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Published January 5th 2021
Spend the night away in a historic 1858 cottage in Second Valley.
The year 2020 has been a year of rediscovery and for many of us, it was the opportunity to rediscover South Australia and explore its variety of beautiful landscapes and secluded places. Second Valley is only 90 minutes away from Adelaide but there is an incredible sense of wildness there that makes it the perfect getaway on a sunny day. The drive itself to get there is part of the adventure as it is absolutely scenic. The hills, the fields of gold, the crashing waves on the cliffs, the curves around deep blue water, the spectacular beaches and the breathtaking views make the journey definitely memorable.
Located on a beautiful property, surrounded by trees and flowers, the majestic and iconic 163 years old Leonards Mill with its chimney and its two semi-detached stone cottages are an invitation to reset, reconnect with nature and enjoy an authentic experience.
A moment of history with this flour mill built in 1858.
Leonards Mill started its journey in 1858 producing flour. The flour mill operated for 19 years before the wheat industry dried up and all the activity was moved from the Fleurieu Peninsula to the Eyre Peninsula. The mill then operated as a Wattlebark mill to process the local species of Wattlebark, which grew between Myponga and Yankalilla. It turned out that the local species of Wattlebark had fantastic tanning properties for tanning leather and were exported to London. The two semi-detached cottages that are now used as a B&B are believed to once have been the dairy and workshop and built in the same era as the mill.
How unique to spend the night in an historic stone cottage which used to serve in a previous life as the dairy and workshop attached to the Mill.
We booked the weekday package, including a night's accommodation and breakfast in a historic stone cottage on the property and a delicious Feed Me lunch for 2 at the famous Leonards Mill restaurant. We were very pleased with this offer as we thought it was good value for an amazing and unique experience in such a beautiful part of South Australia.
Charming decoration inside the cottage and very comfortable bed.
There are two stone cottages on the property: we were booked in the one on the left side that is designed as a studio. The interior is full of light, all painted in white, there are many windows but you are welcome to use the blinds as well if you want to add some privacy. It is cosy and comfortable with this vintage almost rural feel as well. The queen-sized bed was very comfy and we slept very well in those beautiful bed sheets, pillows and blankets. There is also a sofa, a table and two chairs, a TV with a good selection of DVDs (no wifi or tv reception), a small bar fridge and a few essentials to make tea and coffee.
1858 cottage with the charm of the past but also modern amenities like aircon, ceiling fans and heating.
The bathroom has just been renovated and is beautiful, very clean and modern with a nice shower, hand basin, hairdryer, a toilet and natural light coming from a sky window. There are also an outdoor table and chairs in front of the cottage for those who want to enjoy their breakfast outside when the sun shines as you are surrounded by a beautiful garden. Breakfast is nice, well presented and delivered in the fridge of the cottage the night before. We enjoyed croissants, bread, fresh fruits, muesli, juice, yogurt, homemade marmalade, butter and milk. It was a good way to start the day with the birds singing all around us.
Leonards Mill deck and garden: the perfect place to relax on a sunny day.
Husband and wife, Iain and Hayley, run the business surrounded by their lovely staff. Hayley greeted us when we arrived and she is so friendly and charming, we felt really special! She was so welcoming, explaining everything about the mill, the cottages, the dishes and the wines, it was just perfect. We absolutely adored the chef Feed Me menu, so delicious, so colourful.
At the mill, it is a culinary philosophy, everything is fresh, local, beautifully prepared and presented. This family-owned restaurant is passionate about the Fleurieu Peninsula and likes to support other family-owned local businesses.
Each dish was a beautiful surprise, full of colours and flavour. The cooking is creative, aesthetic and absolutely delicious. We really loved the fresh oysters presented on rock salt, the beetroot caviar and terrine composition, the savoury silver side and its farandole of veggies, the ginger beer sorbet and the Fleurieu strawberry delight.
There is also a good selection of local wines and beers and we discovered a few little gems like this beautiful pinot noir named 38 from Dyson Wines, a little winery/cellar door located in Maslin Beach that we actually visited on the next day and were very pleased to chat with the owner Allan Dyson, definitely worth the visit!
Dyson Wines cellar door and its beautiful pinot noir 38 is definitely worth a visit.
The weekday package does not include the dinner as the restaurant is not opened on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays evening but if you are staying for the night you can still order a platter and the chef will arrange a nice selection of fresh and homemade products to be delivered to your cottage later in the afternoon.
In terms of activities, Second Valley is surrounded by nature, sheer cliffs and steep coastal ranges. It is the perfect peaceful retreat as it feels like time has stopped in this part of the world. A drive to Cape Jervis (which is only 10 minutes away) is definitely a must to admire the beautiful coastal scenery but also enjoy the prolific wildlife, with kangaroos, wallabies and yellow-tailed black cockatoos never far away. As we were driving, two wild kangaroos were jumping on the side on the road and it was such a magic moment. There are some beautiful and easy walking trails to explore this beautiful part of South Australia. You will definitely enjoy the coastal scenery, its spectacular cliffs, rocky headlands and secluded beaches. We also stopped at the jetty road in Normanville and we really loved the colour of the water, the white sand beach and the relaxed atmosphere there.
Grab yourself some fish and chips with a view when you are on the jetty in Normanville and you will feel like in paradise.
If you want to discover, explore or reconnect with the different beauties of the majestic Fleurieu Peninsula, this wonderful experience at Leonards Mill in Second Valley will win your heart. It is a journey that will take you back to the history of the flour mill, the beautiful flavours and local products of Fleurieu, the flowers and vegetations of this part of the world and the warmth and hospitality of its people.
Our stay at Leonards Mill cottage was the perfect and relaxing getaway we were looking for.