IN FULL BLOOM – ‘ABINGDON’, SASSAFRAS, VIC
WORDS: Elaine Millar PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied - Spicers Retreats
Private Collection by Spicers are taking bookings for some of the great holiday homes of Australia. The Collection is an exclusive portfolio of nature-based escapes, offering you Spicers’ brand of relaxed luxury in iconic locations across Australia.
‘Abingdon’ in the town of Sassafras, just to the east of Melbourne in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges, is the first Private Collection property available in Victoria. Sitting on the peak of a mountain, overlooking Melbourne, the You Yang Mountains and the bay in the distance, Abingdon’s breathtaking views and lush forest surrounds offer solitude, silence and seclusion a short drive from the city.
With five grand bedrooms, all with en suite, plus a separate bathroom, Abingdon gives it’s fortunate occupants the space and human amenities of an entertainer’s ideal residence with all the features of a luxurious family home.
The dining area opens to a large conservatory-style family room, which flows onto Abingdon’s expansive front and back terrace for entertaining or plunge into the large alluring pool. Inside there’s the romance of a wood-burning fireplace matched by the barefoot comfort of underfloor heating.
Verdant luxury on Melbourne’s fringe
Conceived in the late 1960s by late Richard Lord, who was born in Abingdon-on-Thames in England, for his family, Lord was influenced by English design, and sought to create a traditional American interpretation of the quintessential English country home. Abingdon was the result of a year-long search for the perfect plot of land at the peak of the Dandenong Ranges; the property is situated on three acres in the picture-perfect location, with sensational aspect and views.
Because Lord was unable acquire his preferred timber in Australia, for the house frame, he purchased an entire hardwood timber mill in Oregon and imported tons of its hardwood for the construction. Abingdon’s builders went to incredible lengths to source the finest materials, with double brick and Coldstream stone featured in the stately walls. The flooring is solid American white oak; natural bluestone and marble are used throughout the interior while the roof is shingled in slate. The woodshed, barn and potting shed are made of timber with cedar-shingled roofing.
Abingdon is grand, but gracious and welcoming (there’s a baby grand piano), luxurious but relaxed. A private driveway leads to a double garage, and there’s space for up to six cars near the barn.
The kitchen features a professional grade, fully equipped kitchen with Carrara marble bench tops, coffee machine, a five gas-burner La Canache cook top, teppanyaki grill, and enough Plumm glassware and (three) wine fridges to keep your dinner party in high spirits.
Whether you want to hide from the world, rest and recuperate, read a book, or just hang out with your loved ones in an outer-urban oasis, Abingdon will accommodate you in pure comfort, in all seasons.
A calendar of the seasons
Abingdon brings you so close to the nature, letting you to enjoy the seasons in all their glory through the changing foliage and flowering of the incredible gardens. Be immersed in the lush vegetation, stunning mountain ash forests and stately European trees.
The semi-formal woodland style gardens are home to stunning blue spruce, golden elms and purple beech all surrounded by peonies, daffodils and hydrangeas growing wild, with abandon. Deer stroll through regularly, and curious fawns may peek in the windows. A wide variety of birdlife, including very
tame Australian King Parrots, visit daily.
Just a few kilometres from Abingdon, in the nearby Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, landscape gardener Phillip Johnson has recreated at a larger scale his Best in Show-winning ‘Australian Garden’ at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show. The garden features more than 15,000 plants from over 400 Australian plant species – including many rare and endangered species.
Abingdon is a short drive from wineries in the Yarra Valley and within walking distance of both Sassafras and Olinda villages, which are abundant with galleries, shops and cafes.
Breathtaking views overlooking the city, the bay and the You Yang Mountains
Gourmet kitchen complete with butler’s pantry, teppanyaki grill and state-of-the-art appliances
Five beautifully appointed bedrooms
Sleeps 10 guests comfortably
Six and a half bathrooms with luxurious Leif amenities, underfloor heating and heated towel rails
Dining room seats 10
Large swimming pool
Luxurious alfresco terrace
French baby grand piano
Cloakroom | Spacious front parlour | Powder room
Fully ducted air-conditioning, hydronic heating, underfloor heating
Check in at 3pm, check out at 10am. Late check out is available on request, subject to availability
Abingdon is located in the Dandenong Ranges around 38 kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD.
The mountain range lies between the city and the Yarra Valley.
The closest Yarra Valley winery is a 16km drive.
Due a series of natural springs, Abingdon is recognised as environmentally significant by the local shire
because the property hosts the source of Sassafras Creek as well as a surviving native Sassafras tree.
Founded by Jude Turner in 2002, Spicers Retreats has ten luxury retreats, hotels and lodges across Queensland and New South Wales. It also operates the Scenic Rim Trail, Queensland’s only Great Walks of Australia and more recently, launched Private Collection by Spicers. Spicers are proud to have ten restaurants inclusive of 2023 award-winning The Peak in Maryvale, The Tamarind in Maleny, Homage in Grandchester, The Long Apron in Montville, The Balfour Kitchen & Bar in New Farm, Amara in Bowen Mountain, and Restaurant Botanica, eRemo and Sebastian in the Hunter Valley.