Blog

Day by Day in our Luxury Tasmanian Hotel

Running Woodbridge is not a walk in the park.

I have been, and continue to be, an avid fan of The Duchess of Duke Street and Upstairs, Downstairs and Pride & Prejudice and Country House Party and now, of course, Downton Abbey.  Yes, I am a ‘tragic’!

But I am also a realist, and so Fawlty Towers is Hospitality Training 101 for all staff.

I often say that running Woodbridge is a bit of a mix of all of the above, hopefully, less of the later, although we do have our moments!

Our Blog is a glimpse behind the scenes of the day to day running of Woodbridge.

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Hot Days Cool River

I often have to hold back a chuckle when discussing Tasmanian weather with potential guests. I do warn them that Tassie weather is mercurial. We do try to give value for money down here, and there can be 3 sseasons in a day, so we advise that guests bring light layers to add or remove […]

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Georgian Architecture

I tend to be a minimalist at heart, and the definition of elegance as “less is more” has always rung true for me. So it is no surprise that I prefer the simplicity of Gerogian architecture and design to the fussiness of the Victorian era. Georgian architecture is all about subtle colour and symmetry, and […]

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Deliciously dining

Nothing smells quite as good as fresh baking. I can remember a top Real Esate agent once telling me that he always had fresh coffee brewing and cakes or bread baking when ever he had a ‘home open’. And that is what I am smelling now, fresh chocolate fondants in the oven ready for dinner at […]

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Kayaking with Platypus

Kayaking to see platypus   Last night was a delightful balmy summer’s evening, just right for travelling down the Derwent River in search of Platypus. I was a bit apprehensive as I am not very fit, I am not very agile, and I am no spring chicken! And …. I have gammy knees which means […]

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Finding Lewis

When we were restoring Woodbridge we uncovered many wonderful details of the house, but by far my favourite memory was finding Lewis. I was quite pedantic about saving everything that we uncovered, even to the extent of telling the tradies to pick up every handmade nail that they saw in the dust and rubble. And […]

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Historic New Norfolk

It doesn’t matter how often I recount the story of how New Norfolk got its name, it never ceases to delight me that we are living in part of Tasmania’s, indeed Australia’ s history. New Norfolk is one of the oldest towns in Australia. It pre-dates Port Arthur and was originally know as Elizabeth Town, […]

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Tasmanian Premium Wines

Guests love that we have a great selection of difficult-to-source premium Tasmanian wines from small, boutique wineries in our valley. John loves his wines. He loves sourcing great wines from our valley. And he especially loves it when they are from very small vinyards where the farmer is passionate about his wine, and the whole […]

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It’s an ill wind

Tasmania always has lush growth in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There continues to be moisture in the ground, supplemented by periodic rainfall. Add the warmth of summer to this, and Tasmania experiences an explosion of vegetation. Then, as the summer heat continues and intensifies, this undergrowth dries out …. and you have the […]

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Food

Yeah, it’s cherry season

It is no exageration to say that I look forward to cherry season all year. Sometimes, out of season, I give in to my passion, and buy cherries that have been shipped here all the way from USA, and then feel guilty about the carbon footprint of shipping fruit from the USA. Cherries are certainly […]

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The Talented Greg Duncan

We first met Greg Duncan in 2003 when we came to Tasmania (on the holiday that would change our lives). Greg had a workshop and outlet at Salamanca, and was working in both metal and wood. I think that, at the time, he was better known for his bronzes and quirky metal pieces such as […]

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Fun & Games

When we are in our busy day to day patterns, we seldom think to take the time to play games. To relax we either go to sleep, turn on the TV (and fall asleep), read a book (and fall asleep) or get onto our devices. I must say that my brother’s family is an exception, […]

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Relaxed Riverfront Dining charm journalists

Relaxed dining overlooking the river   We have the pleasure of hosting many interesting people at Woodbridge.   It is always gratifying when these people express their delight in Woodbridge, and for all our guests, one of the favourite rooms is the riverfront dining Pavilion.   Recently, a group of respected journalists from several prestigious […]

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Our Romantic Garden has a beautiful story

Remembering Dean   Our gardens are a constant source of pleasure to guests and staff alike.   They are also a source of pleasure and pride for a local family.   We met Dean when we were restoring Woodbridge. He ran a garden cleanup business, and we engaged him to remove some of the dead […]

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Experiences

We’ll have your hire car ready for you

Just add wheels!   We are delighted to have partnered with our preferred carhire company to offer this service to our guests.   We can arrange for your standard or prestige hire car to be waiting at the airport, or at Woodbridge should you prefer to transfer by road, helicopter or seaplane.  

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Raffles in Tasmania?

A little bit of Raffles in Tasmania   I have always loved going to Raffles in Singapore. Oh, I know that there are now more impressive, bling and wow hotels, but for me, Raffles retains its air of history, refined travel, elegance and comfort, a perfect recipe for the aaah factor.   So no surprises […]

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Food

If you give a choice of two…

If there is a choice of two main courses, it is almost inevitable that one person will choose one, and the partner the other. That way, they can get to taste both, as is usually the case with our guests sharing their meals amongst oohs and aahs.   Last night’s guests were no exception, one […]

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Experiences

Guests are loving the Electric Bikes

How can one make the perfect even moreso?   The esplanade at New Norfolk has always been a place of beauty and a source of great pleasure, not only for us in the 15 years that we have been here, but also for the locals going back almost 2 centuries. And when we walk or […]

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As fresh as it gets

You can’t get fresher than this   In the Derwent Valley we are blessed with an abundance of fabulous produce. Tasmania is famous for this generally, but we certainly punch well above the norm, and in such concentration, all the way along the river in the Derwent Valley.   So why, one may ask, do […]

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Mirrors add such interest

Mirrors add so much interest to decorating.   At Woodbridge we have a wonderful collection of antique mirrors, suitable to an 1825 building of course, but others we have just because they are simply beautiful, like these lovely Art Deco ones hanging in Woodbridge.   Mirrors work so well in any situation and I like […]

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Wisteria showcase

Does wisteria like hardship?   Our wisteria seems to thrive under far from favourable conditions, and it makes one wonder – does wisteria thrive or at least bloom better under hardship?   Woodbridge was built in 1825, and with free convict labour, they dug out the bedrock and built Woodbridge straight onto it! So there […]

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Food

Paddock to plate suppliers

When you know your suppliers by name   The local produce was one of the things that blew our minds when we first came to Tasmania.   The flavour! The variety! And the seasonal differences! And we had no idea that there were so many varieties of potatoes, and we had never tasted them so […]

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The cushions have arrived

Bespoke and hand loomed   While we were at the atelier in Sardinia where we commissioned the floor rugs (see previous post), we also commissioned new cushions for the Pavilion.   We chose this traditional local design, one of the many designs that the atelier is featuring. The lady who has set up the atelier […]

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Hand loomed floor rugs from Sardinia

Awaiting our hand loomed floor rugs from Sardinia   On a recent trip to Sardinia, John and I tracked down a lady we had heard about who lived high in the central mountains.   We were told that she was one of the few people who still had the skills for making traditional hand-loomed materials […]

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Food

Agrarian Kitchen moving even closer

The Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School is moving   We have always felt blessed that Rodney Dunn and Severine Demarat came to stay at Woodbridge back in 2008. In fact, we take full credit for them staying in the Derwent Valley and starting their Cooking School here. You see, they were originally thinking of going to […]

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