Loch Village Open Garden and Remembrance Day

Poppies Loch Village

The recent rain means that the Loch Village gardens will look their best this Sunday November 11th, for the Loch Village Open Garden display. After the weeds have been removed, the selected gardens will open their gates for visitors to admire.

There will be several different types of gardens on display around Loch from 12pm – 4pm. Simply purchase a map from Carrington’s Antiques, Victoria St Gallery or Caroline Askew Art Gallery on the day and follow the “crumbs” to your chosen garden trail. The cost of the map is $5 which includes entry to all of the gardens that will be opening.

This year we have tied the theme in with Remembrance Day.

Loch will host a short memorial service to remember fallen soldiers at around 10.45am at the Cenotaph, outside the old post office on the corner of Smith St & Victoria Rd. Loch Primary School children will be planting knitted poppies – one for each soldier from the Loch and surrounding area, who sacrificed their lives for us to live in peace. 

Extra poppies will be available for purchase to either plant or keep as a memento.

At midday, selected garden gates will be thrown open for visitors to admire beyond. A couple of gardens will require a car to reach them, but are well worth the extra effort.

The ladies of the Loch Garden Club have spent many months creating hand made poppies, which have been made into brooches – now on sale around the Village.

Several of the ladies had never picked up a crochet hook, so many winter evenings were spent together at The Old Hospital, wine in hand, teaching and learning new poppy creation skills. 

Another night was spent here sewing all the pins onto the 195 poppies we made into brooches and sewing stems onto the beautiful knitted poppies to be planted. The garden club gents made sure the ladies were well fed while they sewed. It was mammoth effort by our little fledgeling club and thank you to everyone for their efforts.

Last Thursday the poppies were placed for sale on mannequins in town – “Poppy” stands in Victoria Street Gallery and in Carrington’s Antiques. We were thrilled to see our creations displayed so beautifully.

Please help to us support fallen soldiers families and drop into these shops to purchase a poppy for $2 when visiting Loch this week. We would love to see visitors enjoying Loch’s gardens on Sunday.

The entire proceeds from the purchase of handmade poppies and garden maps are being donated to Legacy.

For more information visit www.lochvillage.com

The blossoms are out, and so are the motorbikes.


Last weekend, in between showers of rain, saw “The Blessing Of The Bikes” on Phillip Island.

The bikes were out, despite the soggy conditions earlier in the day, to converge on the main street of Cowes. The sight was like a bike show in itself – all makes and models to be seen and admired.

It was the pre-pilgrimage to Phillip Island in the lead up to the big day this Sunday – The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

This weekend we hope the weather will be kind and create safe roads to “The Island”, as it is affectionately known.

Early on Saturday morning on GP weekend, around 5,000 motorbikes line up along several blocks of the closed off South Gippsland Highway. Riders wait, drink coffee, chat and generally admire each others bikes. Even if you are not a motorbike enthusiast, you cannot help but be mesmerised by the sight of these shiny beasts lined up, all waiting for the one word – “Go”.

A few minutes before 9am the call comes from the motorbike god (the person on the loudspeaker standing up high in the cherry picker) – “Start your engines”. The sound of 5,000 motorbikes all starting up at once is exhilarating for those standing by watching, as well as the riders and pillion passengers. Having been a pillion on the back several times for this event, it is even more exciting. 

At 9am they are off and revving. The cars have no hope of travelling that stretch of road from Cranbourne to Cowes for the next 45 minutes, so they usually just pull over, watch and wave to us kings and queens of the road for that moment in time.

We prefer to ride towards the back of the pack for safety sake (less bikes squashed in) and to enjoy the view up the front – a sea of helmets and every shape and size of motorbike possible. I look out for the few side cars that dare to risk their life travelling inside those ancient contraptions!

All along the road there are mums, dads, kids and grandparents waving as we pass, our checked flag flying proudly behind us.

You do not have to be a tattooed, leather clad Mad Max type to ride a motorbike.

You just have to be someone who loves the wind in their hair (well, helmet), wants to enjoy the smells and the sights of the world from a 2 wheeled perspective and feel you are closer and more connected to nature and the earth.

So we look forward to hearing, then seeing the hundreds of motorbikes that will pass through Loch and we wish them all a picturesque and safe ride to the Grand Prix this weekend.

We wish we could join you this year…….



And the bad news is….

We have just bid farewell to yet another wonderful group who we have had the pleasure of hosting for 2 nights.
The group organiser visited us on another sewing retreat earlier this year with a different craft group she sews with.
This time, she bought back a lovely group of sewing ladies from her retirement village.
Soon after arriving they were toiling away at their sewing machines, creating quilts, bags, heat protectors and lots of other wares to sell at their annual retirement village craft market.
We were their first customer, purchasing one of the fantastic microwave bowl protectors – having been sick of burning ourselves when we reheat our food. We have an advantage as on site hosts to peruse their wonderful creations. Peter and I love being invited down to the craft room for “show and tell” – an enjoyable time for a quick chat and to get first pick of their goodies for sale!
There are quite a few laughs to be had as we chat about the history of The Old Hospital as well as their social and craft groups that they belong to.
Most of the sewers head to nearby fabric shops for a bit of retail therapy. It seems that they all know about the local quilting and sewing shops before they arrive.
Some of the groups are interested in the possibility of a “pop up” fabric shop in-house, so they can maximise their sewing time and this is something that we are looking into as a possibility for 2019 at The Old Hospital.
We look forward to attending their village craft market – we are sure it will be spectacular if the items here are a glimpse of what will be on offer.
As usual, we were sad to see the group leave, but…..
The good news is that have decided to return to us next year. They decided that 2 nights was not enough, so have booked a 3rd night to maximise their creativity.

Springing into action in Loch Village.



It’s a beautiful spring morning in our pretty little village of Loch in South Gippsland. As the morning sun reflects off the dew from the previous chilly night on our deck at The Old Hospital, you can hear the kookaburras and magpies stir to life.

Our visiting guests from the weekend – a group of lovely craft ladies that had returned to us – were very creative and produced some beautiful fabric purses and felting work amongst other things. One lady was enjoying her very first craft weekend away with a group and said she had thoroughly enjoyed herself and The Old Hospital “had absolutely everything she needed for her weekend”.

Now that they have left for their respective homes it is down to business – cleaning, vacuuming, stripping and making beds.

As well as our work at The Old Hospital, there is also the community work to get involved in. Sunday morning witnessed a group of dedicated volunteers assemble on the outskirts of Loch to clean out and prepare ground for a tree plating to beautify one of the entrances into our village.

To the sound of tractors and chainsaws, gnarly willows were cleared and pretty soon some fresh plantings will appear. We are very fortunate to have an active and dedicated community.

The village also has recently formed a Social Gardener’s Group. While the focus is primarily  social, they organised a Trivia Night to raise funds to plant a new garden at the Loch Community Hall. The group had enormous support from the local community and the garden is now growing. Their next event is the Loch Village Open Garden Day on November 11th, which will tie in with Remembrance Day, and the gardens will open after a short ceremony at the Cenotaph at 11am. The group have crocheted, knitted and sewn poppies to decorate the village and to sell in the lead up to the day, with proceeds going to Legacy. Around eight gardens will be on display and maps will be available to purchase for $5, which will cover entry to all gardens. There will also be some small plants for sale and maybe even a homemade cake or two.

Dig under the surface of our village and you will also find the very active Loch Country Women’s Association, about to host it’s Peruvian day for the Australian CWA’s 90th birthday, with food, crafts and even a guest speaker showcasing a recent motorcycle journey through Peru.

Funds go to helping local families and farmers who are doing it a little tougher than the rest of us.

The Masonic Lodge are another active community group, with a long history in the town. They are a great support base for men who need to share their stories.

The Lion’s club run the Loch Community Market and barbecue delicious sausages and hamburgers on the 2nd Sunday of the month.

These are just a few groups that come to mind, that make up a wonderful community of people who are always there to support each other in times of need, or to just share a laugh and a chat with.


The technology bridge from Hoi An to The Old Hospital Loch.

The technology bridge from Hoi An to The Old Hospital Loch.


Without  a doubt the two human beings who influence my life the most today are Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Jobs.

I have them to thank for the fact I can even contemplate writing a post for our website while holidaying in Vietnam, let alone being able to check bookings, reply to enquiries, mark off payments and send invoices.

It may start to sound like not much of a holiday but all of this only takes an hour of the day and at 36 degrees with high humidity here in Hoi An, Vietnam, retiring to the air-conditioned room for a short break during the heat of the day is quite okay.

Things are as easy here as hooking into WiFi wherever we go – airports, our hotel, cafes, bars and even the most basic of street food restaurants and mini marts. Asia is so tech savvy, although connectivity can sometimes require the patience of a Buddhist monk.

Over the many years of our travels through Southeast Asia, we have stayed in some pretty remote areas. Most houses in these villages are very basic little huts, where three or four generations eat, sleep and socialise together in the same room. But there on the roof is a massive satellite dish, inside is a big flat screen TV, the whole family are on the internet (even grandma), and everybody has a mobile phone. 

Almost 10 years ago we spent a couple of nights out in the middle of Halong Bay on a “junk” boat with two teenage daughters. Our eldest was happily texting her boyfriend from way out yonder on the water – thank goodness she had connection or we may have had to live with the consequences if she could not reach him.

Another time we were on a catamaran in rough seas on the Lombok Straight and as the waves washed over the bow and inside the boat, the said daughter was texting the said boyfriend again, telling him she was drowning – to be fair to her she probably panicked a bit when they played the theme from Titanic over the loudspeaker!

We have been lucky enough to escape the winter for a couple of weeks and leave the running of The Old Hospital with good friends. It has been an interesting mix of emotions leaving the guest house in the hands of someone else – (a bit like handing your baby to a babysitter for the first time), with the added thought they may just do a better job than us!

As we arrived at the airport (and checked our e-mails, Instagram, Facebook pages and What’s App’d the kids), we put our concerns behind us and were suddenly excited to be going on holidays. We knew that in the unlikely event our trusty relieving managers encountered a problem, we were only a mobile call, text, email or What’s App or Skype message away!

Thanks be to Tim and Steve.


Melba Opera hits Loch Village

By / 14th August, 2018 / Uncategorized / No Comments

Melba Opera Trust


Preparations are well underway for an evening with Melba Opera Trust next weekend in Loch. Saturday 18th at the Loch town hall is building to be a gala evening. The village is frocking up for the black tie evening and with supper provided and drinks at bar prices no one will go wanting.

Dame Nellie Melba GBE (1861 – 1931) was Australia’s first world famous opera singer and one of the greatest celebrities of her day. Born in Richmond, Melbourne she moved to Paris and went on to enjoy an enormously successful career as a prima donna in Australia, England, Europe and the United States during the 20th century.

When she died, Melba bequeathed a generous amount of money dedicated to the development of young opera singers “so that another Melba may arise”. This unique and direct legacy from Melba is strengthened by the continued patronage of her late granddaughter Pamela, Lady Vestey which continues today through Melba’s great-great granddaughter, The Hon. Saffron Foster.

Melba’s gift established the Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship, which still exists today with Melba Opera Trust.

Tickets are still available at  trybooking.com/399746 so if you feel like a fun, formal evening out, we’ll see you at the opera.

Loch village hall

Picture postcard views await at The Old Hospital Loch.

Loch, South Gippsland

A drive through the pretty hills around Loch Village in South Gippsland is rewarding not only for its picture postcard views but also the many gourmet delights on offer.

Guests staying at The Old Hospital have a plethora of options supplied by their hosts Peter and Michelle Campbell. 

One option may take in the back road from Loch to Poowong and onto a single lane bitumen road winding its way through the Bass Valley where a wallaby or two can be seen. Onwards through the hills towards Jumbunna, dropping in to Prom Country Cheese for a morning tea platter. On a Sunday you can catch the Kongwak market and its quirky retro goods, food and fine coffee. From there a quiet country road leads on through the hills to the Kernot Store for a late lunch of delicious wood fired pizza. A short drive back towards Loch, popping in to the Gippsland Wine Company and Loch Brewery & Distillery for refreshments.

At the end of the day guests can relax, enjoying the comfortable facilities with friends while self catering or choosing to indulge with a fully catered package.

And this is just one day at The Old Hospital Loch!

The hills are alive…



But there is no sound of music. Just the peace and tranquility of NOTHING AT ALL – only the occasional sound of kookaburras and other birds, happy as we are to be living in South Gippsland.

Eighteen months ago, we decided it was time for a tree change. We had sold a business in the city, travelled far and wide, and generally took time out to smell the roses. All we could smell was gum trees.

The opportunity arose to create a life for ourselves in the country. So we took the bull by the horns, bought an old hospital, moved to Loch Village and the rest is history.

When all things “renovating” (i.e converting the building and dealing with all the permits required), overwhelmed and consumed us, we would take the afternoon off and head off to explore the surrounding hills. As we came upon a beautiful spot somewhere in the South Gippsland back roads, we would turn off the car’s engine and just sit and listen – to nothing, or maybe the distant moo of the odd cow. We were happy to get lost driving those endless remote roads of peace and tranquility. We reminded ourselves that this is why we made our tree change.

Even in our little village, the few cars, motorbikes, tractors, and cattle trucks that we do get passing through from time to time, all disappear upon dusk. Most times in Loch village “peak hour” means not one car to be seen in the main street – and that is what we love about the place!  Nothing at all.

Sure, we head off to the city to visit friends and family, go to appointments and do the necessary shopping run, but when we turn off onto the South Gippsland Highway and look towards Nyora across the paddocks with dams and beautiful forests of gum trees, we breathe a sigh of relief – we relax and we are almost home. 

Home to nothing at all.


The hills are alive

7 reasons to visit Loch…

SMH article on Loch

The first 6 reasons were recently published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 7th reason is that there is great accommodation for groups of up to 18 at The Old Hospital in Loch.

We have had a stellar start up to our first year of guests choosing to stay with us. We have now taken bookings up until May 2019 – mostly from guests who rebook before they leave us. Our very first booking was taken way back in September 2017, when several of the group members came to visit us. We were in full throes of renovation, so the place was not looking it’s best. The group of wonderful ladies could share our vision and enthusiasm and finally came to stay with us a few weeks ago. They were delighted with the end results – thank you Rhonda and friends for your support.

In the summer months the entire building is cooled by fans and air conditioners. In the depths of winter our accommodation is warm and cosy, heated by a wonderfull hydronic system and backed up by reverse cycle split systems. 

Some guests have chosen to self cater, but many have taken up the option of our catering service provided by Not Just Tarts. The food is gourmet standard and the choices are endless. The cost of our catering compares with less than the cost of a pub meal and is extremely good value. They are happy to offer full catering, where guests are waited on and don’t have to worry about the clean up. Alternatively, they now offer a “Heat & Serve” option, where food is freshly prepared on our premises prior to guests arrival and is left in the fridge with full instructions for guests to reheat when they are hungry.

Our guests wander down to the cafes and shops in the town several times during their stay with us. This benefits our local traders and encourages others to visit and stay awhile.

The Old Hospital offers free wifi throughout our large building, which guests have the exclusive use of.

For an extensive Heat & Serve PDF menu, visit our website


Footy Widows/Widowers Gourmet Getaway Weekend

By / 2nd June, 2018 / Uncategorized / No Comments


Is this how you want to be remembered?


Do you want to escape all the hype of the Grand Final weekend?

Are you going to be deserted by your partner?

Would you prefer peace and tranquility?

The Old Hospital together with Not Just Tarts, is offering a special “Footy Avoidance” weekend for those wanting to escape it all on the AFL Grand Final Weekend.

We are offering a Gourmet Getaway Package, so you can escape, relax and ponder your non-footy thoughts with a few fellow escapees and a glass of wine.

You will enjoy two nights of warm and comfortable en suite accommodation at The Old Hospital, which your group will have exclusive use of. Our fabulous catering team at Not Just Tarts will supply an extensive menu for your groups selection. Your gourmet choices will consist of 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners, with complimentary desserts and sides. These will be freshly prepared for you just prior to your arrival and ready with full “Heat and Serve” instructions.

We are pleased to offer this great value all inclusive price of $249 per person (twin share).

If you wish to have a room to yourself, please add an extra $44 per person.

This offer is only available to one group of 6 to 18 adults (18 years and over) for the 28th to 30th September 2018.

Contact us on 9597 0137 to book your “Footy Avoidance” weekend.

P.S We do have a TV if you want to check the footy scores!