feet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – if they do, one great advantage of Escape
      My friends and I managed to tear ourselves                                                                                                                             Clare Valley                                                                            being such a robust section is we attract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     plenty of good advertisers.
    away to explore the surrounding area for a
    few hours, lingering over a delicious lunch                                                                                                                              Gourmet Weekend                                                                            From the classifieds at the back to the big
    at the rustic and renowned Skilogalee Winery                                                                                                                                                                                                                     boys taking full-page ads, check them out
    restaurant. But then it was back to the                                                                                                                                  May 2-3                                                                                 for some amazing deals now on offer.
    residence, cooking up a barbecue and chatting                                                                                                                              LET your tastebuds do the exploring
    and laughing into the wee hours. This was                                                                                                                                                                                                                          COVER: Uniworld’s River Empress in
    one station we hope to pull into again.                                                                                                                                  with 19 wineries around the valley                                                      Budapest
                                                                                                                                                                             putting on tastings, fine food, special
    The writer was a guest of The Stationmaster’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Editor: Brad Crouch, ph 8206 2784, email
    Residence.                                                                                                                                                               dinners and live bands, all in a great                                        
                                                                                                                                                                             bush atmosphere.                                                                        Production: Craig Malin, email
       Rates start at $275 for a couple, or pay two                                                                                                                          Details: Ph 1800 242 131                                                      
    nights, stay for three $460. Go to www.the-                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Advertising: Gordon Smith, ph 8206 2466                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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