WHEN Bruce and Rebekah Wilson held their wedding reception at a scenic spot in Bickley Valley they fell in love again, this time with the future home of their dreams.
In the intervening years, they could not imagine serendipity would steer a path to celebrating their 18th anniversary at the venue where their lives together began.
The Packing Shed @ Lawnbrook café and cellar door reopened about five weeks ago, to the delight of locals and city dwellers in search of authentic country-style cuisine served in a rustic setting.
As word of the reopening spread, an extremely busy Mr and Mrs Wilson have found themselves postponing their 18th anniversary celebrations to a later date.
“Once we had our wedding reception here, we had a soft spot for the Valley and kept an eye on the market to see what came up,” Rebekah said.
“We built a house in Gooseberry Hill where we lived for seven years, but it was not the right home for us and we started looking around more seriously.”
The Packing Shed cafe closed in 2011 and after 36 years owned by the same family, it came on the market.
Several years later, Mr and Mrs Wilson moved in with their children Phoebe and Campbell, and the family instantly felt at home. “We wanted to live here for a few years before developing the property and reopening the cafe,” Mrs Wilson said.
Family and friends rolled up their sleeves to help revitalise the vines and then came the reinvention of the cafe into a boutique-style venue.
The former stables and fruit packing shed built in the late 1800s was ripe for renovation and to retain the character of the building, the couple followed through with their theme of “rustic, country, industrial, chic”, in keeping with the expectations of modern-day diners.
“The old cafe had to be gutted, re-roofed, re-insulated and wherever we could we reused and recycled materials,” she said
A visit to the cellar door is an additional pleasure after choosing from a menu featuring all-day breakfasts, platters and home-baked cakes served with a “good coffee” or rounded off with a glass of sparkling wine made with grapes grown on the property.
“I think visitors take pleasure in the fact that we have the ambience of a relaxing outlook, where people can sit on the lawn and simply take in the day.”
The new owners are settling into a new routine and further down the track their romantic haven may host a wedding where dreams are destined to become true.
The Packing Shed @ Lawnbrook in Loaring Road is open for business, 9am-4pm on Friday and 8am-4pm at the weekend.