Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

South Grafton Surprise; Popular B&B Earns A-Grade Reviews

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

South Grafton Surprise; Popular B&B Earns A-Grade Reviews

Article excerpt

Byline: Lesley Apps

FOR your average Clarence Valley dweller, South Grafton isn't exactly the first destination that springs to mind when you think holiday accommodation in this area - but what would we know?

There's a quaint little place, with quite an extraordinary history, tucked up a narrow laneway on the edge of suburbia, its backyard giving the impression you are visiting a remote farm rather than Archer St, South Grafton.

And a lot of different people have laid their weary heads there, some from other side of the world, all enjoying the warm hospitality of hosts Anne and David Barton.

The 'retired' Sydney couple made the move to South Grafton in 2009 after Anne fell in love with the house online. "I used to look at it every night after work," she confessed.

The house that wooed the English-born medical secretary was no ordinary one. It began its life on top of the hill at Bent St, the former Uniting Church rectory built in 1929. It was sold and moved down to Archer St in 2004 by the previous owner when the church land was sold off for redevelopment.

The mock tudor-style building retains its arts and craft feel, exposed dark timber beams, bay windows and wall panelling as well as an exquisite parquetry floor in the couple's lounge room, "originally laid by Scotts timber merchants who also did old parliament house," David said. "This room also has the original arch prayer window," he said pointing to a small internal green glass feature.

Anne said she had no intention of turning their home into a bed and breakfast but the place just "lent itself to something like that".

"It was an idea I was thinking about for quite a while and it wouldn't leave me so I told this to David and we opened Andavine B&B in June 2014.

The couple said the house's layout meant the back half could be closed off with one door so guests could enjoy their private lounge room and the rural outlook from the back deck. …

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