Malal’s Autumn – click any image for full size
Malal’s Autumn is a scenic Homestead region open to visitors and featured in the November 3rd 2017 Destination Guide Highlights. Designed by TeaRose and Dragon Rider (Dragon Walmer), it offers a perfect autumnal setting for those wishing to hold on to warmer times in the northern hemisphere, whilst also offering something of a promise of spring – golden hues notwithstanding – for those in the southern hemisphere looking forward to summer.
The heart of the region is a small built-up area with tea rooms, cafés and (non-commercial) premises. Bordered by water to the west and east, the centrepiece for this area is a cosy little tiled roof café, warm and homely looking among the flat-topped shops flanking it.
Travel north and west from the landing point, following the stone-paved paths, and you’ll come to open land, a little rugged in setting and overlooking a curved beach where surf boards are stacked and a little beach house sits on silts just beyond the surf. For those not into the beach experience, a game of chess is available on the grassland above, waiting for players to indulge themselves.
North of the little precinct of shops and reached via an archway spanning the footpath, is an open paved area with a cosy little lounge at its northern end, offering sofas for sitting and books for reading. The paved area offers further views out over the waters west, east and north, complete with views back over the region’s landscape.
To the east, the region breaks up into a pair of smaller islands, rugged in nature and the home of ancient ruins. A viaduct runs over the waters to grassy headland to the south-east, where a barn and various table games can be found on a third island, offering the chance for those who feel in the mood to pass a little time in friendly competition. Across a covered bridge from here is a small house, linked back to the shops and cafés by a paved footpath, and again presenting a cosy spot in which to spend time.
All of this is very well done, although there are one or two little edges that need smoothing here and there – walls with gaps under them, or buildings floating a little above the uneven terrain. At the time of our visit both TeaRose and Dragon Rider were working on the region, so hopefully these will be dealt with, ant they didn’t intrude enough to spoil the overall look and feel of the region.
All of this leads me to what is – for me at least – the most attractive part of the region: the walled garden sitting between shops and islands on the north side of the region, and linked to both by bridges. This is home to a Victorian style orangery outfitted as a coffee-house, with indoor and outdoor seating. The garden itself has been allowed to grow a little wild, the grass approaching knee-length, but with a mossy path running through it from the orangery to a folly, while the trees within the walls are strung with lights. It’s an eye-catching and delightful retreat, and I especially liked the setting and the way the trees and shrubs have been used to break up what might otherwise be an overbearing presence of brick walls.
Music also plays a role through the region, with pianos and guitar offering a range of classic and popular pieces at various points as you explore. So it’s worthwhile exploring with local sound enabled to appreciate both this and the sound scape for the region.
A quiet, considered design with plenty of opportunities for photography, Malal’s Autumn makes for an enjoyable visit.
- Malal’s Autumn (The Cedars, rated Moderate)
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