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Bishopthorpe Manor
Bishopthorpe Manor
Five star accommodation
Catriona's celebrity overhaul

Bishopthorpe Manor

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The aim is life improvement, with each participant having their own reason for wanting to be in the program — over-indulgence in food and/or alcohol, asthma, age, depression, back problems or simply bad habits.

The seven people will be under the strict care of Dr John Tickell and fitness experts Lee Campbell and Pounè Parsanejad, who will coach and support them through the highs and lows of the program.

Getaway decided to pop in and offer some encouragement (and maybe pick up a few helpful tips) and when we saw the location, just had to do a story of our own.

Goulburn developed as a regional centre for one of the country's most productive wool growing areas. The railway from Sydney was completed in 1869 and commerce grew. Today the city has a population of 24,500.

In 1870 Bishopthorpe was built as a home for Goulburn's first bishop of the Church of England, Mesac Thomas. Sixty-two hectares were donated to the church and two further lots of nine hectares were given, one for the provision of a theological college. The bluestone building's design was a blend of the rectories and bishop's palaces he had known in England and was destined to be more than just a distinguished home. It also served as the headquarters for diocesan administration.

The bishop chose to have his home built on the rise, allowing uninterrupted views of Rossiville, Kingsdale, Kenmore, Gundary and Goulburn. Bishop and Mrs Thomas took up residence in 1872.

There was a bathroom in the house, but it was not used. Rather, each bedroom had a bath placed under the bed and staff provided kettles of hot water for bathing.

After Bishop Thomas' death, two other bishops lived in the manor until 1905, when it became a Church of England girl's school for seven years. A patchwork of history followed, including a severe fire.

The grounds have some interesting buildings — the 1830 dairyman's house, the old stone dairy, an artist's cottage, the monks' quarters, the Great Hall and Rose Cottage.

Now owned by Maurizio Winkler, Bishopthorpe has been gloriously restored and is open to guests for weekend stays. Interior decorators came from England to add sympathetic advice and their input speaks for itself. The main house has six magnificent suites, most with marble spa bathroom. Rose Cottage has two suites with a modern/classical feel.

The 50-seat restaurant features two large French fireplaces and an Italianate garden scene mural. Dinner is rather formal and a degustation menu is prepared by a Michelin level chef. Food is accompanied by local wines. Lunch is a more casual affair.

Weekend retreats, limited to eight couples, are geared to excite the tastebuds and pamper with comfort, luxury and service. Guests are treated with a three-course tasting menu, complemented by some of Australia's finest wines on arrival, gourmet breakfasts, lunch at Lynwood Café, wine appreciation class and the ultimate chef's table — a six-course degustation menu, again with specially chosen wines, and two nights' luxury accommodation. All food is prepared by Master Chef Jan Gundluch, who will also give a cooking demonstration.


Goulburn, two hours south-west of Sydney.


Bishopthorpe Manor weekend accommodation starts at $375 a night. Continental breakfast is included. Culinary Weekend packages are from $1500 a couple and $3400 with helicopter transfer. The Manor is available for private functions throughout the week.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

1 Bishopthorpe Lane,
Goulburn 2580
Ph: (02) 4824 1900
Fax: (02) 4824 1999

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