FACES OF THE FLEURIEU: WITH BENJAMIN HEWETT. OWNER OF YEO HAUS IN PORT ELLIOT.
We recently caught up with Yeo Haus shop owner, creator & all-around great guy, Benjamin Hewett, to chat about why he loves his home on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Yeo Haus is a clothing brand, coffee hole, beer garden, surf movie cinema, and eclectic event space. Ben spends most mornings slinging coffee to Port Elliot’s sometimes sleepy village, with his afternoons spent pushing Yeo Haus threads onto people in the store. When we asked Benjamin if he’d been getting out into the waves he said, “I surf, but don’t surf, but also want to surf more. Who do I need to speak to about getting an artificial reef down here?”
THANKS FOR JOINING US BEN. WE CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR YOUR INSIGHTS FOR QUALITY TIME SPENT IN THE REGION. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY YOU LOVE YOUR CORNER OF THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA?
It’s a love-hate relationship. I think that goes for most residents of the Fleurieu, we love to hate, hate to love. But deep down, I really love my town of Port Elliot and I love this peninsula. We’re rewarded here with 3 epic seasons. Summer: you have the coastline and understated beaches. Autumn: you’re rewarded with perfect weather and good surf. Winter: it's quiet and raw, the hills are green, and it's time to drink wine by the fire!
There’s nothing better than coming back down the coast after time spent in the city. The first thing we do when we get home is get reacquainted with the ocean. Take a deep breath, and exhale, everything feels fine again once you land back home. Living here on the Fleurieu Peninsula really just feels like I’m always on a working holiday.
HOW DOES THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA INSPIRE YOU & YEO HAUS?
It’s the fresh air. It’s the vast space, the freedom to live at a slower pace. We’re inspired to show it off, but we do it mindfully, so we keep our charm.
Yeo Haus was founded on a connection to the coastline. We draw our inspiration from the surf, art, and the environment. Here we’re all about providing hospitality with an open mind and open doors: the Fleurieu Peninsula community always has its door open.
WHERE IN THE REGION IS YOUR GO-TO DINNER SPOT?
My wife, Bridget & I love going down the road to Russell’s Pizza in Willunga. These guys are masters in wood oven pizzas & local wine. We love the people we meet here. I highly recommend booking a seat here if you’re visiting the region. If we want to stay a little more local, we’ll hit up Harborganics. These guys also nail a wood-fired pizza.
OUTSIDE OF YEO HAUS, WHERE IN THE REGION IS YOUR FAVOURITE COFFEE NOOK?
I love De Groot’s down the road in Port Elliot. Tucked away in a creative hub, De Groot Coffee Co is located at Factory 9, a cluster of pop up and permanent shops. Before we made The Strand our shop’s permanent location, we used to neighbour with the team at De Groot in the Factory 9 sheds. We’ll always share that community connection… and what’s even better is we make all our coffee’s using these guys beans. Come by and say hello!
Local Knowledge: Our favourite thing about Factory 9 is you can wander around these beautiful sheds all day. Coffee at De Groot Coffee Co, beautiful wines by Charlotte Dalton & Cooke Brothers at The Joinery Wine Room, pizzas by Harborganics, and local art by Richard John Art & Art Glass Design. A true hidden gem of the region, we'll see you there.
WHERE'S YOUR TOP PICK FOR AN AFTERNOON TIPPLE?
Yeo Haus Garden Bar. We brew our own beers and serve them out the back every weekend. Followed by a visit to The Royal Beer Garden off the main street in Port Elliot on a sunny afternoon. Our notable mention would have to be The Greenman Inn, on the road through Ashbourne. This place is a hidden gem. Again, perfect for the arvo sun.
Our tip: Spend the day down at Horseshoe Bay: a centerpiece for the charming, historical town of Port Elliot. The sprawling views over this pristine environment and ecosystem here guide us to remember just how lucky we are on the Fleurieu Peninsula. This place truly is the dream day trip location!
IS THERE A HIDDEN GEM IN THE REGION THAT EVERY VISITOR SHOULD EXPERIENCE?
It’s not hidden, it’s along the Heysen Trail - but the picnic table on the west side of the Waitpinga Cliffs is pretty special. Again, not very secret but the cave at Second Valley was our summer go to growing up. But what I tell every visitor that comes into Yeo Haus is - just drive. Get in the car and see the coast, see the hills, stop in at every town. Embrace the space. The Fleurieu has a bit of everything, you just have to slow down, spend that time, and explore it for yourself.
WHAT ARE THE TOP TWO ESSENTIALS EVERY VISITOR TO THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA NEEDS IN THEIR ITINERARY?
- Drop into Yeo Haus and say G’day; buy some Yeo Haus clothing, have a coffee & walk out with some Yeo Haus Beer.
- Walk the slate path of Port Elliot headlands. A short, but no-less impressive beauty to warm you up.
- Go to the wineries for an afternoon taste & then drive onto Silver Sands Beach to watch the sunset.