Islington is a small five-star guesthouse in Hobart. Built in 1847, it has a long history and is a fine example of Regency architecture. It has been restored to showcase its original glory, and updated to include today's luxuries. The curated building has corridors and rooms filled with an eclectic collection of art and antiques, the result of the owner's many years of travel and family history.
Islington was one of the first houses built on Davey Street in Hobart's dress circle. It was indeed an exclusive address in the class-conscious Hobart town of the time. It was built as a hotel and was leased to many prominent and dignified tenants. The history, art, luxury and half hectare of garden is the way the original owner, Sarah Hodgson, intended.
Guests are met at the portico entrance by a butler. The hotel library off the marble hallway has a collection of the works of Louisa Anne Meredith, an early settler and ancestor of the present owner. Meredith wrote of the colony and her accompanying drawings of flora and fauna are truly glorious. Her works greatly influenced the house and its contents.
The rose-themed drawing room is where tea is served, and the delightful yellow morning room has sunshine by day and a log fire by night.
The centrepiece of Islington is the conservatory which adjoins the country kitchen and extends to a marble-paved terrace. It has a soaring glass ceiling and pots of scented orange trees and a large olive tree. Just beyond is a 35-square-metre reflecting infinity pond, Murano glass sculptures, mountain view pavilion and, towering in the background, the ever-changing beauty of Mt Wellington.
The country kitchen has an antique 10-seater table and two matching sideboards where home-cooked breakfast is laid out, and you may choose to use it as a dinner venue, catered by Islington's resident chef. Accompanying wines can be chosen from the cellar. Hosted evening drinks and canapés are part of your stay at Islington.
The extensive gardens boast a willow more than 100 years old, cherry blossoms, mulberry tree and an ancient yew amid exotic blooms.
Five rooms are in the original Regency house and six garden rooms have been added. The Courtyard Room has made great use of the garden, and some rooms have French doors opening to the rhododendron and azalea gardens. Rooms in the residence have Islington Angel beds and wonderful fabrics have been used throughout.
Bathrooms are set behind white marble and Tasmanian oak screens. They have heated granite floors, deep Italian baths, separate showers with overhead rain showers. Fluffy robes and slippers, Tasmanian-made amenities by Melle Beauty and individual soap made from Tasmanian minerals continue the luxurious theme of Islington.