Russley Country Homestead
242 Segenhoe Road, Scone; 0403 977 099.
THE LOCATION Three minutes’ drive off the New England Highway, on the banks of the Hunter River, this rural bed and breakfast is in theSegenhoe Valley, the green, green grassy home to some major horse studs.
THE PLACE Built in 1894, Russley is a country homestead par excellence, with high ceilings, polished floors, leadlight bay windows and abroad, wrap-around verandah with Hamptons-style wingback chairs. There are five light-splashed private rooms to stay in (two with en suites,the others share a bathroom), featuring period details and views of the surrounding grounds. Four have queen beds and another, a king andtwo twin beds. Guests can book a room, or two, or take the entire property, which sleeps up to 12 people.
THE EXPERIENCE The first order of business is to chill. Spend a long, leisurely breakfast on the verandah, taking in the scenery andgambolling horses – Russley has about five hectares of pasture and regularly agists thoroughbreds. Later, melt into the couch in the livingroom and read by the fireplace. Or, if the weather allows, take a dip and laze by the pool. The owners can also arrange a tour of a local horsestud, or a trail ride in the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops. Or scoot into Scone, a 15-minute drive away.
DON’T MISS Lunch over a glass or two at Hollydene Estate winery, 40 minutes’ drive away.
FROM $210 a night; two-night minimum stay Friday to Sunday. Tim Elliott