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.
Well here we are in 2018 – it’s going to be an exciting year for us, as our groups have booked with us to take advantage of the best of the summer weather.
We have had strong interest from the crafting community, as we have a large, well lit dedicated craft room, complete with lamps, plenty of extension cords and power points, 2 cutting tables, a cutting mat & steel ruler. We also have a large pinboard where our crafters love to display their works of art. The room also houses large scrap bins, irons with filtered water supplied, (so the quilts are never ruined by those ugly brown water stains from the irons), ironing boards, a small fridge in our tea & coffee nook and all provisions for drinks throughout the days activities. We have fan cooling, but we have just installed a large reverse cycle air conditioner, as well as central heating. This keeps our groups comfortable without blowing their assorted papers and fabrics all over the room!
March has only the Easter weekend available and after this morning’s enquiry from a cycling group, April is filling fast.
The cooler months continue to book up, as we have reverse cycle air conditioners in all rooms and hydronic heating in all rooms, ensuites, corridors and common areas, making The Old Hospital an ideal cosy winter retreat.
Our north facing sunroom is always about 5 degrees warmer, as it soaks up the winter sun’s rays through our large glass windows. These are shaded by outdoor awnings and blinds on warmer days. It’s a perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and read a book, or chat with friends.
We have a quiet reflection area at the end of the corridor where guests can relax, do some hand sewing or embroidery, read, or take a call on their mobile in privacy.
Our large lounge area welcomes guests to sit and enjoy the views of the surrounding hills.
We hope to see your group at The Old Hospital in 2018.
We have just had our official opening, welcoming local business owners and neighbours to come and have a look through the building and gardens we have painstakingly transformed in the past year. They have all been so supportive of us. Our beautiful north facing deck was completed just in time for the grand opening.
It has been a 10 month process of clearing out the old concrete ramping and wildly overgrown garden and pond, as well as applying for our three permits that finally allowed us to begin the construction of our beautiful new area.
Our carpenter was ready to begin the moment the permits were issued. He, his apprentice and Peter all contributed to the inaugural “throwing of the sledgehammer” to break up 3 square metres of concrete. It was back breaking work – needless to say the younger tradies recovered quicker than Peter did!
The broken concrete was barrowed into several trailer loads, then into landfill and the framework construction began the next day. It was exciting to see our vision for this area finally come to life, after 12 months of staring at overgrown mess.
Once the foundation framework was finished and the building inspector satisfied, the posts went up and the boards were bolted down. Our new deck began to look amazing already.
The carpenter named it the “Loch Deck Monster”, as it had now tripled in size.
The tension wire railing was attached and finally the safety hand rail was in place. A few weeks later the boards were acid washed and then oiled – it was like putting the icing on the cake.
We couldn’t wait to begin the landscaping, so off we went to the nursery and returned with a tree or six. The garden beds were laid out, the trees planted, mulched and watered in. We added a few shrubs that Michelle had propagated last April and it all looked fantastic! We will wait until the weather cools a bit before we complete the planting of the garden beds. We also bought a couple of large concrete planter boxes for our new mandarin and lime trees, which now have pride of place at the far end behind the decking area. Then in went some solar path lights to safely guide down from the decking to the back yard at night.
Next to come were some timber tables and seats to complement our lovely new timber boards. Add in a few umbrellas that can be tilted to shade as the sun moves across the yard.
Our views from our new deck are just beautiful – the undulating hills of South Gippsland, the cows & surrounding farms and our emerging gardens and vegie patches.
To complement our lovely new area, we have installed a large 6 burner barbeque that is sheltered from the weather, so it can be used all year round. Our gas patio heater will keep the cook warm when the nights become a little chillier.
We are thrilled with the transformation of what was once an overgrown, ugly area into our beautiful new outdoor area that will be much used.
The Old Hospital, Loch, situated in South Gippsland, is an ideal group accommodation getaway for 6 – 18 adults.