I started crushing over this blog just over a year ago today and ever since then, have been following Elizabeth's every creative move (not literally of course! I meant on Instagram).
Elizabeth and her daughter do life together. They make, create, laugh, imagine and share life's most precious moments together - something that I'm sure most mums will aspire to, and certainly something that I'm always striving to do better. Elizabeth, I am truly honoured to have met you through this ever growing world of blogging and am so glad that there are beautiful, creative and talented mums like you to keep the rest of us continually inspired.
Hello, I’m Elizabeth. Pleased to meet you! I live with my daughter Alice in Hahndorf, the oldest German settlement in Australia.
Situated in the beautiful Adelaide Hills (a 30-minute drive from the CBD), Hahndorf is a popular tourist destination known for its 19th Century architecture and village charm.
Alice and I moved here four years ago to start a new life. I was sure I'd miss the bright lights of the city (where I'd built a successful career as a journalist) but I never looked back.
I found new things to love - seasonal produce, golden light, ice cream shops and a sense of community non-existent in the suburbs. I also fell quickly for Hahndorf's raw beauty. That's what I want to show you today.
Lined by elm and plane trees, Hahndorf's main street is dotted with cosy cellar doors, restaurants, providores, cake shops, cafes and galleries.
Some of these are housed in beautiful `fachwerk' (half-timbered) structures built by the Lutheran migrants who settled here from Prussia in 1839.
These buildings had a dual residential and commercial function, with wheelwrights, blacksmiths, millers, shoemakers, masons, publicans and the like living - and working – on the main street.
Their legacy remains in the secret gardens and grand out-buildings hidden behind today’s shopfronts. These spaces have become Alice’s playground and my blank canvas.
I love to dress them up with flowers and use them as an outdoor studio. Occasionally this draws a few strange looks, but since camera-toting tourists make up most of Hahndorf’s foot-traffic, I generally blend right in!
My favourite space is The White House. It's also my lucky place. I met my great friend Esther Austin and her husband, Stu, here. They had set up a pop-up flower shop, Austin Bloom, out the front by the white picket fence and I stopped to say hi.
Esther (holding the white roses above) and I have since spent many hours laughing over half-lattes and playing with flowers in The White House's beautiful grounds (thanks for the hospitality, Sophie!)
We like to tie foliage to door knobs and drape figs from the foot of the old hay barn's loft. Sometimes Alice leaves sprigs of jasmine for her imaginary mice at their teeny front door.
The White House is a place of unexpected possibilities, fine food (you’ll want to lick your plate clean), music, film and great coffee. It's also rich in local history.
Built in 1858, the State Heritage-listed cottage was the birthplace and former family home of Walter Wotzke, the father of Hahndorf's cultural tourism. In the 1920s, Walter took lessons in watercolour in exchange for pails of cow's milk (Molly, Polly and Dolly's stalls are pictured below) and later opened an art gallery in the Hahndorf Academy.
In the 1960s, he successfully fought for six years to save the Academy from demolition and, with his wife Elva, financed its rejuvenation into a showpiece for the arts. The gallery helped to popularise Hahndorf and marked its beginnings as a tourist destination.
The White House epitomises everything I love about my home town. It's welcoming and warm, and it's crammed with rustic detail, original features and hidden secrets.
Perhaps that's why famed Australian landscape artist Sir Hans Heysen called Hahndorf home? Without trying, it just seems to nurture creativity.
If you have the chance to visit, by all means feast on the locally-made cheese, wursts and smallgoods, or the German teacakes and strudels, but don't forget to look for your own little piece of Hahndorf magic. I promise you will find it in the most unexpected places…