Serenity: Cemetery Bay, Kingston. The Tin Sheds at Norfolk Island.
Amy Cooper revels in the paradox of catering at a place called ‘Tin Sheds’, Norfolk Island’s first five-star accommodation.
I caress the manifold utensils. I ogle the shiny pots. I purr over the pans and the glassware.
I play with the remote controls that command things to open and close. The kitchen at Apartment One at the Tin Sheds is, simply, a symphony of design and gadgetry and I am already seduced.
It’s even more enticing than the super king-size bed or the hot tub with a view. The fridge and freezer are hidden in drawers and can swap identities at the touch of a button. There’s even a top-of-the-range Nespresso coffee machine, a dishwasher with a high IQ and so many implements that I lose count somewhere between cheese grater and cocktail shaker.
This kitchen is a cook’s dream. But here’s the best part: you actually don’t need to use it. Like me, you can choose to marvel at its assets, then sink into a leather La-Z-Boy armchair and watch an accomplished chef come in and rustle up a feast for you.
The Tin Sheds, Norfolk Island’s first five-star accommodation, are technically self-catering. But if that thought makes you shudder, fret not. No finger need be lifted here. The three apartments, opened just six weeks ago, are designed to anticipate your every need, and any remaining wishes can be granted by an attentive but discreet manager.
Apartment One is 118 square metres of intuitive high-tech. More buttons operate the curtains and conjure a 25-inch flat-screen TV out of the bed base. A concealed laundry contains a washing machine with programs for every conceivable grime situation. The new Dyson vacuum cleaner is sweetly superfluous, considering your apartment is serviced daily – but if domestic goddess fantasies light your fire, the toys are all here.
All three apartments have private outdoor spaces and Apartment One’s is a lovely garden with a half-moon-shaped lawn fringed with coloured shrubs in vivid reds, violets and greens and a bright pink feature wall. The wide deck has a kitchenette, barbecue and table for four, and a timber bench seat with a wheel for easy manoeuvring into the sun. This, and all the timber furniture and fittings inside, were created by a local craftsman.
Other work from local artists includes a fish wall-hanging made from metal used in the construction of Norfolk Island Airport, sea-themed paintings, ceramic and glass mosaics, and islander Sue Pearson’s kimono-style bathrobes – one pink, one blue – in hand-printed cotton.
Tucked away at the end of a road in the island’s hub, Burnt Pine, the Tin Sheds puts you close to cafes, galleries, shops and the crucial Liquor Bond, the only place on Norfolk where you can buy takeaway booze. On a 3855-hectare island, nothing’s tricky to reach, but this is as convenient as it gets.
Beaches and cliffs are a short drive away, as are historic Kingston’s museums and archaeological remains. For these I can hop into a powder-blue 2013 model Fiat 500 auto convertible that comes with the apartment, fully insured. There are no traffic lights on Norfolk and every passing motorist waves hello.
I’m lured back to the Tin Sheds by the Pleasure Centre, the apartment complex’s decadent little heart with library, mini-gym, infrared sauna and an outdoor SwimSpa (hot tub with a teeny pool attached where you swim against a jet – the pool equivalent of a treadmill). There, I’m expertly massaged by Kim Nobbs, who brings pampering from her nearby Expressions Day Spa.
Hers is not the only treat to arrive at my door. I return to the apartment to find the table laid and Naomi Thompson, owner of the nearby Olive Cafe, busy preparing a spread of the island’s delicious local produce. I’m more than happy relaxing with a local shiraz and then devouring fresh fish, vegies and a heavenly white chocolate and macadamia cheesecake while Naomi cleans everything up so it looks as if no one’s been there.
All I need to do to perfect my day is languish in the spa then slide into the big white cloud of a bed. Self-catering, I decide, is at its best when done the Tin Sheds way: as a spectator sport.
Amy Cooper travelled courtesy of Norfolk Island Tourism, Air New Zealand and Spacifica Travel.
Where The Village Place, Burnt Pine, Norfolk Island. tinshedsnorfolkisland杭州夜生活m, norfolkisland杭州夜生活m.au.
How much Three-night packages including return Air New Zealand economy class flights (bag and seat) and three nights’ accommodation at the Tin Sheds including convertible car use and more, start from $1145 a person, twin share, from Sydney. Spacifica Travel, 1800 800 722, spacificatravel杭州夜生活m.
Top marks It’s all in the details: the apartments are awash with thoughtful touches such as a mobile phone with $10 of calls, and a “toy box” containing snorkel gear, fishing tackle and tennis rackets.
Black marks A few more idiot-proof instructions for the gadgets would help slow learners like me.
Don’t miss Norfolk Island’s living history: many islanders are direct descendants of the Bounty mutineers and are happy to share stories about their intriguing past.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.