Over the recent Queens birthday weekend, Emma and I drove out of town to the windy hills and towering trees of Sassafras. Only 1 hour from Melbourne CBD we stayed at the understatedly elegant yet modern Whitelodge Retreat. As I walked into the house, I felt the warmth of a smouldering fire and instantly detached from the hustle of city life.
I was super excited to see everyone as we drove into the property. They are my beautiful friends from where I grew up in South Gippsland, who radiate positivity, happiness and give me energy! I love using them as merry models & photographer because they are so fun to work and it feels more genuine & real. My friend Sophie from La Sierra (who I met at the South Melbourne market) also came along for the fun.
We enjoyed exploring the mystical surroundings, feasted on slow cooked wintery meals and drank a variety of beautiful reds.
On the Sunday, Taryn took us for a morning workout. (I was thinking something fun and easy.) However it felt like it was closer to an audition for Ninja Warrior. It was very challenging but also a bit of a laugh as it highlighted our lack of coordination skills - we were pretty sore the following day!
Sunday night we enjoyed more reds around the indoor fire, played some music and heads up in our PJ’s with a lot of laughs and silliness!
As Emma and I drove back to Melbourne on Monday, my heart was full. Full of great times and appreciation for friends and life in general!
If you find yourself with the winter blues, I highly recommend organising a winter weekend away with some close friends that incorporates cooking, outdoor walks and an evening fireplace. Just be sure to wrap yourself up in a hooded puffer jacket, some cosy winter socks and gumboots of course!!
If you’re looking for some inspiration, Riparide is a start-up based in St Kilda, Melbourne that organises stunning adventurous weekends for all those in need of a winter getaway.