An 1890s, three-bedroom Victorian weatherboard home just five minutes from Salamanca has been lovingly restored to a perfect pitch of beauty and contemporary luxe. SWC recently experienced Lumière Lodge’s particular brand of elegant whimsy and it was a bit like brushing past the furs in a Narnia closet. The Lodge is exquisite – literally out of this world, a gentle, creative, charmingly designed home that centres its guests at the heart of a lovingly told story.
SWC: Stepping up from the street, the Lodge felt immediately special to us. What do you know of the original and consequent owners? Anyone famous?
LL: We only know that Lumière Lodge would have been built after an old lime kiln was closed in the late 1800s and was probably one of the first houses on the street. We think a McKendrick owned the land, and we know the home was under the same family name for a long time. The home’s original old shingles were replaced in the 1900s but the rest is historic. We also found an old tram ticket hidden in the lacework of the front balcony… maybe it blew there in the wind?
SWC: You’ve stayed true to those layers of history in your design choices (and literally through the layers of wallpaper you stripped back during the restoration!) and in a way, you’ve become the caretakers of Old Hobart’s stories and those held within this house. And, we have to say, the place feels oh so inviting and cared for. We love, love, love the artworks at Lumière Lodge, particularly the antique portraits. They seem friendly! Do the portraits relate to anyone who has actually lived in this house?
LL: We like to think the portraits are shadows of people who have passed through Old Hobart Town and particularly Lumière Lodge (this of course is fictional but we expect our guests to bring their imaginations with them). We are slowly adding to the collection and collecting objects to shape each room. We are thinking of naming the rooms after the portraits, what do you think?
SWC: Love that idea! The lady with the whale is definitely Whilema! The gorgeous ‘afternoon sun’ room with the open fire, crystal glasses and whisky decanters could be Whilema’s Parlour?
SWC: One of the things we loved most during our stay was that sense of theatre, mystery and romance you’ve captured; the little playful narratives like the old letters and bifocals on the writing desk and yet the house feels very relaxed and welcoming. Not at all stuffy! What are your favourite ‘guest pampering’ touches?
LL: We love that Lumière Lodge has separate bathrooms for each couple. Guests have the choice of either a long rain shower or a soaking in one of the deep clawfoot baths by candlelight. You can bathe in the light of the stained glass downstairs or under the stars in the attic room. We have carefully selected flowers, lighting, artisan ceramics, fossicked glassware and art to create an old world feel and a sense of playful escapism.The kitchen has chef-quality fit-outs and we have a treasure trove of little added luxuries scattered for guests to sort of stumble upon and be charmed by.
You can bathe in the light of the stained glass downstairs or under the stars in the attic room.
SWC: Ooh, and those beautiful linen sheets, so luxurious and what divine colour combinations. Actually, the colour palette seems to have been created by a colour psychologist? Our mood was buoyed and caressed by those colours…. and scents. We adored the scents wafting through the house. Do you have a favourite?
LL: We have an old fireplace in our main bathroom… the steam from the shower releases the scent from the old chimney. I love that scent of the old chimney smoke combined with the blend of fragrant bath salts that we have had custom made for Lumière Lodge. There are the cloves in the mulled wine recipe we’re perfecting and of course we love Southern Wild Co’s smoky Southern Sky creeping seductively throughout the lodge.
I love that scent of the old chimney smoke combined with the blend of fragrant bath salts that we have had custom made for Lumière Lodge.
SWC: The other gorgeous touch was the fresh sourdough bread and jams you artistically presented and a perfectly stocked pantry. Is this treatment afforded to all your guests?
LL: Light breakfast provisions are included so that guests can wake up slowly and enjoy the morning light through the gorgeous windows. I think waking up slow is important some days and Lumière Lodge makes you want to take it gently while enjoying the space. Later in the evening we like to mix a Fiat Lux made especially for Lumière Lodge by Spirit People (our dedicated mixologists). You can sit back and relax in one of the lounges and during the cooler months enjoy the use of the big baker’s oven to keep warm (our mulled wine is coming next fall).
I think waking up slow is important some days and Lumière Lodge makes you want to take it gently while enjoying the space.
SWC: We really didn’t want to leave the Lodge’s magic but we also wanted see Hobart! Can you give some context to where the house is situated for first time visitors?
LL: We are situated in a lovely sort-after suburb, the perfect distance to everything you need. Tasmania’s finest grocer is only a 4 min walk away, North Hobart’s restaurant strip is very close and the CBD is a 15 min walk downhill or about $8 in an Uber.
Places to visit in and around Hobart
- MONA Museum of Old and New Art via the MONA Ferry at Brooke St Pier (slip into Glass House for a cheeky cocktail or three beforehand – we sure did!)
- Franklin Restaurant, Hobart (Top 30 of Australia’s Best Restaurants)
- Fico, Hobart (Top 30 Australian of best restaurants)
- Willing Bros Wine Bar, North Hobart + State Cinema (for a late night movie and only a short walking distance to Lumière Lodge)
- Salamanca Market (Saturdays) + Farmgate Market (Sundays)
- Hill Street Grocer (Lumière Lodge’s local grocery store with wine shop, homewares and fromagerie)
- Mt Wellington (stop at Lost Freight Café at The Springs for a warm drink in the cooler months)
A day trip to New Norfolk and surrounds. A scenic drive along the Derwent River will take you to Stefano Lubiana Winery. We recommend taking home the 2017 Syrah Biodynamic and 2009 Grande Vintage. The historic town of New Norfolk is home to many antique shops and all within walking distance to one another (recommendations are below). Make sure to book the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery for lunch. Sam and I have been twice to the cooking school which you can pre-book months in advance. You can also drive further to Mt Field National Park, Lake Dobson and Russel Falls for a picturesque walk.
Stefano Lubiana Winery
Agrarian Kitchen Eatery + Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School located at Willow Court, New Norfolk
The Drill Hall, New Norfolk – Tasmania’s Finest Antique Store
Flywheel – Letterpress, Stationery and Antique (The Drill Halls Sister Store)
You can book Lumiere Lodge here