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Hamilton was once a bustling frontier town that contained many inns and several working breweries.
Jackson's Emporium was built in 1856. This sandstone shop was the Centre of Commerce in colonial Hamilton and has now re-opened as an interesting and different kind of department store specialising in Derwent Valley products.
Hamilton is relatively unspoiled and sufficiently removed from any over-commercialisation . It offers an opportunity to experience what the villages of southern Tasmania were like originally.
Yet here at Prospect Villa Helen has taken history and art to a whole new level. Her decoration skills are deservedly legendary, her taste impeccable. She gave me a jaw dropping tour of the inside and to say I was impressed is like saying the Antarctic can get a little cool at times.
I couldn't get the place out of my mind for days afterwards. The ramshackle place had been converted into a showpiece of historic and artistic merit.
Updated Dec 22, 2011
Some days you get lucky; the day I came across Prospect Villa was one such day. I had intended to bypass it but decided to return across the bridge over the Clyde River to take some rural shots with the river reflecting same. It was then I thought it would only take half an hour or so and I'll be on my way again.
3 1/2 hours later, as I sat in what may be Australia's best pie shop just down the road, I reflected my good fortune in having met Helen, the driving force behind what may be Australia's finest Renaissance garden.
The more I saw of it, the more I loved it. Clipped hedges almost hiding classical statuary and splashes of colour from all manner of wonderful flowering plants.
Yet it is up a dead end street of about 200 metres and totally hidden from the main road. I urge you, should you be passing through, make the effort to go and see this garden.
And, if you don't believe me, here's a quote from the "Rosetalk" site: Anyone who can should visit this garden in the spring and summer. We make sure we visit it every year and we never get tired of it.
It is situated in the Upper Derwent Valley where the rainfall is not the best so it is an oasis of colour set in a dry landscape.
The house is an old stone house. There are English cottage gardens on one side divided by very tall hedges and an Italian garden on the other side.
Very impressive and interesting and beautiful..
Updated Dec 22, 2011
Address: Hamilton Plains Road
This sleepy village has a number of historic buildings. Most notable are St Peter's Church (consecrated in 1838), Glen Clyde House (1840), now a craft gallery, and the accommodation at the Old Schoolhouse (1856), Emma's Cottage (1830), George's Cottage (1845), Victoria's Cottage (1845) and the Hamilton Inn (1834).
Updated Dec 22, 2011
Other VT'er (iandsmith) beat me to it, but it was so good, it deserves another mention. Hamilton has the best pies in all the land. The cafe is a simple and modest place, but the service is good and the pies excellent. If you are anywhere in the area, you should stop here.
Favorite Dish: Various flavors are to be had, but honestly speaking, the scallop pie was not only a first for me, but raised the bar for best pie ever.
Written Mar 2, 2013
Address: ~10 Franklin Pl, Hamilton
This seemingly nondescript place in the middle of an almost nondescript village might surprise you by the number of people coming and going.
The attraction inside is arguably Australia's best pie, or pies. I was tipped off about this place and went to try it. As soon as the baker gets the pies out they're sold which is even more surprising when you realise that they cost about twice as much as you'll pay anywhere else in Australia but, as I've always said, "Make a better pie and they'll beat a path to your door".
That's exactly what's happening here and, from personal experience, I can tell you that they are as good as any pie I've had anywhere. Treat yourself, you won't be disappointed.
Favorite Dish: Pies, pies and more pies (but they do have cakes as well).
Written Dec 22, 2011
Address: Main street