The tale of how this boutique accommodation was brought to life starts – most appropriately – with a glass of wine among friends.
Sandra Aitken, winemaker, viticulturist and owner of Barfold Estate explains; ‘One of my primary motives was to have more space for family to come and visit. I mentioned this to our neighbours Johannes Hart [of Layan Architecture] and his partner Fabian over a drink one weekend. And, not long after, we had dreamed up a plan to share the luxuries of Barfold Estate with others.’
The ‘Winemakers Shed’ sits perched above a pond, overlooking the rows of Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon and ‘one cheeky Chardonnay vine, which found its way into our rootstock when planting,’ on the 100-acre estate.
‘The vision was to provide absolute comfort, surrounded by modern design that is respectful of, and complimentary to the surrounding beauty of the natural environment,’ Sandra says.
Johannes and the team at Layan took inspiration from the working farm sheds already existing on the estate to inform the design of the cabin. The exterior, which is clad in reclaimed, untreated timber, will gradually silver with age to blend in with the surrounding silver trunks of the eucalypts.
Inside, the raked ceiling creates a generous, lofty space, which, with the warmth from the American Oak plywood walls, feels snug rather than sparse. A carefully considered palette of polished concrete, natural timber, glass, tile and tonal furnishings complete the look – resulting in a space that captures a sense of Japanese-inspired minimalism, with a generous dose of Scandinavian ‘hygge‘ thrown in too!
The luxury cabin consists of two large guest suites (which can be booked either together or as seperate, self contained rooms), each featuring a dining and kitchen area, a lounge with a daybed, a divine free-standing bath, and an en-suite bathroom, as well as a generous bed that’s separated from the living area by a central, double-sided fireplace.
‘It’s a place where guests can come and feel they are experiencing something that is connected, honest and humble in its surroundings,’ says Johannes.
If they’re lucky, guests can also experience a wine tasting with Sandra, explore the property, walk among the vines, pick herbs from the native and continental herb gardens, relax in the free-standing bath while watching the ducks in the pond, or read a book by the roaring double-sided fire.
‘Barfold Estate is so peaceful and relaxing,” say Sandra. ‘In the hour before sunset on a clear, sunny day, the eucalypts reflect the sunlight striking their leaves and the foliage starts to sparkle. It’s truly a natural wonder.’