On Friday afternoon, DH and I set off down the road toward the big smoke of Melbourne, but instead of crossing the bridge into the capital of our state of Victoria, home of world class art collections and cuisine, we dropped down into Williamstown.
You can easily see the skyscrapers of Melbourne just across the river and the bright lights shine so close, but Williamstown, with it’s maritime history is a delight. It has a “small town” feel despite being in the shadow of Melbourne’s CBD. They still have a green grocer and old fashioned butchers shop in the main street, just like when I was growing up.
With the river on one side and the sea on the other, Williamstown is very connected to the water and the walks take you past ship builders and docks…The Sea Shepherd was in port… gorgeous Victorian houses, botanical gardens and of course, the Esplanade along the sea.. They even have a Pirate’s Tavern located in the old ship yards and run by the Maritime Association.
We stayed at The Captain’s Retreat B&B and it was gorgeous! We had the suite and it was luxury from the most amazingly comfy bed to the spa bath, to our own verandah with a view of the estuary and a reading nook! We didn’t want to leave.
It also has a lovely deck where you can kick back and a living room with a fireplace and loads of books and magazines. Our room had gothic windows which were out of place in an 1880s weatherboard/clapboard house so I asked a friend who lived in Williamstown if she knew the history.
She kindly found out and sent me a note, which said, the Captain’s Retreat has a chequered history and you were right about its ecclesiastical past…”Built originally as a single 4 room cottage (1862) and then extensively extended in 1880 for a ship Captain and his family, the house at #2 Ferguson St. has also been a Nunnery, a Brothel, Accommodation flats and Administration offices”
I love that it was both a brothel and a Nunnery!
According to my friend, Williamstown was pretty rough and ready and murders were a-plenty during the 1800 and early 1900’s and ghosts abound. They run ghost tours so we’ll have to go back and do the tour because it sounds like a lot of fun.
I took DH clothes shopping as there was a store with a sale of clothes he liked (Lucky!) and then we enjoyed a beautiful dinner with a writing mate and her husband.
Breakfast at The Captain’s Retreat was delicious and with full bellies, we drove into Melbourne and took advantage of being able to see an ‘Art-House’ movie. We’re short of those where I live as the cinema tends to only show the blockbusters. We saw the French film, Rust and Bone which we really enjoyed and hey, I could understand some of the French. Not a lot, but some!
Here are some more photos of our room at The Captain’s Retreat. If you want a lovely, relaxing get away, I really recommend it!
It may have only been 26 hours away but if felt like two days. So much so, I have forgotten where I was up to in Runaway Groom! I better get back to Amy and Ben today, as deadline is looming close now…about two weeks. Yikes!