We don’t own a beach house. We’re not even particularly beachy people, preferring to see the sea from afar (with a glass of something suitably refreshing in hand) rather than getting all sandy and salty. A stay in a beach house during Summer, however, is just an Australian ‘thing’. Growing up, extended family and friends had houses we used when they couldn’t. Now, we’re fortunate enough to be able to hire one out (usually through Stayz) for a week over Christmas every couple of years so.
This year, as I have gazed out over the coast, I’ve been thinking about what makes a good beach house. See if you agree.
1. Being able to hear the ocean.
Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the waves rolling in is like having your own personal meditation CD on repeat for 24 hours a day.
2. A view of the water.
Highly sought after, even a glimpse of the sea from an upstairs room is worthy of mention in holiday rental advertising. The next best option is an easily accessible pathway to the surf, or being ‘just a street back’ from the beach.
3. A large backyard with a good expanse of lawn.
We’ve got a small dog, so obviously this is good for us, but I expect it’s good for kids too. I prefer a good thick couch (pronounced cooch) grass, it’s hardy and looks great. Beware the buffalo grass which looks similar until you lie on it and get seriously itchy.
4. A convenient garden hose.
5. A well-equipped kitchen.
A feature of the traditional family-owned fibro beach house is that anything still in good working order but which has been usurped by a newer version is relegated to the beach house. This means that kitchen drawers are often full of 10 different versions of one useful thing (such as salad servers) but no versions of not so useful things (such as champagne bottle stoppers).
6. A motley collection of games, puzzles and books.
In the same vein as kitchen utensils, novels and other entertainment rendered obsolete at home is given new life and appeal in the beach house. It’s a good excuse to read novels you wouldn’t normally admit to enjoying (hello Stephen King) and to convince friends who wouldn’t normally but who are captive for seven days with nothing else to do, to play Monopoly.
What do you think makes a good Australian beach house? Please leave a comment below and enjoy your holidays!