The story of the estate. São Lourenço do Barrocal has been in the same family for more than 200 years, and it was José António Uva (who is eight generation of the same family) who had a vision to turn the family property into a farm retreat he could share with others. The passion and dedication behind José António’s dream, and what he has created, is incredibly inspiring.
The interiors. Perfectly simple and calming. The interior design was led by José António’s wife Ana’s design studio, AnahoryAlmeida (also responsible for the interiors of many of Lisbon’s finest restaurants) and it is a dream.
Hortelão, their outdoor restaurant. The most beautiful place to dine between Spring through Autumn, this slow-food, farm to fork restaurant is located next to the pool, right by the organic kitchen garden, and is the perfect place to enjoy a dinner under the stars.
BYRON HINTERLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES • LUXURY VILLAS • SLEEPS 2 | 1 BEDROOM | 1 BATH
Blackbird Byron is hidden away in the hills of the Byron hinterland. What feels like a million miles from anywhere, at the base of the Koonyum Range, you are still only 20mins from some of Northern NSW's most beautiful beaches, and towns such as Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Byron itself.
With stunning views over Mount Chincogan, the ocean and out to the Cape of Byron, this is a spectacular place to unwind. Industrial chic, with a nod to Palm Springs and Morocco by design, in a serene hilltop setting. Owner James Hudson has built 3 industrial-style pavilions - all detached from one another - made of glass, wood and steel. We recommend ‘Pavilion One’ for its bath.
You will enjoy unbelievable sunrise views out over the Pacific Ocean from your bed each morning. In each pavilion you will find a big king-sized bed, concrete floors, reclaimed timber, a Moroccan tiled bathroom with rainwater shower, and a little entry area with a storage area for luggage, a coffee maker and a bar fridge.
A super hearty home-cooked breakfast is included each morning - lovingly prepared by host Victoria Spring - featuring local and seasonal produce.
Why I love it
Blackbird Byron is an incredibly special place. The service is personalised and warm, thanks to owner James Hudson and host Victoria Spring. The design is super inspiring. The magnesium pool is beautiful (and with tunes playing, and the sun lounges out, it reminded me more of being in Ibiza or somewhere else in a European summer - bliss). The private dinners that can be arranged are outstanding. I was lucky enough to experience one of Chef Dai Shibata's Japanese dinners, after some poolside cocktails, and it was mind-glowingly good. Chef Dai made everything from scratch, and the presentation was equally as impressive. For me though, it's all about the sunrises and sunsets. The morning and night skies put on such a show and you are lucky enough to witness it from lying in bed, or wandering around the property. The views over the mountains to the ocean are truly breathtaking.
I also love that there is a big focus on sustainability at Blackbird - recycled materials are used throughout, including the hardwood timber (which James found in a run-down banana packing shed he found on the property when he bought it) and tin. They run on 100% rainwater and UV filter all their taps for direct access to drinking water; they have a septic system for their water and waste treatment; and all the pavilions are designed with higher R-value insulation and strategically placed louvre windows to keep indoor temperatures comfortable and create a natural cross breeze, all year round. In addition, low-flow shower heads and pre-programmed light and air conditioning settings are designed to save energy. In terms of the food, produce is organic, grown on-site or locally sourced from fair-trade suppliers, and there is a focus on composting and recycling.
About the owners
A trained industrial designer, Owner James Hudson used to own and run bars and nightclubs in Sydney for many years. After having a family, he wanted a slower pace of life and moved to the hills of Byron with a dream of creating a very special place he could share with others. He has done that with Blackbird Byron and the result is something hugely special.
What to do nearby
Mullum Farmers Market. A must.
Baker & Daughters - for all the good stuff
Lilium Love for their potions
What to bring