Good Prospects in Tasmania

This colonial property has had all its charm retained.

By Lee Atkinson 22/09/2019

One of Tasmania’s oldest and most elegant country house hotels, Prospect House, has reopened after a lavish $5 million restoration and renovation.



Built by convicts in 1830 for James Kestell Buscombe, one of the founders of the nearby town of Richmond, the Georgian manor was purchased by John and Libby Pooley, of Pooley Wines. Used as a private home for more than five years, Prospect House hadn’t undergone a significant renovation since the 1970s, and needed major remodelling.



The Pooleys have incorporated an eclectic mix of furnishings and antiques from their private collection in the 12 suites and communal spaces, providing each a distinctive character. For those seeking privacy, the two-bedroom Prospect Suite gives exclusive use of the entire second level of the house. The restaurant focuses on produce from the estate garden and nearby Coal River Valley. More than 20 wines are available by the glass, featuring Pooley back vintage (some more than 25 years old), as well as 20 Tasmanian whiskeys.



Even if you don’t drink, the 190-year-old cellar – where more than 18 convicts ate and slept during the building of Prospect House in 1830 – is worth a nosy. Less than half an hour’s drive from Hobart, the charming village of Richmond – home to Australia’s oldest surviving stone arch bridge and several National Trust-listed colonial houses – is an easy stroll or bike ride away, with the wineries of the Coal River Valley also nearby.



Activities include cycling, tennis, golf and bird watching, garden foraging and cooking classes with head chef Kurstin Berriman, as well as beekeeping experiences at the hotel’s apiary. Or see if you can solve the mystery of Elizabeth Buscombe’s missing jewels. Legend has it she hid them somewhere in the house before she died in 1860 but couldn’t remember where. They have never been found.



This excerpt comes from our 2019 Spring Edition – Best of the Best, to get your copy click here.

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