A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published April 13th 2019
It was with anticipation we headed off to the Peter Rabbit Garden in Cambridge, just 18mins NE of Hobart, but had not anticipated the beauty of the estate until it was upon us. This wonderful property in the Coal River Valley, adjacent to the river, is one special place of discovery.
Our visit is in autumn and we pull up in the car park after a drive down a dirt road. We are immediately impressed with the immaculate landscape before our eyes. Gorgeous flowers are in bloom, a vineyard of colourful vines and surrounding trees, along with outdoor furniture on the lawn and views of the river, make it the perfect place to relax.
But first, it was to the Peter Rabbit Garden to see the reproduction of Beatrix Potter's tale. This beautiful space has been created from the inspiration of illustrations from the original Peter Rabbit books, sketches, letters and journals, and is the only garden of its kind outside of the UK.
As you wander around the garden patches bordered by cute little blue picket fences, you see the story unfold in the characters and the story-boards. If you're not familiar with the story then you soon will be.
Peter appears alongside sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, and Old Mother rabbit, in a few scenes that will delight fans. Peter is also seen eating radishes, whilst Mr McGregor is busy nearby in his garden shed. Other favourite Beatrix Potter characters include the toad Jeremy Fisher, Benjamin Bunny, Mr Tod, The Scarecrow and Squirrel Nutkin. In the garden beds amongst a range of different flowers, I was surprised to notice that this was not just a display garden but a working garden with the growing of fruit and vegetables. It was all very impressive.
But that's not all. Outside the entrance to the garden is a building with window boxes that house exhibits of the Tailor of Gloucester, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Two Bad Mice and Sally Henny Penny.
Inside the building is a wonderful gift shop with all things Peter Rabbit-themed, from plush toys to tea towels, clothes and children's gumboots, books and crockery. Colours of soft pink and baby blue abound in this cute world where there is also a birthday exhibit room. It's also the place to get tickets to the garden where entry is $10 per adult or teenager and $5 per child (3-12yrs). Littlies 2 years & under are free.
This was certainly a great start to our visit. We then headed to the main estate building with its European interiors, Cellar Door and French restaurant. Beauty was in abundance with oak wood panelling, carvings of grapes on doors, leather lounges, floral arrangements, tapestries and tones of tan and chocolate brown. It made for a very warm and inviting atmosphere.
We sat down in the Cellar Door for a relaxing afternoon Devonshire tea, looking out to the magnificent views. Freshly home-made, the scones were delicious with our beverages. It capped off our visit nicely.
Should you want to do some wine tasting, whet your appetite with some specially selected vintages and limited release wines at the tasting counter. Here you can also learn about grape varieties and the wine making process.
Riversdale Estate is the largest vineyard in the Coal River Valley and produces an Estate Range, a Stellar Range and a Roaring 40's Range of wines which include Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris varieties. These can be matched perfectly with a meal in the French Bistro where classic French dishes are served with a Tasmanian twist.
The estate is also the perfect setting for a wedding with many having been catered for, along with events throughout the year that include themed high teas, harvest long table celebration lunches, shows, and games in the Cellar Door.
Riversdale is open daily 10am-5pm (closed some Public Holidays) with the Peter Rabbit Garden open until 4pm and the French Bistro serving lunch Thursday-Sunday from 12 noon-3pm. Address, contact details and website are listed below.
Be sure to take an enchanting stroll around this tranquil property and enjoy all of its delights.