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Country Style December 2020

Country Style celebrates the diversity of modern country living. Brings to life the stories of inspirational people and places from around Australia - coast to coast. We visit amazing homes and gardens, travel through Australia's most vibrant regional centres and sample all the good things the country has to offer

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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
welcome letter

How I wish my Christmas table looked like the one on our cover. If we have the full Christmas Day contingent – my parents, Mark’s parents, the four children, my grandmother – the set-up resembles a bric-a-brac store more than a Country Style cover. All the kids have to bring their desk chairs out; even the outdoor chair that sits at the front door so football boots can be removed before coming inside gets a run on Christmas Day. The fold-up trestle table that spends all year under the house gets hosed off and is butted up to my battered old silky oak dining table. The outdoor sofas are pushed out of the way as the temporary mega-table extends out onto the back deck, much to the excitement of the…

1 min
in this issue...

MICHELE CRANSTON Food stylist and former chef Michele, who grew up by the beach in Newcastle, worked on Set the Table (page 79) and Christmas on the Farm (page 90) in this issue. After holidays spent on relatives’ farms, Michele knew food was in her future. “My favourite great-aunt lived on the family farm, which had acres of garden,” she says. “She baked perfect scones, served with homegrown fruit jams.” Of CS, Michele says, “I’ve always loved its beautiful, quiet aesthetic and travelling through homesteads and landscapes via its pages.” She and son Sam, 17, plus schnauzer pup Ollie, live in Sydney’s Inner West but get back to Michele’s home town of Newcastle, NSW, whenever they can. That’s where they’ll be for their “relaxed and chilled” Christmas this year. ALANA LANDSBERRY Photographing two stories…

4 min
your page

COMFORT AND JOY Hooray! The Country Squire is back. Robin Ingram has brightened our months for many years past. Please thank him for keeping us up to date with Dunedoo doings and the Central West. We so enjoy his wit and down-to-earth, downright commonsense. Thank you for the excellent article on regenerative agriculture at the Prior family property Nguurruu. Very commendable. Dr Charles Massy’s Call of the Reed Warbler should be a must in school curriculums. I do appreciate the extra pages given to each story – such a joy to see and read. It is so good to know we can look forward to our monthly dose of beauty, interest and sanity. Pamela Drabsch, Buderim, Qld QUITE THE JOURNEY Stranded on a cruise ship off Italy with 270 Aussies aboard in March, we had…

3 min
end mark

DECEMBER IS UPON US. I know this because the twilight is long and it’s hard to come inside. I know it because the wisteria has dropped its purple glory and is now shading the verandah in cool green. I know it because the swallow hatchlings have left their nests and there is a new generation of wrens chasing insects in the tangle of the Cecile de Brunner rose. I know it because out in the paddocks the lambs have been marked and the wethers shorn. Everywhere I look, nature is doing its thing, easing into summer. I know it too because the annual ladies’ lunch is approaching. When I moved to Tassie, I knew very few people and for the first time in my life I struggled with a sense of…

3 min

PERHAPS IT WAS INEVITABLE that Caroline Brown ended up in the apple-growing business. Some of her happiest childhood memories involve the fruit: “I remember being in the orchard fairly early, running through the trees, thinking it was the most magical place in the world,” she says. Tasmania’s Huon Valley, where she grew up, is renowned for its apples, and Caroline helped out in the family packing sheds. But she grew up, moved away and started working for the government in regional development. It was husband Chris who planted the seed of a return to the family trade. About eight years ago, he was asking his father-in-law’s advice about the few apple trees the couple had in their garden. The talk turned to cider, and the dream was born. It started small, in…

2 min

THE RECIPE FOR a perfect December day: take one historic tall ship, add a voyage down the Huon River in Tasmania, with views of rolling farmland backed by dramatic mountains, and mix in a picnic of fresh local produce and wine. The result is delightful every time. The tall ship is the Yukon, a 90-year-old ketch made from oak and salvaged from the bottom of a Danish harbour, then lovingly restored by owners David Nash and Ea Lassen. The picnic is courtesy of Matthew Evans, the food critic turned Gourmet Farmer of SBS TV show fame, from whose Fat Pig Farm much of the produce is sourced. And the name of this epicurean adventure? Fat Pig Afloat, of course. Dreamt up when Ea met Sadie Chrestman, Matthew’s partner, at a tourism event…