Address:37 Everglades Avenue Phone: 02 4784 1938 Hours: Open daily March to September 10am–4pm, October to February 10am–5pm (entry fee)
Perched along the edge of the escarpment, Everglades is truly a mountain destination for a day-trip. Views out to the edge are stunning. This is the perfect season for a walk up and down the 'lanes' of a gorgeous cool-mountain garden. Lunch or tea is available in the art deco tearoom or courtyard daily – tea, coffee, cakes, sweets and old-fashioned fare. Book in advance is our advice.
Everglades House in Snow
Danish-born Paul Sorensen designed these park-like gardens with million-dollar views into the Jamison Valley in 1933 for owner and Sydney businessman, Henri Van de Velde. A workforce of 60 men built miles of curving dry-pack retaining walls – Sorenson’s signature – and gently sloping paths. A property this size requires a staff to maintain it and in 1962 the National Trust of Australia purchased the property.
In spring, red tulips and yellow daffodils fill the gardens along the Upper Drive and in autumn the golden arch of the Garden Theatre is in perfect harmony with the muted gold and reds among the trees. The winter scene is no less beautiful – leafless trees and empty flowerbeds offer us a barren landscape but the view to the magnificent sandstone escarpment is a magnificent backdrop. The gardens regardless of the season are a magical place for all.
In 2018-19, the grand old house and gardens will host a series of ‘happenings’ – art exhibitions, Easter-egg hunts and several sophisticated events properly staged and open to the public. In January 2019, Everglades, as it has since 2010, hosts the Leura Shakespeare Festival for consecutive weekends commencing 12 January.
'War of the Roses'
The Art Deco house and gardens, perhaps as they were in Van de Velde’s day, will come alive with festivities and entertainments – merrymakers all!
Wayzgoose, a café with outdoor seating, occupies an historic building where in 1910, publisher Peter Giles Hart established the Federal Printing Works. This heritage building has an unusual shape – perfect for booths and tables of customers today yet we can imagine the long room filled with presses of the past.
Behind what could have been the printer’s customer counter in 1910, homemade brownies, cupcakes, tarts and flowerless orange and almond cakes beckon. Along with the famous ‘Flower-Pot Scone’, most offerings are made in-house. The espresso machine is constantly in motion as locals stop by in the early morning for a sweet and a shot of caffeine. ‘Huge Mountain Breakfast’ or waffles or Pesto Mushrooms are on the ‘all day’ menu.
Around the lunch rush – 11.30am to 2pm – soups and burgers are a specialty along with other seasonal mainstays. Kids menus are always listed on the blackboard and gluten-free options are available, just ask the staff. (Great café for families – small toys, books and colouring books are stored in a kids’ corner to keep little ones happy.)
Wayzgoose takes its name from an old printing celebration – an outing and dinner for printing staff before summer ends and the printing must be done by candlelight (in winter months). Wayzgoose continues in Leura’s historic tradition of local shopkeepers serving and ‘chatting up’ visitors.
Drop by for a scone and a chat. . . with the friendly staff!