28 April, 2021

A Bridgerton-inspired escape to Tasmania

After bingeing the Netflix hit, re-live the Regency era with experiences Lady Whistledown would approve.

Wish you could step into gorgeous period drama Bridgerton? Good news: Tasmania offers flights of fancy to the series’ setting of England in 1813. The British started settling on the island 10 years earlier, bringing with them the elegant, well-proportioned Georgian architecture that’s endured here like nowhere else in Australia.

It’s the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway with your real-life Daphne or Duke of Hastings, complete with horse-drawn carriage ride and high tea.

Prospect House Courtyard & Fireplace. Photo: Prospect House.

Idyllic accommodation

At Prospect House it’s easy to imagine you’re dropping into your country estate. The warm welcome at this lovingly restored 1830s Georgian manor’s grand front door, and complimentary afternoon treats including bubbles, will soon put you at ease. Relax in the graceful sitting room, or under the formal front garden’s spreading oak on a seat for two.

In a cosy dining room complete with wood fire, savour a delicious dinner inspired by seasonal local produce. The wine list includes drops from the Pooley vineyard across the road, where guests enjoy free tastings. There are 10 comfortable contemporary courtyard rooms, but for Bridgerton bliss book the heritage Prospect Suite within the house.

If you can drag yourself away, stroll or ride a complimentary bike into Richmond, a pretty village renowned for Georgian architecture including Australia’s oldest bridge.

Prospect House Suite. Photo: Prospect House.

Exquisite interior art and design

Tucked inside Hobart’s State Library of Tasmania is one of Australia’s hidden cultural gems. The Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts is home to a large and valuable collection of antique furniture, ceramics, silverware, glass, paintings and other objects from genteel homes of the past. Amazingly, entry is free.

The collection was donated by a descendent of the Allport family, who settled in Tasmania in 1831. It covers the late 17th through 19th century, and is particularly rich with Georgian treasures that will transport you on the set of Bridgerton. The museum includes seven recreated rooms, each dedicated to a style or purpose: there’s a music room, dominated by an 1825 harp, and a sitting room that reflects the Regency craze for Chinese design, including porcelain vases.

Heritage Horse Drawn Carriages. Photo: Tanya Challice Photography.

A journey back in time

Explore Hobart’s historic heart in period-appropriate style with Heritage Horse Drawn Carriages. You’ll feel like the Duke or Duchess of Hastings gliding around in a shiny black landau with red upholstery, drawn by two striking horses. Recently built with the elegance of the past and contemporary safety and comforts, this carriage attract lots of attention – so feel free to do your best royal wave!

Dressed in smart vintage black, your coachman will point out buildings of historic and architectural significance. The numerous Georgian gems include an 1834 home called Narryna (return later for a tour) and the charming circle of cottages around Arthur Circus. Tour options include a romance package with bubbles and chocolates, or the opportunity to arrive in style for the best high tea in town.

Hadley's Afternoon Tea. Photo: Hadley Orient Hotel.

Teatime indulgence

Whether arriving by horse-drawn carriage or more modern transport, treat yourself to high tea at Hadley’s Orient Hotel. Although it was built in the later Victorian style, we’re sure Bridgerton’s ‘bon ton’ would love the recently refurbished hotel’s atrium tearoom. Light streams into this space from the skylight, while white wicker furniture, decorative features and tablecloths add to the bright, gracious mood.

Served on Noritake china, including a splendid three-tiered stand, high tea features dainty sweet and savoury treats such as pastel-hued macarons and Coronation eggs in petite brioche buns. Individual Noritake teapots arrive with your choice of quality loose-leaf tea, and there’s also the option of Tasmanian sparkling wine for extra indulgence.

Clarendon House. Photo: Espectra Photography & Design

To the manor born

With a grand Georgian facade of soaring columns, Clarendon is surely Australia’s most impressive heritage house. Built in 1838 for a wealthy pastoralist, merchant and magistrate, it’s now a National Trust property filled with period furniture, artworks and curiosities that visitors are welcome to touch. In fact, tours begin with an invitation to sit on valuable antique sofas – what a real-life Bridgerton thrill!

The dining and sitting rooms, made over in 2014 with sumptuous curtains and upholstery, are particularly beautiful, as are Clarendon’s collection of dresses dating back to the 1830s. Take time to wander the property’s seven hectares by the South Esk River, from English-style gardens to old outbuildings.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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