NEW VENUE ALERT!: This beauty opened in September 2013 - We fell in love the minute we came across Orchard Keepers, "nestled between the vines and orchards" and even more in love after chatting with Poss, the owner. She emailed us back straight away and couldn't have been more excited to share the scoop on this property that she herself has lovingly restored. When our team of reporters chats with venue owners who are both pleasant and passionate, we automatically know that throwing an event here will be a breeze. With over 40 years of event planning under our belts, we know how important the venue is, but even more importantly are the people behind the venue.
HISTORY LESSON: Under the shade of a giant Sequoia tree (an extremely rare tree in Australia that was brought over on a boat from the US as a seedling) and amongst beautiful gardens you will find Orchard Keepers. This family establishment is surrounded by neighboring vineyards and orchards. Poss will happily greet you and open her cottage doors where you will be invited to enjoy three historic cottages and 10 acres in the heart of Red Hill. The cottages date back to the late 1890’s and providing the perfect “rustic – luxury” accommodations.
HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?:Orchard Keepers can be found at 17 Paringa Road Red Hill South on the Mornington Peninsula: 50 minutes away from Melbourne CBD 90 minutes from Melbourne Domestic & International Airport. The property is easily reached along either the Eastern Freeway & Peninsula Link or the scenic coastal road hugging Port Phillip Bay
Although Orchard Keepers is a new venue on the scene, they have hosted several parties, photo shoots and hosted their first wedding in February of 2014. Orchard Keepers is perfect for a variety of celebratory occasions; weddings, hens parties, girlfriends weekend, birthday parties, dinner parties, corporate events, social events, launch parties, rehearsal dinners, reunions, getaways- really any event!!! The clean countryside venue vibe feels like crisp white sheets and the smell of brand new paint. Farm Fresh at its finest is how we describe Orchard Keepers.
This country chic property sits on 10 acres with mature trees, views to the sea, and is surrounded by neighboring orchards & vineyards. Lots of options for your event setting! Additionally, the venue has two large kitchen gardens and plenty of amazing spots to hold events.
PILLOW TALK: 10 guests can sleep across the one large house and workers cottage buildings dating back to the late 1890's! The workers cottage is washed in chalk white walls, waxed floorboards, a wood burning heater, Bedouin Societe linens and provincial antiques. French doors open to the surrounding garden & sea views
THE DISH: The venue will let you decide on your catering needs if you choose to go that route, but can also provide you with a list of locals who will produce a major yummy in the tummy factor for your fete. SIP SIP HOORAY: There are no alcohol restrictions. In fact there are over 102 wineries in the area so there is no shortage of wine!!!
The labor of love that went into restoring the property provides a perfect backdrop to an event, getaway or gathering. There are 2 living spaces with wood burning fireplaces, linen sofas, vintage furniture, art work and lighting all personally sourced from all corners of the globe. The vintage French dining table seats 10-12 guests, perfect for a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding perhaps? The kitchen includes mud ceramic tableware, and French glassware. In the bathrooms you will find that again no detail has been overlooked, as they are stocked with Uchino Japanese bath towels & organic Australian body wash. On to the bedrooms where you will not need to stay awake counting sheep before drifting off to sleep. The charming accommodations are elegantly decorated with chalk white walls, lime wash floors, organic French linen, feather pillows & treasured objects. As comfy as grandmas house but way cooler.
There is an overabundance of things to see and do around the property. You may be on a farm setting but you are a mere 10 minute drive to over 100 wineries (many of which are award winning), 8 Chef Hats restaurants (that the AUS equivalent to a Michelin Star) and close to amazing beaches - Point Leo Beach being particularly amazing. Basically, there is no shortage of fun for you and your guests to embark on!
We are coining the overall aesthetic and design of the venue vibe: Farm Fresh Industrial. Vintage finds from around the globe and the country fresh feel with chalk white walls means that hosting a dinner party, wedding or event here won't require a lot of work. We gathered a few design tips to infuse into your fete.
1. Handkerchief Wedding Invitation: We love the look of this wrinkled washed linen invite with simple lettering leading to the event by Bird & Banner. 2. Hand Dyed Cheesecloth: Both inexpensive and cottage countryside appropriate, cheeseclothis also a very easy DIY dyeable project. Use as table runners on the wood farm feasting tables. 3. Wire Lunch Boxes: A unique and fun wayto serve food OR use as a vase. You can find these at Farm House Wares. 4. This simple farm table setting by Lyndsey Hamilton Events is both stunning and understated. We especially love the sprig of rosemary on each setting which would incorporate the gardens on the property 5. Galvanized Planters: Galvanized anything is a classic countryside touch. Use these gray toned, rustic beauties for vases and fill them with vegetables, herbs and wildflowers. Via Farm House Wares 6. Farmhouse Dinner Napkins: These organic farmhouse dinner napkins are adorned with numbers. Let guests find their tables by spotting the table number on the napkins themselves. Farmhouse fun at it's finest! Via Etsy seller Miss Hettie
Poss urges you to "Veg Out" in the herb & vegetable gardens on the property. You can truly make yourself at home in the two large kitchen gardens, filled with fragrant herbs, vegetables, berries, citrus and stone fruit trees. Notes are provided & updated weekly on what is in season for you to pick and add to your lunch or evening meal! DOUBLE BONUS: This is also a kiddo friendly place with a fully equipped children’s playground.
- The owner Poss, is as sweet as pudding and pie.
- The decor is interior design magazine-worthy.
- The venue is surrounded by orchards, vines and a giant Sequoia tree.
- Near over 100 wineries and restaurants.
- The cottages are historical and date back to the 1800's!
- You can pick a variety of veggies from the surrounding gardens
Start your day with a chat over the morning papers at Cellar & Pantry Red Hill. The store is a mix of grocer, gourmet deli, cellar and café & a meeting place for the community. After your coffee go to Red Hill Cherry Farm and pick cherries, stop by sunny Ridge Strawberry farm and finish the day off at beautiful Point Leo Beach. Photo via cellarandpantry.com.au
Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove is only ten Minutes by Tractor from Orchard Keepers where you will discover a combination of wine, olives, gardens, natural wetlands and sculpture. Organize a private, catered picnics lunch on the lawn for friends in family.. te dining in our Restaurant, casual dining in our Piazza and Garden Café and at selected locations.
Paringa Estate Winery is walking distance from the venue and is one of the most awarded wineries in Australia, particularly for Pinot Noir and Shiraz. After tasting varietals eat at enjoy lunch in a casual, open and elevated setting with expansive vineyard and valley views. On sunny days, dining on the deck best captures the natural beauty of the surroundings. Via paringaestate.com.au
VENUE: Orchard Keepers. // PHOTOS: Provided by Orchard Keepers