Villa Howden

Another weekend adventure, another Instameet and another fantastic day in a beautiful location. I could get used to this. For Instameet 29 there was a brilliant turnout at Villa Howden, located near the village of……’re absolutely right, you’ve won the toaster oven….Howden.

So what is Villa Howden? Well I’ll let their very nicely written website fill you in: Villa Howden is a luxurious base from which to discover the southernmost accessible reaches and shores of Tasmania, the Huon Valley and Bruny Island, and to gain a peek into the Southwest World Heritage wilderness. Australia’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2007, Val Harding has always been drawn to the beautiful interiors of luxury hotels throughout the world. Raised and educated in the UK, Val’s pursuit of her passions has led to the development and success of her own hotel interior design firm in England and later a new  hotel cosmetics business in Australia, which today enjoys international success. Val’s most recent “happy discovery” – the acquisition and restoration of Tasmania’s newest luxury boutique hotel –  has now provided a natural and organic next step in her journey and is the perfect first step in a journey of discovery around Tasmania. Whether it is a weekend getaway, fine dining in our restaurant in Hobart, or High Tea, our team will ensure that your visit to Villa Howden will be memorable, enjoyable and provide an opportunity to relax and unwind.

Villa Howden looks like something straight out of Tuscany or Provence, and yet it’s right here in Tasmania. You’ll honestly feel like you’ve stepped into another country once you’re on the grounds, it’s a beautiful building and the current owners have done a fantastic job on refurbishing it to its current magnificent style. A number of Instragrammers in our group had fond memories of the place from over the years when it was under different owners and looked completely different and our host informed it was once used as a cattery! I think there’s bound to be a market somewhere for that, a hotel filled with cats would be the dream of many I’d imagine 🙂

I got there on the 68 bus from outside the University of Tasmania in Sandy Bay which dropped me off on the outskirts of Blackmans Bay. To get to Villa Howden I needed to make my way through the Peter Murrell Conservation Area, approximately half an hour or so of walking through some really nice forests. I arrived at the villa a little early and got chatting with a lovely couple from Scotland while we waited for the others to arrive.DSCF2630DSCF2631DSCF2629DSCF2656_MG_5738 DSCF2729

The lovely Fiona who manages the marketing for Villa Howden greeted us warmly and ushered us into a beautiful side lounge complete with a huge fireplace and super comfortable couches and arm chairs, the perfect place to relax and unwind with a good book. Once everyone had arrived we made our way into the conservatory area where a fine spread of tea, coffee and delicious scones had been laid out for us. Photography can be thirsty and hungry work so everyone was sure to load up before taking out the cameras and running loose around the building and its lovely outside areas. Everywhere you look there’s an interesting detail or ornate piece of furniture that just fit perfectly into the setting. Fiona was kind enough to roll back the covering on the indoor pool so we could get some nice shots of that with the deckchairs overlooking the amazing views out the window.

We also had a chance to check out the rooms which of course were most luxurious indeed and again kept nicely with the style of the building. Before you knew it our time had come to make our departures before they began the High Tea service. It would have been quite off-putting indeed to have dozens of photographers milling around while you try to enjoy your Earl Grey and Jam and Cream scone! 🙂

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It’s an absolutely beautiful location and I can see why it’s top of many people’s list when it comes to a luxury getaway or unique location for their wedding. Check out their website to find out more or to book yourself some time off in Southern Europe while staying firmly in Tasmania. Huge thanks once again to Hobart and Beyond (THE go-to website if you’re planning a holiday in and around Hobart and Southern Tasmania) for organising this meet as well as the good people at Villa Howden for hosting us. Can’t wait for Instameet 30 now, wherever shall we go next?

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