a wintery writer’s retreat

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to duck off for a few days on a bit of a writer’s retreat. I’d never done this before and – to be honest – was very apprehensive. What if I got there and couldn’t write? What if the place I was staying in was uninspiring? What if it was just an outright bad idea? What if, what if, what if! Thank the writing gods, within the first few minutes of arriving at my wee cottage, all my niggling (and let’s be honest – ridiculous) hypotheticals were well and truly put to rest and I was able to write solidly every day.

The cottage I stayed in is one of three accommodation options at The Baldessin Press in St Andrews. It took me only 40 mins to get there from my inner city residence (!) and it was just divine. Surrounded by trees and veggie gardens and orchards and roos (yep, roos!) you feel like you’re an entire world away from the city.

Named after the late sculptor George Baldessin, the press operates in his name, “so that artists may continue to create in this special place, thus perpetuating the generous spirit of George.” Artists from all backgrounds are encouraged to, “explore their creative journey in a tranquil location,” (Baldessin Press) and owner Tess is more than accommodating (she’s an absolute darling!). To find out more about the press or accommodation, check out Baldessin’s website.

Of course every great artist needs a break from time to time to allow inspiration to work its magic, so I tried to suss out as much of St Andrews as I could while I was there. My must-see-artist-break-go-tos for those of you who are thinking about heading over are the St Andrew’s Market and A Boy Named Sue. The market is yet to be yuppified so it still oozes that rustic, hippy charm that our dear old Melbourne markets used to and ABNS is, by far, the best grub that I’ve eaten in a long time!

The very week I got back I emailed Tess and booked another stay at Baldessin in a few month’s time… I’m already counting down! Sad, I know, but the place is truly magic. I promise.

Been to St Andrews or The Baldessin Press yourself? Booked to go soon? Where do you retreat to write? Please, do share!

’til next time.

xx SmartyKat

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