The Downtime Agenda

0 $0 credit
  • Words — Julie Haslam
  • Images — Marnie Hawson

We recently visited Orchard Keepers, a beautifully restored, quiet, country retreat located in Red Hill on Victoria’s Mornington Penninsula. When it comes to downtime, relaxation and effortless calm, this place just nails it. In fact, we loved it so much that we decided to talk to owner Poss Sampieri about the property, how she unwinds and the importance of downtime.

Poss Sampieri, orchard keeper.

How do you relax?
I love to walk my dog Boris, a brindle staffie. I find that early mornings and stillness provide a great opportunity for clarity.

How important is downtime to you and what happens when you don’t get enough of it?
I think downtime is a chance to recharge and if you don’t recharge you become frenetic.  There have been some busy periods where I’ve been stretched, but I always find time to hit reset and recharge.

Tell us about Orchard Keepers and why it is a great place to visit for some R&R?
Orchard Keepers is the definitive house in the country.

It’s open and relaxed with an effortless sense of calm that’s created by natural light, with a seamless transition from inside to out.  You just feel good when you’re there; there’s a great kitchen with a kitchen garden so you can make beautiful food using seasonally grown organic produce. There’s also an innate sense of connection to nature with doors onto the garden and a view of the most stunning hundred-year-old sequoia tree.  It’s great for just letting your mind wander.

Are there any other places in the area that you’d recommend people visit?
No, Orchard Keepers is all you need!

How do you manage the stress that running your own business brings?
I think you can tend to feel like you’re a bit of an island as a one-person show, so I make sure I talk through ideas, strategies or problems with friends, former colleagues or my husband.

Do you have any daily rituals or downtime routines?
Walking the dog. I love listening to a podcast while I’m at my desk sometimes – usually something from Desert Island Discs. And I love to talk to my 12-year-old daughter Stella about her day.

What are you reading right now?
Queen Bees by Sian Evans. It’s about six brilliant and extraordinary society hostesses between the wars – A spectacle of celebrity, talent, and burning Ambition. Inspirational women for different reasons.

What’s on your downtime playlist?
Right now, I’m listening to old soul and funk classics like Sly & the Family Stone, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye.

What’s your favourite movie of all time?
I have more than one but on this occasion it’s Pulp Fiction.  Quentin Tarantino is a genius.

Where is your ultimate travel destination for downtime?
Locally Red Hill of course, and offshore anywhere in Italy!

Who is your downtime partner in crime and why?
Boris my dog. He loves me unconditionally and he is the keeper of all my secrets.