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Thursday 3 June 2021

Join the club: a whole new experience in the Southern Highlands

The heritage village of Berrima was recently named Top Tourism Town in New South Wales. 

Adding to the Southern Highland's hamlets attractions is Berrima Vault House - originally hand built by convicts in 1844 and now a recently opened five-star hospitality venue and private members club. 

Si Philby, Berrima Vault House's Founder and CEO, said: “When I first saw this building it was clear there was a special canvas to work with. The property has a series of spaces - including unseen rooms that have stood the test of time - with unbelievable history. 

"The original jail cells with their stone walls built by convicts are now private dining rooms, for example. We have curated a specific team with local expertise and world-class credentials, to bring the building back to life for the 21st century to continue to tell the story of the building but in a modern way.

“One of the silver linings to come out of the global pandemic is people have realised they don't need to live in the city or if they're living in the Highlands, commute as much – or at all - anymore. They're also a bit tired of working from home so are looking for somewhere they can hold business meetings, take business calls, have great wifi with high-level data security, print, scan, whatever they need to work…but they also want to relax and socialise.”

Berrima Vault House includes a number of public and private areas, including Taylor's Inn Cafe, 'The Dining Room' restaurant, The Snuggery, The Fireplace Lounge, private dining jail cells known as King George's Cell and Queen Victoria's Cell, The Village Shop, Hank & Molly's Bar, The Vinery, and The Rose Garden, giving guests plenty of places to retreat and relax. 

Guests will also discover a three-bedroom boutique accommodation offering, known as 'The Courthope Residence', where a stay includes complimentary access to all membership facilities. A concierge is also on hand to offer anything guests might need – but without the old-fashioned formality and stuffiness members clubs are all too often known for.

“Berrima Vault House is a place which doesn't quite feel like anywhere else," said advisor Dan Flower. "It's a place to call home, and that's how we want guests and members to treat the House – we won't tell you to take your feet off the couch – not literally of course."

Executive chef Tommy Prosser is leading the gastropub-style Taylor's Inn CafĂ© and The Dining Room, where local produce and ingredients are showcased. 

Pairing with the food is a substantial wine list by local sommelier Linda Lambrechts. 

Southern Highlands wineries such as Artemis, Bendooley Estate and Cherry Tree Hill feature on the list, along with organic and biodynamic wines. 

Memberships at Berrima Vault House start from $2,400. Applications are open now, with enquiries to be sent to concierge@berrimavaulthouse. 

Stays at Berrima Vault House's 'The Courthope Residence', start from $1,200 midweek and $1,600 on weekends (minimum two-night stay).


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