Sutton Forest 7595 Illawarra Highway Highway
Beyond the parkland grounds and stables, enter a stately circular driveway designed for visiting carriages, and alight beneath a magnificent Norway Spruce: welcome to 'Rotherwood Estate'. Despite all the hallmarks of the late Victorian grand residence that it is, entering the home is to be wrapped in a warm and welcoming family space surrounded by exquisite garden views. From the library to the formal dining room, from the great hall to the movie theatre; each detail speaks of welcome and elegance, and each space functions perfectly for modern living.
The prolonged and meticulous renovation and extension of the property under the eye of renowned heritage architect Howard Tanner denotes a reverence for 'Rotherwood's' romantic beginnings and its place in the history books of New South Wales. Built c1892 for his adored wife, Violet to escape the Sydney summer heat, newspaper proprietor Christopher Bennet created an expansive country manor house and garden that became a landmark Southern Highlands' retreat.
'Rotherwood's' intriguing history is matched by world class facilities: in addition to the large home, a magnificently restored 'gatehouse' residence is nestled beyond ornamental lakes and rolling lawns. Stroll past rows of vines and find a beautiful cellar door building; the productive vineyard has a tasting room within charming vine-covered stables. Have a hit on the grass tennis court. This forty-hectare property wants for nothing.
The craftsmanship and architectural detail in the main house are a pleasure to behold. It contains seven large bedrooms and many large reception rooms and notable heritage features. Other features of note:
A spectacular bespoke circular kitchen, crafted from curved and inlaid timber and designed by Howard Tanner which flows to open plan living and diningAn upper level three-bedroom apartment with kitchenette and two bathrooms, perfect for children, teens or guests.A large below-house two-room cellarA bespoke movie theatre
Secondary Accommodation & Buildings:
The restored Tudor-revival style gatehouse lodge stands in its own cottage gardens. It features half-timbered walls, a gabled slate roof and casement leadlight windows. No expense has been spared to restore it into a spacious, gracious two-bedroom home.
The Billiards Room:
This large, freestanding complex has been rebuilt from the ground up with a soaring decorative Huon pine feature ceiling. Bedecked in Henderson tartan, it invites you to light the fire, settle in and enjoy true Highlands' hospitality.
The Cellar Door:
A large, modern two-roomed building, the cellar door has been designed as an entertaining and living space in one. It can function as a spectacular one-bedroom house, or an entertaining venue and tasting space for small or large groups. It houses a full kitchen and large laundry and bathroom and has been designed for open plan living and to capture the light.
A large stables complex has been restored and includes the original stallion's box. At the rear of the building, sits a warm, delightfully decorated 'tasting room'. With the fire blazing, the wine flowing, and the dining table set, guests tend to settle in for the night.
'Rotherwood' is home to one of Australia's most stately gardens. Covering eight of its forty hectares, the gardens have been designed in two distinct parts, with more recent input from landscape architects Michael Bligh and Jonathon Purvis. The inner gardens consist of the rolling lawns and garden beds that surround the house and include the delightful walled vegetable garden, the large glass house and the restored, shingled 'Wendy house' for children. Pleasing symmetry is paired with romance and colour through the incorporation of a curved wisteria walk, rose gardens and stunning herbaceous borders and paths. Beautiful sculptures enhance the experience.
The outer gardens consist of open parklands with beautifully spaced, mature specimen trees dotted around ornamental lakes. Ample seating throughout the grounds allows for an ever-evolving array of views. Maple, ash, birch, oak, gingko, nyssa and elm provide a palate of vivid autumn colour. So magnificent are the gardens, that when they were last opened on behalf of the National Trust, 2000 visitors passed through the gates over the space of one weekend.
Vineyards and Infrastructure:
Planted in 2007 and run on organic principles, the four-hectare vineyard includes cool-climate varieties such Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It has produced stunning, award-winning wines. With access to five dams, water tanks and town water, the water supply is certainly secure. The property contains a new 4-bay machinery shed, plus a barn with a two-bay shed.
A private retreat with space for several generations, friends and visitors, 'Rotherwood Estate' comes with the addition of an established, income-producing wine business. Although just 1.5 hours from Sydney and a ten-minute drive from world class restaurants and facilities, this is rural seclusion and elegance at its finest.