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
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…….
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.
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 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
Guests at The Old Hospital have been leaving some lovely Reviews, such as this recent one on TripAdvisor.
“Our group of 9 girls were delighted to have our own rooms, each with ensuite bathroom, and the beds were extremely comfortable. Showers and heating were also great. Sleeping areas are in a separate wing – so no chance of being disturbed by others. Lots of lovely spaces: including sun lounge, BBQ area, large deck, large sitting and dining area.
Extroadinarily well-equipped kitchen, with everything you could possibly need and lots of extras supplied, such as kitchen towel, cling wrap, sugar, tea etc. We even found a wide variety of cheese knives/cutters for our cheese platters.
The views of the rolling countryside from the lounge and dining room windows are very pleasant. The owners Michelle and Peter were very welcoming and pleasant. They were also very responsive and helpful whenever we had any questions or needed help.”
Thanks Anne and your book group friends.
Recently The Old Hospital hosted their first Corporate Group Retreat. Here’s what they had to say about us on TripAdvisor…
“Great space, perfect for our needs. We ran our not-for-profit leadership retreat at The Old Hospital over 3 days/2 nights with 18 attendees. From our first contact to leaving on the last day, Peter was incredibly accommodating, easy to work with, and quick to respond to our many questions and changes in our requirements.
The space itself was fantastic for our needs. Our 3 days were packed with activities, and having multiple spaces to use helped break up the day and allow for multiple sessions to run comfortably at the same time (the garden and deck particularly were wonderful for our meet and greets and to get us energised in the mornings).
We were so impressed with the catering who responded to all our dietary requirements (something which can be hard with a big group!), and when we cooked our own meals, the kitchen was well equipped, although some labels on cupboards would be a good addition!
The leftovers from the hospital like the call buttons were a nice touch, and it was fun to stay somewhere with a bit of character.
We had fantastic feedback on the property from our attendees, including on the location of Loch, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to similar groups.”
Our first corporate group were able to to utilise the many features The Old Hospital has to offer, such as the quiet garden setting for some meditation time, the break out spaces for one on one meetings and the large dining room where they enjoyed some excellent meals provided by our caterers.
The Old Hospital is pleased to have secured the services of our exclusive in house catering team, “Not Just Tarts”. They have many combined years of food industry experience and produce high quality, delicious cuisine at extremely reasonable prices. They are able to cater for dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
The conference room comfortably accommodated the group of 18 and our facilities were well utilised – our projector and screen, whiteboard and large pin board for showcasing ideas were beneficial for their group activities.
Our inviting ensuite bedrooms provided respite from the “work” areas. At the end of the day, the participants could take a little time out from work, unwind with a hot shower and relax on our inviting plush top mattresses and allergy free quilts, before joining the rest of the group on the deck for evening drinks before dinner.
The 2018 calendar is filling up rapidly, so please visit our online booking partner to make a booking.
We have had strong interest from the crafting community, who are enjoying all The Old Hospital (TOH) has to offer for their craft retreats.
When we first embarked on our renovation project, we anticipated the most interest from the cycling community. It wasn’t until a colleague mentioned that she was a quilter and loved heading off on a craft “retreat” for a few days, that we realised TOH was the ideal place for these groups to gather, relax and allow their creativity to run wild.
Our 8.5m x 6.5m activities room was calling out to us to welcome these groups. We asked the craft community what equipment they liked to have ready for their arrival. Even though a lot of crafters are mostly self sufficient, we wanted to offer a few gadgets to lighten their load when packing the car to head away. Comfortable chairs, lamps, ample light and lots of power outlets and power boards were top priority. We bought chairs with well padded backs and seats, as our crafters spend a lot of time sitting at their sewing machines. We even bought a couple of lumbar supports for those with a “niggle” here and there.
Our adjustable lamps have heavy bases for safety and daylight globes to make their projects a little brighter at anytime of the day (our last craft group were sewing away late at night). We had 11 sewing machines whirring away, lamps all ablaze, 2 irons pressing projects all at once and our commercial electrical switchboard was not fazed.
Having once, twice, three times been a busy commercial hub, TOH’s power supply rises to the challenge of coping with whatever we throw at it. Our onsite managers test& tag all the electrical appliances, giving our crafters peace of mind that all is safe when the demand for power is increased.
Our 4 big scrap bins soon filled with the unwanted remains of our crafters masterpieces. Our new, well lit cutting table & mat was placed looking into our glorious sunroom and across the surrounding hills of Loch.
Our crafters were pleased to abandon their creations temporarily and leave everything set up, so they could gather for a drink on the deck and share a meal in our dining area, which is connected to the kitchen by a big servery window. Even the designated cooks could join in the conversation. It was lovely to hear them happily chatting & laughing – clearly they were enjoying themselves! We know this because they have booked to return in November. We loved having the ladies, with their great sense of humour, stay at TOH and look forward to seeing them again. Thank you to Heather and friends….
We were thrilled to receive such warm and genuine responses from you all.
Peter and Michelle have enjoyed listening to the laughter and chatter as everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at The Old Hospital. It’s lovely also for them to chat to guests as they settle in and provide information on spots they wish to visit in the surrounding areas. Peter (“Mr Google Maps”) furnished one lady with directions to head to the Kongwak market via the scenic back road route.
Guests are sleeping soundly on our Plush Pillowtop Back Care mattresses. One lady with a few back “niggles” has taken away the manufacturers details and is considering one for her home! Our microfibre allergy free quilts have been personally road tested by the owners, who bought one for themselves along with the guests quilts. They easily passed the test of a chilly Gippsland winter – one of the coldest last year for many years.
Another guest spotted our 6 burner barbecue as soon as he saw our outdoor deck. He took charge as head chef to his group. Even on the second night when the others headed to a local pub for dinner, he chose to stay in with the remaining few and rose to the challenge of barbecue king again.
The guests have been utilising our substantial library and games area – and we are told the card games got quite competitive on the Meet Up groups first night in!
So again we say thank you for your continued support, as all groups intend to return to us – an endorsement that makes it all worthwhile.