It’s no secret that we love the Clare Valley. With its world-renowned Rieslings, breathtaking landscapes and quaint heritage towns, what’s not to love?
I’m fortunate to be a close neighbour to the rolling hills of the Valley, yet each time I head East to explore the popular canopy of vines, dotted with hundreds of boutique wineries, I seem to stumble across another of Clare Valley’s hidden secrets.
Just an hour and a half from Adelaide, there’s accommodation to suit every traveller, from luxury glamping, to pitching a tent or booking a room at the local pubs or motels. There’s also loads of privately run BnB’s, with homely touches and things to explore – giving that personal touch when you really want to immerse yourself in all that the Clare Valley has to offer.
A stone’s throw from Clare’s Main Street, which is bustling with coffee spots and boutique shopping, the Secret Figtree Cottage is a cosy little stay, along the popular Clare Valley Riesling Trail.
Originally built as the nurses quarters for the town’s first hospital, the 1860’s cottage combines its traditional charming features with modern sustainability, to create an eco friendly country getaway with minimal environmental impact. It’s the perfect blend of simple sophistication, with a touch of modern and a magical secret garden with the rolling Clare hills as a backdrop.
Around every corner of the cottage garden, there seems to be a secret! There’s the stunning leafy Figtree which is not as easy to find as one might think it would be. Once you find the Figtree, you’ll come across the outdoor shower where nature-lovers can indulge in a secluded hot shower amongst the trees, and there’s even a beautiful old claw-foot bath ready to be transformed for outdoor bathing, with glorious sunshine and views – the perfect place to wind down and enjoy the serenity, with a glass of the Clare Valley’s finest.
Owner of the Secret Figtree Cottage, is well-known Clare business woman, Giedre Budrius, who has incorporated a host of environmentally friendly options throughout the property, as an act of courtesy to the environment.
“You don’t have to sacrifice comforts to live the greener way,” she said.
While we know it is near impossible to have no impact on the environment, imagine what would happen if eighty per cent of the world did sustainability eighty per cent perfectly.”
The original cottage walls are built of stone, which creates brilliant thermal storage, there’s solar panels on the roof with a Tesla Power Wall being the main source of energy.
Strategically planted trees and greenery minimises the need for heating and cooling for the cottage, but there’s a cosy wood fire for those cold Clare nights and tips on how to run the heating and cooling system more efficiently if required.
“Having the cottage clean and welcoming is a high priority for us, but we also don’t want it to cost the earth,” Giedre said.
“We use non-plastic packaged, non-toxic, all Australian made cleaning products, and non-disposables that are cleaned & disinfected between uses where required.
Everything supplied in the cottage is compostable, reusable, or minimises waste – like shampoo and conditioner in refillable containers, compostable coffee pods and soaps made from Clare Estate, that guests can either take home or they will be remelted.
It is quite simple really. Hundreds of little acts of courtesy to the environment, that we choose every day.”
Secret Figtree Cottage
Mill Street, Clare
For info or to book click here