The Cordial Factory Rylstone


You reach Rylstone by following the signposts to Mudgee at Lithgow then turning off the main road shortly after Ilford to Kandos and Rylstone. The road is sealed all the way. This beautifully quiet and rustic town lies on the banks of the Cudgegong River, which is habitat to the rarely sighted platypus.  Lake Windamere is only a short drive away and a visit to the nearby Ferntree Gully Reserve, a tropical rainforest micro-ecosystem or the Wollemi National Park, the home of the prehistoric Wollemi Pine is well worth it. If you’re into wine then Mudgee’s renowned wineries are a mere 35 minutes away.


If you want to relax and have a weekend of peace and quiet, Rylstone is just what the doctor ordered, only 3 ½ hours drive from Sydney. The most wonderful accommodation in Rylstone is the old Cordial Factory, owned by Ric Simshauser, a very clever man who restored the derelict building to win the 2003 National Trust Award for ‘Adaptive Reuse’.


The Cordial Factory was built in the 1870s to supply ‘sweet aerated water’ to the region and was subsequently occupied by the local blacksmith.


Ric’s renovation is both sensitive and appropriate. The main building features a large open-plan living area with heavy exposed timber beams and rough, whitewashed walls. A couple of lazy fans and window shutters block out the heat in summer and a potbelly stove (and an additional gas heater) provide warmth in winter. An extension houses a generous bathroom (with spa bath and separate shower) and a second bedroom with separate entrance. The Cordial Factory boasts its own vegetable and herb garden and a couple of nut trees, all there for the guests’ use and enjoyment. This brings me to the fully equipped kitchen with ground coffee, plunger and a fridge full of butter, jam, bacon, eggs and a kitchen bench adorned with a basket of fresh fruit. Yes, there is a dishwasher, too!


Costs are $ 110 a single, $ 130 a couple and $ 240 for two couples. A 10% discount applies for more than 3 nights and weekend bookings are 2 nights minimum. This represents great value for money and I reckon it’s a terrific way to escape the rat race for a couple of days.


For more information or bookings: 02 6379 1449 or e-mail Ric Simshauser at: