November, 1986. We were on a camping holiday with our two small children, and planned only to stop in Port Fairy overnight on our way further west.  We had no idea how the charm of this little town would work its magic on us.

We never got further west, spending the remainder of our holiday in Port Fairy exploring with our children, then two and four. Hunting for fairies, playing on the beach, chatting to shop owners and making pyjama-clad expeditions to Griffith Island at dusk to experience the mutton birds returning home. On our last day we attended the auction of the little cottage at the end of William St, curious to see what lay behind the dollhouse-like façade. The rest is history.

We live a good five hours drive from Port Fairy on the Mornington Peninsula but were familiar with cottage accommodation in Tasmania. Even though this concept hadn’t yet hit the mainland, we felt No.1 was perfect. It wouldn’t be the usual holiday house sitting empty and unused, and was a way we could share this special little place with others.

We took our first paying guests in February 1987 and nearly thirty five years later we are still inviting guests to stay at No.1. From the days when guests brought their own bed linen and towels to today’s era of internet booking, the cottage and business have changed alongside guest expectations. We still get enormous pleasure from the comments in our guest book which indicate we are still achieving what we aim for.

Our children are now grown up but still enjoy their visits to No.1.
They both work in hospitality and tourism, and both have a strong respect for living history.  We believe their time at Port Fairy and at No.1 is part of what made them who they are. Our daughter, Jess who now lives in California, has worked with me over the years and is also a photographer. She has taken many of the photos for this site ( Our son Angus has a coffee roasting business in Melbourne and provides guest size coffee freshly roasted for the cottage (

For many years Jess divided her time between  US skifields and Australia. She long dreamed of a rundown beach shack where she could keep her Australian belongings, live during the Australian winter and share with guests in our summer while she was away. She hadn’t considered my studio close to home.

During 2013 and 14 I downsized and moved my studio home. We undertook extensive work to save the building from demolition and have now also been welcoming guests in Somers for more than 7 years. While the Studio Somers is different to No1 they are incredibly similar…. and I still get enormous pleasure sharing what we love.

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