We uncover the idea of living a lifestyle with Bask & Stow in beautiful Byron Bay
Take a walk along Bay St in Byron Bay and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in mid-century California. The street that separates the beach from the town welcomes custom campers piloted by carefree, sea-treated blonde locked travellers with perfect day-long tans. On the side of the beach, surfers and cyclists share the pavement whilst young families chill out under the trees. Across the road, those who like the view without the inconvenience of sandy toes, down ice cold locally brewed beers at the Byron Bay Beach Hotel.
For us, arriving in Byron, an up-and-coming beach town just south of the Gold Coast, was like a holiday within a holiday. My partner, a native to ‘straya, hadn’t been home for six-or-so years and so far each day had consisted of long overdue warm embraces and introductions. As beautiful as this was and continues to be, our accomodations secluded location down a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it laneway brought a welcomed moment to refresh and revive.
Situated on the site of a spacious federation cottage, Bask & Stow comprises of the cottage itself and four luxury guesthouses. Designed by local architect Harley Graham, the timber-clad spaces house the owners collection of iconic mid-century art and design in a setting plucked right out of Palm Springs, California. Each with its own private deck, the guesthouses offer a space to relax with a glass of something cold whilst gently swinging in your cane hanging chair. Venture out from your deck and you’ll find the communal pool and sun lounges surrounded by tropical and desert plants, all adding to that West Coast ‘vibe’.
It’s not uncommon to hear locals name dropping here, with brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth living close by. There are rumblings of Hollywood A-listers, such as Matt Damon being spotted grabbing a flat white with Thor, as they look to escape the Trump administration. Though maybe not quite Hollywood, we shared the Bask & Stow with a family we quickly awarded “The Most Perfect Looking Family Award”, who shortly after turned out to be Nordic singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez. Just saying.
The beautifully restored federation cottage, with its wrap around verandah, hardwood timber floors, three very generous bedrooms and a kitchen fit for Nigella, has been described as ‘Bauhaus meets relaxed coastal living’. This minimalist style creates bright open spaces in every room, which is welcomed all year round as temperatures seldom fall below 20 degrees. This emphasis on space is reciprocated out the back in the four clutter free guesthouses. Each with its own king size bed, kitchenette and freestanding bath tub.
Whilst there you may find yourself wrestling with this notion of lifestyle, something I don’t feel I have back home in Liverpool. It’s difficult to comprehend the idea of nipping for a surf on your hour lunch break (it’s difficult to comprehend having an hours lunch break to be honest), but that’s exactly what one wetsuited opportunist told us he was doing. As is the idea of finishing work at five on the dot and heading straight to the beach for dinner and a late evening dip 3 or 4 nights a week, but it appears to happen so effortlessly in Byron.
Though you may chuckle at the wooden sign that welcomes you to town, with its invitation to ‘Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out’, I challenge you to leave feeling anything but.
Words by Thomas Sumner
Image Credits by Thomas Sumner