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We’re heading to lands faraway this week and to a lavish and luxe hotel in Hobart, the compact capital of Tasmania, an island famed for its coastal expanses, fertile orchards, ancient range of volcanic peaks and a certain fast-moving devil…

Style Sumptuous blend of old and new
Setting Tranquil ridge-top gardens

Why this week? Until the end of April, Smith members staying Friday and Saturday can stay on Sunday night for free, with the hotel’s three-for-two special offer. Act fast, and you’ll skip the Roaring Forty winds which lash Tasmania’s west coast between June and August. Oz-based Smiths are even in with a chance of winning a trip to Tassie, with our competition.

Our favourite bits There’s a lot we love about this Hobart hideaway, namely: the classic English garden setting (augmented by exotic Australian birds), the postcard-perfect view of Mount Wellington, the Tasmanian wines picked to match each tasting plate, the stunning show kitchen where the chef creates a beautifully balanced menu of impossibly fresh oysters, delicious ocean trout and succulent lamb, the conservatory and its cocktails, the Angel beds that are custom-made locally…

Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Driving through one of Hobart’s dress-circle suburbs, we admire gracious old houses, beautiful gardens and river views. As soon as our tyres crunch on the gravel of the Islington Hotel driveway, Lisa and Thomas rush out to welcome us. Their friendly, confident approach sets the mood. We’re in safe hands.

Originally built in 1847, the architecture is resplendent in Regency notes. A double-height, glass-and-steel conservatory comprises a new extension, where we find a fireplace-flaunting bar, open kitchen and the offer of informal dining, and rooms up for grabs. Beyond the buildings, the hotel is lovingly couched in an acre of gardens designed by Andrew Pfeiffer, a landscaper celebrated in London, Istanbul and Buenos Aires for his green-fingered Midas touch.

From foliage to soft furnishings, we give the decor in the public areas a thorough once-over. It exemplifies the popular anything-goes aesthetic of mixing old and new, antique and à la mode, Asian and Euro – held together elegantly in this instance by the owners’ art collection. Contemporary local artists hang alongside Brett Whiteley and walls are festooned with travel memorabilia and artefacts reflecting both familial and local history…’

Read the full anonymous review of The Islington Hotel

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