House Half Full: Fast Furnishings in the Macan GTS
The weekend after schools go back, in my opinion, is the best time to have a weekend away.
The hustle and bustle is gone, traffic returns to normal and destinations like Bowral take a deep breath and relax.
I have a penchant for dark, rich, old school library type interiors, the type you know you couldn’t quite pull off in your own home but love nonetheless and a weekend spent browsing antique stores is right up my street. With this in mind I begin a 9am departure in the 265 kW (360 hp) twin turbo V6 Porsche Macan GTS, the perfect car for impromptu trips like this. It’s fast and powerful and I never feel intimidated on the motorway with 500Nm of Torque on hand.
I like the comfort setting for city driving but I love the sound of sport mode and feel like I can indulge when I’m out on the open road, like this one heading south out of Sydney towards Bowral. The GTS has sports exhaust system with quad tailpipes in black, 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels in satin black, sideblades in matt black – are you picking up the theme, everything is black! It accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and go to jail top speed is 256 km/h! The fun stuff is the connect module with Porsche Car Connect and Apple CarPlay, you can use the apps of your iPhone from the driver’s seat via the PCM or voice control.
We are finished with the highway leg and quickly descend on the Old Hume Hwy exit towards Mittagong and Bowral. With a burble of the exhaust we are close to our destination – this is a sports car, I’m not calling it an SUV, it’s much more than that – you could nearly call it a tall 911, I’m going to get in trouble for that aren’t I?
Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa has such an extravagant entrance, I have a fondness for gravel driveways, that tyre on pebble crunch as you slowly make your way up to a tree lined property leaves an air of expectancy. Set apart in its own secluded hilltop woodland just east of Bowral in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, the heart of the hotel is a grand mansion built at the turn of the 20th century by the Hordern Family of retail & pastoral fame. The estate offers breathtaking views to the horizon in every direction over gardens that are arguably Australia’s finest and an inspiration to painters and writers since the early 1800’s.
There was once a Golden Era, when Sydney’s wealthy and successful fled the heat of the city to the privacy, comfort and invigorating climate of their Southern Highlands retreats. There, behind imposing gates, they enjoyed a lifestyle of gentle, relaxed pleasure, eating and drinking well, playing tennis and croquet.
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Anthony Hordern was 21 when he bought the Estate. Previously described by gossip columnists as Sydney’s most eligible bachelor with an annual income in 1910 of ‘not less than 50,000 pounds a year’. He married Viola Bingham shortly before buying Milton Park. He retained Morrow and De Putron of Sydney, the family’s favoured architects, to design his home. Their work for the Horderns included Retford Park, Hopewood, Babworth House in Darling Point and various extensions to Anthony Hordern and Sons Department Store.
Mornings at Milton Park are grand, on offer is a well-tendered breakfast with timeless sun soaked garden views. This welcoming place effortlessly becomes our own country estate each time we visit.
Our Macan GTS is waiting at the foot of grand mansion steps; Dirty Janes is our first stop today, a fascinating place with endless preloved and vintage furniture and treasures to wander through. A store so vast it requires its own pit stop.
My camera wielding other half is starting to shift in his black leather seat with Alcantara centre – time for a coffee stop and I know just the place, ‘Elephant Boy’ a cute café with book-lined walls, directors chairs, welcoming staff and seriously good desserts. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve inherited my father’s parking mantra – choose the furthest away spot and possibly catch a bus to your destination, however, with the help of the Macan GTS’ Park Assist system, which features a drones eye view of the car as you park, I’m beginning to be cured of this ailment.
Lunch is a short drive out to Australia’s most delectable barn bookshop in Bendooley Estate, a magnificent 200-acre property boasting established cold weather gardens. I love the space, atmosphere and the food!
With one last stop on our itinerary, we are back in the car for the short 20min drive. As we drive I’m thinking about my choice between the Porsche Cayenne and this Macan. The reasons were; this GTS is the right size for me, it’s big enough to feel spacious inside but small enough to fit nicely on the road, plus for me it’s arguably the best GTS in the Porsche range, there is just the right blend of performance, sporting enhancements with a top fun to drive factor and enough style to make it visually distinctive. It ticks all of the boxes!
A quick look around Suzie Anderson home in Moss Vale is always a treat for the senses. With tables set, couches fluffed, cushions chopped, all in gorgeous costal/country greys, whites, creams and greens. Not to mention plaids, linens, wools and carpets, it’s a Hamptons style dream.
I may need more than my GTS’ large luggage compartment of 1,500 litres with the seats down to move a town full of style back to Sydney!
Does Porsche make a semi trailer?
Images by: Lee Dean
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