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Berrima Vault House Opens Its Doors – A historic 1844 inn reanimated for 2021 and beyond

June 3, 2021 Meeting Venues No Comments
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Originally hand built by convicts in 1844, Berrima Vault House is a contemporary, historic 5-star hospitality venue and private members club in the heart of the Southern Highlands, NSW who opened their doors on 22 May.A creative space for locals, visitors, and members to work, rest, play and stay, Berrima Vault House aims to deliver a new Australian-first hospitality concept, and create a community of like-minded people who appreciate progressive hospitality, regardless of age, gender or geography. It is through the vision of a team of local and global experts – including former Global Creative Director of Soho House, Dan Flower, a bespoke art program by internationally acclaimed curator Ali Hillman, who was responsible for Microsoft founder, Paul Allen’s, art collection in his private members clubs in London and Los Angeles, and Stuart Holt, the founder of Royal award-winning UK architecture and design company Javelin Block, who specialises in rejuvenating old buildings – that Berrima’s historic inn has been restored.

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.”

Berrima Vault House also 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. 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,” said global advisor, Dan Flower.

“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 Wi-Fi with high-level data security, print, scan, whatever they need to work…but they also want to relax and socialise. “ Si Philby continued

Responsible for the interiors at Berrima Vault House is Interior Designer Carlie Philby, whose design inspiration stems from the Georgian era in which the building was constructed. With countryside chic interiors featuring bold colours, ornate light fixtures, and stone and ironwork in the House, each room has been designed to feel unique and special, reflecting its place in history. Local Southern Highlands artisans are also championed, from distinctive furniture from Dirty Jane’s in Bowral and Top Hats and Pussycats in Moss Vale, to tiles sourced from Don Ceramics Bowral, along with a number of internationally sourced bespoke pieces.

Carlie said of the design: “Our vision was to create spaces that are beautiful, but also comfortable, and where our guests and members can while away the hours. My hope is that visitors will be transported to another time and place through our interiors, allowing them to revel in old-world charm, while enjoying all the modern comforts offered here at Berrima Vault House.”

Adding to the interiors is a carefully selected collection of art by in-house and world class art curator, Ali Hillman, who is highly regarded on the art scene for her curations across the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. Upcoming exhibitions at the House include the Christian Thompson AO “Future Ancestry” collection and Tim Maguire, which form part of Ali’s program of local and global artists and a series of exhibitions for members. Ali is also one half of an art and music power couple, with husband and music curator Dan Lywood creating the audio identity of the private and public spaces with his team at Playlister. Having created tailored music collections for the likes of Chateau Marmont and Chiltern Firehouse, Dan’s selection of music for the House will add to the unique atmosphere.

Executive Chef Tommy Prosser is leading the gastropub-style Taylor’s Inn Café and The Dining Room, where local produce and ingredients are showcased, including sourdough from Moonacres Bakery, Kangaroo Valley eggs, and Pialligo Estate bacon. Serving traditional English fare with an Australian twist in a nod to the House’s origins, dishes include old school Sunday Roast, sustainably caught ocean to plate Fish & Chips, Classic Ploughman’s featuring local ham and aged English cheddar, an English afternoon tea complete with Eccles and Jaffa Cakes, a Vault House Burger, Garden Pea Risotto and Eton Mess.

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 including Krinklewood, Domaine Naturalis, and Pooley State. For members and private diners, a ‘vault’ featuring rare bottles of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Piedmont and Champagnes will be available. The world class cocktail has been created in partnership with Pernod Ricard and Diageo.

As a drawcard destination to the Southern Highlands for local, interstate and, later on, international visitors, the Berrima Vault House experience is unlike any other. Positioned to feel like you belong, Berrima Vault House offers an escape to the country that is the perfect antidote to city life and the pressures of the new decade. Whether guests are looking for a place to work, rest, stay or play, Berrima Vault House is set to become a much sought-after destination, and a home away from home.

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

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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