First introduced to the world in the 1970s with a string of No. 1 hit songs and blockbuster movies, super-star actress, four-time Grammy winner and world-class beauty, Olivia Newton-John, is selling her Australia farm that she has owned for almost forty years.
Olivia bought her farm in the early 1980s after her roll in the 1978 film Grease, the break that would make her a super star. It was her Australian retreat where she would recharge in the peace of the rainforest and views over the land.
Now 70 and with Florida as her home base, when Olivia does return to Australia she and her husband, John Easterling, stay at the Gaia Retreat & Spa which she co-owns. Hoping to attract a buyer who is as close to nature as herself, she has put the 187-acre farm and its French Country-style home on the market for offers in excess of $5.5 million AU ($3.9 million US).
Located only 40 minutes from celebrity and tourist favorite Byron Bay, the farm is a mix of rolling pasture and green lawns with panoramic views, rain forest with a natural waterfall, two dams, a pond and a creek that runs through the property, which abuts the Victoria Park Nature Reserve National Park and acts as its boundary. Over the years Newton-John planted over 5,000 additional trees expanding the prolific wildlife habitat. Grounds include the main residence of three bedrooms and two baths and attached four-room guest quarters, two-car garage and tennis court. The home, positioned on a hill to maximize the views, was renovated in 2002 in the French rustic style.
It includes pine floors, textured entry walls with shells and pebbles from local beaches, and a large eat-in kitchen designed as a gathering spot for friends and family. Multiple outdoor porches and terraces, including a wide dock on the pond, invite outdoor living and sunset views. The attached, but completely private guest suite, has a large living room, a kitchenette, bedroom, bath and additional conversation nook, making a total of four bedrooms and three baths.
With more than 100 million albums sold, Olivia has won four Grammys, numerous Aria, Country Music, American Music and People’s Choice Awards, an Emmy Award plus ten #1 hit songs.
Olivia Newton-John is selling her much-loved Australian farm originally purchased nearly four decades ago during the era of her hit single, Physical. Seeking offers in excess of $5.5 million AU ($3.9 million US), the listing agent is also Newton-John’s lifelong friend Jillian McGrath with McGrath Estate Agents, Northern Beaches Office Australia.
The wildly popular social movement “farm-to-table” encourages sourcing food locally, so that consumers know exactly where their food came from. Knowing the origin of your food encourages the freshest dining, and that can be found in these three dining options. These farm-to-table experiences have taken sustainability to a luxury level.
OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD
Originally staging a handful of events in 1999, luxury farm-to-table dinner service “Outstanding in the Field” today stages 100+ multi-course feasts every year, from coast to coast across North America to all around the world.
Founded in 1999 by artist and chef Jim Denevan, “Outstanding in the Field” originally was a radical idea to switch up the traditional convention of dinner. Rather than sourcing ingredients and bringing them to the restaurant, Denevan’s vision was to create a restaurant at the source, where guests would enjoy a communal meal and the farmer’s story could be told and celebrated. A single long table is set at an extraordinary site, and guests dine outdoors on the food grown at the source.
“Our mission is to get folks out to the places where the food comes from and honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table,” says chef and artist Jim Denevan. “Our roving restaurant without walls may be located wherever good food comes from. There are no boundaries.”
“Outstanding in the Field’s” culinary caravan has visited all 50 U.S states and 15 countries around the globe. The #TabletoFarm tour season runs May through November, with a smaller winter tour in January/February to warm-weather spots like Florida, Hawaii and Mexico.
STUDIO IN MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, Studio is Montage Laguna Beach’s five-star free-standing fine dining restaurant. Studio prides itself on serving innovative modern cuisine. While Studio is known for its tasting menus and incredible service, it is also a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner, with approximately 2,500 wine selections and 30,000 bottles in inventory.
Studio’s showstopper is the 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden, which provides many of the ingredients for the restaurant’s signature cuisine. The garden is currently growing cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard, Valencia oranges, artichokes and edible flowers, to name a few. The culinary team at Studio uses the garden’s bounty in everyday cooking, especially in the restaurant’s gourmet vegetarian tasting menu, and also for fresh cocktail garnishes throughout Montage. The garden can seat up to 50 guests.
FLORA’S FIELD KITCHEN, MEXICO
Flora Farms is a 25-acre organic working farm at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and is home to Flora’s Field Kitchen, a field-to-table restaurant set amongst idyllic organic fields and gardens.
The original Flora Restaurant was in San Jose del Cabo, but after 5 years in town, the owner decided she would rather bring the restaurant to the farm instead of the other way around. Flora’s Field Kitchen prides itself on serving only what it has grown, even nixing beef from the menu, as it is not sustainable in the Baja region.
Flora’s has an onsite bakery firing up artisan breads, a butcher-shop, a brewery, and a wood-fired oven that serves up 15 types of Neapolitan-style pizza.. The restaurant also offers cooking classes several days a week.
Flora Farm is available for private gatherings and special occasions, with customizable event menus.
AGRICOLA FORE PORTA, ITALY
Only accessible on foot, this organic agriturismo, or farm resort, only uses seasonal, organic products, with the famous Amalfi lemons at the forefront of the fresh cuisine.
For Italians, the idea of combining agriculture with tourism is an old tradition, and this agriturismo started generations ago, when the farm was an old papermill. Agricola Fore Porta today offers a daily menu, which includes traditional courses prepared only with seasonal products picked freshly every morning, and Mediterranean cooking lessons, where participants will learn how to prepare local recipes.
On the sloping Tuscan hills, San Damiano is a turnkey, custom-built farm home where old world meets new.
By Mark Moffa
Q: What do you get when you combine an unbeatable location in Italy’s Tuscan hillside with impeccable service, enviable accommodations and authentic culinary experiences?
A: Castello di Casole – A Timbers Resort (Europe’s No. 1 Resort, as ranked by Travel + Leisure), which recently hosted Unique Homes for three beautiful nights to experience its magic firsthand. What we discovered was a perfectly placed paradise offering the finest level of service imaginable.
The setting is storybook. Through a cypress-lined drive up to a hilltop in Siena, a Middle Age castle from the 10th century serves as the core of the hotel and resort. “We are very, very lucky, because we are in the heart of Tuscany,” says Gabriele Olla, senior sales manager. Some of the world’s best wineries are very close, as are Michelin-starred restaurants — Florence is an easy 45-minute drive. But visitors and residents hardly have to leave the 4,200-acre estate.
The resort is breathtaking. General Manager Federico Galligani, hired by Timbers in 2015, deserves credit for running a seamless operation that allows his guests to indulge without a concern. We were treated to an aperitif on the hotel terrace while enjoying the sunset over the Tuscan countryside. And Executive Chef Daniele Sera wowed us with a memorable tasting menu at Tosca Restaurant (modern molecular gastronomy meets traditional Italian goodness here).
The draw is universal. Folks are coming from around the world (such as the United States, Brazil, England, Russia, Germany, the Middle East and Singapore) to enjoy inspired cuisine; indulge in spa treatments inspired by ancient Etruscan beauty rituals; sip on a bottle of exclusive estate-grown Dodici wine; immerse themselves in culture with an Italian language, art or cooking class; explore winding country roads behind the wheel of a Ferrari; or simply bask poolside under the Tuscan sun.
The real estate is heavenly. Jo Ann Hawley, senior sales executive, drove us around the dreamlike grounds, explaining that buyers can purchase Farms at Castello di Casole with an existing ruin to be restored, or build a new “reconstructed” farmhouse. Prices are two-phased — figure on land costs around 3 million, and another 3 million to build. Italian VAT can be steep, but Hawley says these properties offer a break. “You have significant tax advantages and entitlements with the farms.”
The opportunity is unique. Produce your own wine or olive oil on your own land, while enjoying the amenities of a five-star hotel. The farms offer 120 to 150 acres of cultivable land with crops consisting of vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards and wheat fields along with a customized luxury farmhouse at the center. The winemaking opportunity is “really tailored to how much involvement the owner wants to have,” Hawley says.
Photos courtesy Timbers Resorts
While farm-to-table produce was once a hot trend, community residents have now begun to expect farm fresh ingredients on their plates and in their cocktails.
By Alyssa Gautieri
To keep residents and guests happy, residences and resorts have embraced the farm-to-table movement, but they have also begun to take the culinary experience a step further. These residences have expanded their on-site offerings to include organic farms, educational programs and more. These innovative ideas are bringing the authentic flavor of the land to restaurants, bars and homes.
This property offers an Upcountry Farm, a 50-acre community farm equipped with a staff of farmers who help residents and guests harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables. In addition to gardening lessons from farmers, residents can tend the soil, pick from fields of fruits and vegetables, taste seasonal produce or cultivate an appreciation for sowing, growing and harvesting. The community also offers a gourmet farmers’ market on Wednesdays and monthly farm-to-table dinners prepared by Chef Ben Takahashi.
Photos courtesy of KuKui’ula
This community founded Broken Oak Organic Farm, a 5-acre farm complete with greenhouses and fields for year-round growing. The farm also uses organic growing practices. The Farm hosts a monthly farm stand, as well as “People to Farm” dinners, wine tastings and educational classes.
Photos courtesy of The Cliffs
This new development, which is set to open on the East Cape of Cabo in 2018, will feature the first Four Seasons in the area and will have 18 acres of orchards and farms. In addition to providing an amenity to residents, the organic farms will produce food for the hotel and create an opportunity for the inhabitants of La Ribera. Fresh tomatoes, bananas, papaya and chili peppers will appear in cocktails and meals, and the best avocados and limes in the world will compliment tasty dishes.
Photos courtesy of Costa Palmas