Luxurious living in the country

THERE’S nothing more refreshing than getting away from the rigours of work and taking in the fresh air of a country town – but those frilly lacy cottages can get on one’s nerves sometimes.

That ‘olde worlde’ overload is not a problem at Elira, a set of two villas in the township of Daylesford, northwest of Melbourne.

Each villa has been built from scratch to be a contemporary open-plan holiday home, replete with modern luxuries. My villa is on three levels: the bed, bathroom and spa bath on the highest level, the kitchen and dining area one level down, and finally the lounge and entertainment equipment at ground level. It’s all beautifully appointed, with polished floorboards and shiny modern kitchen surfaces.

There are two big widescreen TVs, one of which can be watched from the large sunken spa bath. There’s air-conditioning and a gas fire, and a sizeable deck area with a barbecue. Large windows ensure