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Hotel Highlights

  • Designer den in the country, decked out by interiors whiz co-owner Deb Myers
  • Unique concept store: everything from the handmade soap to the mattress is for sale
  • Cool boutique downstairs, chichi Piper Street just minutes away

Overview

Fancy any of the cow-hide rugs, white-on-white furnishings or other sumptuous detailing of Mollisons hotel – downtown Kyneton's design den, in the heart of Victoria's wine country? You're in luck – everything is for sale, giving double meaning to the word ‘boutique’ in this old bank turned Interiors-worthy crash pad.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Mollisons with us:

A bottle of local olive oil and a tea-towel from the Mollisons boutique

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Mollisons

Mid-week escape

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

Nine, including two apartments.

Check–out

10.30am; check-in, 3pm to 5pm. Both are flexible subject to availability, but let the hotel know if you plan to arrive outside this time.

Rates

Double rooms from $182.31 (AU$209), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

Also

If you're a fan of Deb Myers' dreamy interior design, it's easy to recreate the Mollisons look at home. Here, everything from the handmade soap to the king-size bed is for sale. Now that's what we call a maxibar.

At the hotel

Gardens and a boutique. In-rooms: fridge, flatscreen TV, DVD player, iPod dock, handmade toiletries. The apartments also have kitchens and living rooms.

Our favourite rooms

The polished wood floors, cow-hide rugs, antique furniture and stylish lamps look as though they've been lifted straight from an interiors mag. King Room One is our pick for privacy, and King Room Two scores points for its three walls of windows (exhibitionists take note) and generous deck. If you're travelling with a troop, opt for the Two-bedroom Apartment, complete with light-filled living room and a deep street-view veranda.

Packing tips

Bring an empty suitcase so you can snap up scarves, jewellery and homewares in Mollisons' ground-floor shop. Lip gloss is a good tip for fending off red-wine lips (the local drops are seriously swillable).

Also

For King Rooms and Apartments, there's a two-night minimum stay on weekends and public holidays. Smoking and pets aren't permitted.

Children

Welcome – extra beds for kids cost AU$50 a child a night, but you'll have to bring your own baby crib.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

There's no restaurant or bar, but Mollisons is just a short hop from the gourmet hub of Piper Street, home to cosy cafés, note-worthy restaurants and organic produce markets, so dining out is de rigueur. If you've booked an apartment, cook up a storm using local ingredients in the fully stocked kitchen.

Smith Insider

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Make your way around the cellar doors of the surrounding Macedon Ranges, Australia's coolest wine region. Hanging Rock Winery (www.hangingrock.com.au) offers a staggering range of sparkling wines; Granite Hills (www.granitehills.com.au) produces knock-out bubbles and ethereal riesling; Curly Flat (www.curlyflat.com.au) makes one of Australia's best pinots, and Cobaw Ridge (www.cobawridge.com.au) pours stellar syrah and a little-known Italian varietal, lagrein.

 

Pick up a charcuterie hamper, filled with handmade terrines, rillettes and paté, from Damien Sandercock's Piper Street Food Co. (www.piperstfoodco.com), then head to Hanging Rock. This looming monolith is the eerie setting for iconic Aussie novel and film Picnic at Hanging Rock. Spread your blanket at the base of the mountain and soak up the surreal atmosphere, before climbing to the top for jaw-dropping rural vistas.

 

Back on Piper Street, boutiques and galleries abound. Visit Lauriston Press (+61 (0)3 5422 1710; www.lauristonpress.com.au) for Sarah Gabriel's gorgeous prints and original works on paper. Nearby, No. 2 Sweetheart (www.no2sweetheart.com.au) is worth a peek for eco-minded gifts, clothing and toiletries. For foodie finds, try the Kyneton Farmers' Market at St Paul's Park on Piper Street, held on the second Saturday of the month from 8am to 1pm.

Local restaurants

The doyenne of the Kyneton food scene, Annie Smithers delivers fabulous French fare at her eponymous eatery at 72 Piper Street (+61 (0)3 5422 2039; www.anniesmithers.com.au). Ingredients from her kitchen garden pop up on a tempting menu that might include duck with sherry and grilled stonefruit, or a wicked pavlova with blackberries and cream. The wine list, loaded with local stars and hand-picked European gems, is worth lingering over. 

 

A few doors down, Pizza Verde (+61 (03) 5422 7400; www.pizzaverde.com.au) serves stellar wood-fired pizzas on organic bases, topped with spanking-fresh local produce. Affordable wines, a kids' menu and a handful of Italian desserts make this a sure-fire winner. 

 

For mod Turkish tastes, skip across the road to Mr Carsisi (+61 (0)3 5422 3769; www.mrcarsisi.com), an industrial-chic space with share plates of salt-cod fritters, pide studded with spicy sucuk sausage, and Persian-style lamb with pomegranate tabbouleh. Swoon-worthy desserts include sticky doughnuts and Turkish delight semifreddo. Oh yes. 

 

 

Local bars

Sip locally produced Wallaston wines while you snack on antipasti and house-cured meats at Aperitivo Food & Wine Bar on Piper Street (+61 (0)3 5422 3555). Or, buy a bottle to enjoy on your deck back at Mollisons from Banks Fine Wine at 134 Mollison Street (+61 (0)3 5422 6682; www.banksfinewine.com.au), brimming with hard-to-find French, Italian and Victorian varieties, as well as boutique beers and ciders.

 

Local cafés

Piper Street is lined with sweet spots for breakfasts, light lunches or coffee and cake. Plot a course between café/deli Ladle Foodstore at no. 30, organic dessert den Inner Biscuit at no. 34, and stylish Little Swallow Café at no. 57.

+ Enlarge
Stately red-brick bank

Mollisons

116-118 Mollison Street, Kyneton, Victoria 3444, Australia

Planes

Melbourne Airport (www.melbourneairport.com.au), which handles both international and domestic flights, is the closest to Kyneton. From here, it's a 45-minute drive north to Kyneton. Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) and Virgin (www.virginaustralia.com/au) are the major carriers.

Trains

V/Line (www.vline.com.au) trains from Southern Cross Station on Spencer Street in Melbourne offer regular services to Kyneton, taking around an hour.

Automobiles

Kyneton is an hour’s drive from the centre of Melbourne, north-west along the Calder Freeway, and around 20 minutes from Daylesford’s spa scene. Hire a car from Melbourne Airport or an outlet in the city – your own set of wheels will come in handy for exploring the region, and there's handy off-street parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Ian Curley , Star chef

Can there be anything more decadent than shooting off mid-week for a quick break? This Mr and Mrs Smith certainly think not. In less than an hour outside Melbourne (not too far to induce guilt about leaving kids and work behind), we take a leap back in time, to a town that couldn’t be more removed from the noise and stresses of big city life. Mollisons boutique ‘accommodation’ …
Read more

Mollisons

Anonymous review by Ian Curley, Star chef

Can there be anything more decadent than shooting off mid-week for a quick break? This Mr and Mrs Smith certainly think not. In less than an hour outside Melbourne (not too far to induce guilt about leaving kids and work behind), we take a leap back in time, to a town that couldn’t be more removed from the noise and stresses of big city life. Mollisons boutique ‘accommodation’ (its owners don’t call it a hotel), located in a renovated old bank building in the heart of historic Kyneton, stands out as the most stylish and intriguing among the few overnight options here, but be prepared for simple chic rather than all-out luxe.

If isolation and solitude are what you’re after, arrive late on a Tuesday as Mrs Smith and I did. Once we’ve collected the keys to Mollisons from the elegant shop next door, which sells gifts, furniture, jewellery, clothes and even Ugg Boots, we’re left alone to fend for ourselves, and to discover that nothing much opens until late in the week (when we’re assured that the weekend tourist influx begins). Kyneton in the gold rush days was once a buzzing hub with a population larger than that of Melbourne. Now the main attraction, apart from the peace and quiet, is the growing food and artisan produce scene, with the town boasting some inspiring restaurants well worthy of the short drive up the Calder Freeway.

Mollisons’ signage is quirky, resembling something out of an old-school horror flick, but the interior is more contemporary, with a definite designer feel. Guest rooms are modest – the entry of our One-bedroom Apartment opens directly into the well-appointed kitchenette and small dining/living area, and leads through to an adjoining king-size bedroom and generous bathroom. There is a stark, crisp feel to the decor, with everything in white except for the polished floorboards and antique-style furnishings. Fresh flowers, two small-screen plasma TVs, a little bag of macaroons and a decanter of Liqueur Muscat with silver goblets to toast with, are all extra touches that make us feel welcome.

We find ourselves yearning, however, for many of the other services that we’ve come to expect as standard from city hotels – a concierge to point us in the right direction, bathroom amenities over and above soap/shampoo/conditioner, a bath to wallow in, and a telephone in the room (overseas guests with no mobile phone would struggle to call the owners’ after-hours mobile number for assistance, and ‘after hours’ at Mollisons starts at 4.30pm!). Oh, and if you would like your room serviced, then just ask… I’m sure they’d love to!

Luckily, you really don’t have to worry too much about there being a scarcity of provisions in what is essentially your upmarket self-contained bedsit, as Kyneton has truly established itself as one of the new foodie getaway towns. Several ex-chefs and restaurateurs from Melbourne have moved to Kyneton for an inland ‘sea change’, so you don’t have to look far to find some great food and a decent coffee. Brisk walks to and from the produce stores and quaint handicraft shops are especially enjoyable in spring and summer, and within walking distance of the hotel you’ll find some excellent and noteworthy restaurants. Annie Smithers is always on hand at her eponymous bistrot on Piper Street, where she also grows produce for use in the kitchen and teaches classes from the garden out the back (unfortunately for us, the Annie Smithers restaurant, as with many others in town, only opens Thursday through Sunday). Mr Carsisi and the Royal George Hotel are thankfully open earlier in the week, and boast delicious local produce with cooking skills to match, and with some exceptional local wineries nearby, there is always a fine label to be discovered.

A wonderful cooking class beckons at the famed Piper Street Food Co., on one of the town’s three main drags, and Mrs Smith and I revel in making pate and rillettes in true rural fashion. Had we had time I’m sure that we would have also enjoyed some of the local walks, including up nearby Hanging Rock, which are outlined in the brief but somewhat informative visitor booklet at Mollisons (you may still have to ask a local for the location of the supermarket to buy essential supplies though!). As with any country town, there is horse-riding up for grabs, a small golf course that you can always get a game on, and if in the midst of your romantic escape you feel the need, then you can buy a tractor, a gun safe or a hand-knitted beanie all in the main street (the latter was much appreciated by Mr Smith). If outdoor pursuits are not your thing, you can just sink into the pillow-topped bed in your room and guess the price of the furnishings, as everything is for sale, with price tag attached.

If all you need is a clean, comfortable and stylish bed on which to rest your head for a couple of nights, but you’re happy to forage out to eat and drink well locally, this is definitely the place for you. It is how Daylesford was about 20 years ago. Residents will smile and talk to you, you will find it hard to resist buying something from quirky little shops, and of course the food on offer in Kyneton makes all other shortcomings disappear like the Liqueur Muscat from my goblet.

 

 

 

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Mollisons from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel was very tastefully decorated and the bed was very comfortable. The sherry was a very nice touch.

Don’t expect

The lock on the door going out to the terrace needed fixing.

Rating: 10/10 stars