Spicers Clovelly Estate in the Sunshine Coast hinterland has quietly revealed an elegant addition to their property of luxury suites and spaces nestled in the rolling hills of the Blackall Ranges. Montville House is a luxuriously appointed stand-alone guesthouse opened to the public in mid-June 2020 as a new expression of Clovelly Estate's signature French provincial style.
Enveloped by 22 acres of lush, landscaped grounds, Montville House offers six self-contained suites, each with a marble-tiled ensuite and its own distinctive character, among an array of shared spaces that perfectly balance the social with the private – and perfect for groups of 6 to 12 people who want to build connections and celebrate life in a verdant country paradise.
The attention to detail and preference for understatement over ostentation at Montville House applies as much to the destination Long Apron Restaurant as the careful design and human comfort embodied in the diverse selection of suite and spa accommodation.
The team at Spicers Clovelly Estate want to create an emotional connection with guests through engagement on all levels: touch, taste, smell; mind, body, soul. In an environment that inspires invention and exploration, with wonders around every bend in the path and beautiful settings to delight the imagination and inspire gatherings.
A country destination with a world to explore
Montville is a destination town replete with galleries, craft shops and fashion boutiques on the road winding along the ridgeline of the Blackall Range, with spectacular views over the Sunshine Coast, before it dips down north toward Noosa and south to the Glasshouse Mountains.
Just outside of town overlooking the lush, rolling hills around the Baroona Dam, Clovelly Estate provides a refreshing backdrop for lively discussions and new perspectives, perfect for small board meetings and conferences. Each of the uniquely designed suites across the property offers a different configuration and style, welcoming customisation and flexibility. In addition to the six-suite Montville House, there's the three-bedroom French Cottage and 10 suites in the main guest house, serviced by the Spa Anise Day Spa.
Only steps away from the highly awarded Long Apron Restaurant and Lodge, guests of Montville House are treated to French inspired cuisine perfectly matching the property's ethos of using only beautiful, natural materials in harmony with each other and their surrounds.
Whether you seek privacy or companionship, adventure or tranquillity, Spicers have created a true estate experience that melds with the landscape to draw you into a verdant world of natural, unadorned luxury.
Experience magic with family, friends, colleagues
The French call it 'joie de vivre', a feeling that life isn't just good, it's something to be embraced and enjoyed every day. There's a captivating feeling from the moment you pass between the grand figs, shaded jacarandas and groves of magnolias and gardenias that frame Clovelly Estate's main guest house.
Secluded from the rest of the property, the six-suite Fresh provincial style Montville House is located along a beautiful tree-lined circular driveway, a showcase of the other side of the Sunshine Coast, away from the sand and surf, in the shade of ancient trees and an expanse of carefully tended garden.
Montville House celebrates natural textures and materials, timber and cool white stone in bright, airy spaces with generous natural light. French doors open onto lush gardens, the interior is adorned with sophisticated floral prints, restrained earthy and neutral colours complement the leafy surrounds rather than competes with it for your attention. The quality of the materials speak for themselves in the immaculate timber panelling, limestone, marble and sandstone surfaces and fixtures, matching the ever-present natural world that extends from landscaped gardens to ancient rainforest.
An ensuite with a freestanding limestone bath and separate shower features in each of the six Montville House Suites, as does a kitchenette with an honesty bar, Nespresso machine and an extendable dining table for quiet consumption.
Although individual suites are attractive for couples, Montville House thrives with groups of 12 people; with its private covered deck, and a library with an open wood fireplace to encourage wine and words in a naturally luxurious haven.
A private dining area for enjoying award winning cuisine from The Long Apron awaits in the privacy of the communal lounge, with an impressive AV system. If unwinding with a good read and a glass of shiraz is a more appealing, step out onto the surrounding veranda or into a private courtyard to enjoy moments of reflection.
DESINATION DINING AT SPICERS CLOVELLY ESTATE
Discover a taste of true country elegance with a touch of modern French influences. Refined. Innovative. Unexpected.
The Long Apron Restaurant is one of the most highly awarded restaurants on the Sunshine Coast. The restaurant has achieved two Chef's Hats in the Australian Good Food Guide plus the Readers' Choice award for the European category and is ranked 18 in the Delicious Top 100 Restaurants for 2019.
Choose from a selection of rooms and spaces at The Long Apron: dine elegantly indoors or out, at tables on the terrace or the wide timber veranda. For that special occasion, a private dining room is available for more intimate gatherings, or you could simply relax in the tranquil gardens with a charcuterie platter and a glass of champagne.
A true gastronomic journey awaits, epitomising creative culinary excellence while maintaining the personal engagement Spicers Retreats are known for. "It's not just about food," says Head Chef Chris Hagan. "From making a booking to being greeted at the car with an umbrella if it is raining – it's all the other ways we can enhance the guest's visit."
The dedicated team of chefs at The Long Apron draw on classic French ethos and technique in the kitchen, matching time-honoured disciplines with contemporary artistry. There's a respect and knowledge of the traditional techniques and recipes that underpin modern day cooking.
No wonder cooking with an open flame makes Head Chef Chris happy. "It is a raw and simple element but requires a huge amount of respect and understanding. In a modern-day kitchen, I still enjoy cooking 'old school', like pan frying and nappe with butter, thyme, garlic. It's much more flavour driven."
The menu at the Long Apron is inspired by the surroundings, the seasons and the landscape: ocean, hinterland, wetlands. Hagan believes that you can tell a story with a balanced menu, by relating ingredients to each other from the farm or garden in a healthy progression of dishes that encompass the spectrum of taste: salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami.
The Long Apron's cuisine is focused on the freshest local vegetables; it's not vegetarian but does focus on single origin produce. For the chef team knowing where their produce comes from and the producers is essential, which is why they have such a strong emphasis on building partnerships with local and sustainable farmers/producers.
"A restaurant's sustainability isn't just about sourcing the ingredients or reducing waste," says Hagan. "It also means longevity of your team. Nurturing and mentoring the team is an essential part of my role which ensures we are stronger together."
Chef Chris comments that "Communication between the entire team is for me so important. When working together, we create something very special. Our team briefings and new dish tastings ensure the whole team are on the same page, and reinforces why we implement specific cooking procedures and how we structure the menu."
World standards in a regional kitchen
Born in Manchester UK, Head Chef Chris Hagan realised his passion for cooking at a young age and has followed his calling across the world.
His years of classical French training shine in the fine technique that frames his beautifully refined, delightfully inventive, sometimes whimsical, and always delicious food. He worked at the Michelin starred restaurant Fischer's of Baslow Hall in Derbyshire in his teens and studied at Sheffield College.
Chris says, "Autumn is my favourite season. I enjoy game birds and root vegetables. The change in the colours of the trees always inspires, reminding me of home and to move into dishes with a warmer feel."
With experience in both European and Antipodean cuisine, paired with his passion for Japanese finesse, Chef Chris enjoys creating clean precise dishes with unique balance and refined elegance. He takes his inspiration from around the world, with hundreds of famous chefs' books adorning the shelves at home.
"Taste, taste, taste," says Chris. "Always be tasting your food, because one of the simplest ways to learn is to eat – in fact, go to some of the best restaurants in the world if you can, although it's not the cheapest option."
After winning the NZ/UK Link Foundation Young Chef of the Year in 2006, the opportunity to travel presented itself. Chris moved to New Zealand working in a number of acclaimed restaurants for several years. When he first moved to Australia, he spent time in Daylesford and McLaren Vale, later settling in Queensland at top restaurants in Brisbane before relocating to the Sunshine Coast.