Sunday Star Times March 2010 - Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand


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Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand situated at the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island.

Read about Otahuna Lodge in the March 2010 of the Sunday Star Times

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Sunday Star Times March 2010 - Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand

  1. 1. [escape] TRAVEL / 36 hoursOtahuna Fact file: Where to stay: Otahuna Lodge is at Tai Tapu, about 25 minutes drive from Christchurch. High-season tariffs (October-April inclusive) for two guests start from $1500+GST, or Saturday, 9am: The house is tooMonique Farmer quiet. It doesn’t sound right without from $1100 from May- squealing and squabbling. Our kids September. This includesleaves behind the have headed out the door with pre-dinner drinks and canapes, a five-course degustation dinnerchildren and friends without a backward glance, and for the first time in three years with matching wine, cooked and/enjoys the charms we’re off on a weekend for two. The mother guilt starts to ease the or continental breakfast and use of all lodge facilities.of a historic minute we leave for Auckland airport. Ph (03) 329-6333, lodge. 12.15pm: From Christchurch What to do: airport we are whisked towards the Bucolic bliss: Reflecting on Otahuna. Port Hills by Range Rover. Twenty- At Otahuna Lodge – private five minutes of pretty countryside garden tours, cooking classes, later, we sweep up the gravel kitchen, all labelled for the benefit wine. The sweetcorn in the soup cycling in the grounds or driveway to a grand old country of guests, and the vegetable (served with avocado, lime and surrounding area, relax poolside home called Otahuna Lodge, where gardener takes a big tray to the tiger prawns) is from Otahuna’s or in the hot tub. The lodge can Hall Cannon and Miles Refo greet kitchen daily. garden, ditto the summer arrange horseback riding, golf, us like lords of the manor. The 2pm: A table for two is set in the vegetables with the free-range fishing, hunting, wine tours, young Americans have owned this drawing room turret, overlooking a organic chicken and red onion tart, helicopter trips to the Southern beautiful building (Queen Anne rose garden and beyond to the pool and the nectarines and peaches Alps and excursions to Akaroa. style for architecture buffs) for and spa. Executive chef Jimmy that accompany the lemoncake In spring, Otahuna has an open about three years. It was built in McIntyre serves us a light salad of semifreddo. The Americans agree 1895 as the home of NZ locally smoked salmon and fresh that it is the best meal they’ve had day – Daffodil Day – which last parliamentarian Sir Heaton Rhodes vegetables from the garden, with a in New Zealand. year saw 2500 visitors enjoy the and was later a Christian Brothers’ glass of Huia sauvignon blanc. 11pm: Thoughtfully, there is a one million bulbs planted in the monastery, a commune and a 3.15pm: Refo offers to take the lid copy of the menu awaiting in our lawn. Groups of 15 or more can family home, before Cannon and off the spa and by the time we suite, which has been transformed enjoy a guided tour of the lodge Refo restored it to its present glory. change, the water is bubbling away in our absence: fluffy white rugs on gardens with advance They have done an impeccable job: at 38°C, two towels placed nearby. each side of the bed, handmade reservations. every room is sumptuously The pool is equally irresistible on truffles, carafes of iced water, plushThere are more than 120 decorated yet not stuffy, and every such a lovely early autumn day. curtains drawn. whim is anticipated. 6.30pm: Dining at Otahuna Lodge Sunday, 9am: The dining room istypes of fruit and 1pm: We take advantage of the is communal and served in the perfect for a lavish dinner but CHRISTCHURCH head gardener being on duty on a opulent dining room but if you would feel too formal for breakfast.vegetables grown for the Saturday to have a guided tour. crave privacy you can elect to dine The nearby breakfast kitchen is a Steve Marchan shows off his hard a deux in the drawing room, or sunny and welcoming room with a Otahuna Lodgelodge’s kitchen, all labelled work to guests about three times a cellar, or pretty much anywhere long table in its centre. The kitchenfor the benefit of guests, week and it’s a delightful hour you want. We meet our fellow bench is covered with bowls of Banks thanks to his contagious travellers in the drawing room for cereal, fruit salad and yoghurts. Peninsulaand the vegetable gardener enthusiasm. Marchan shares some cocktails and canapes, where The juicer soon whirs into action as of Otahuna’s history as we stroll in Cannon introduces everyone and guest host Emma Fergusson loadstakes a big tray to the the afternoon sunshine. In the first gets the conversations rolling. it with oranges and carrots thenkitchen daily. two years Rhodes’ gardeners Otahuna has seven guest suites and works the high-tech coffee machine planted 20,000 trees on 1215ha, tonight four are occupied. Our with the flair of an Italian barista. largely English-style oak, pine and fellow guests are two American Meanwhile, breakfast chef Adrian wobbling soon passes and we spend cedar. These days, nine hectares couples and a couple from Harrison is whipping up a smoked 90 enjoyable minutes exploring are garden and 4.5 are paddocks, Switzerland. The majority of salmon omelette for me and bacon quiet, poplar-lined roads, passing housing sheep and cattle in the Otahuna’s guests are Americans and eggs for my husband. English-style manors and deer lodge’s efforts at self sufficiency. and Europeans; New Zealanders 10.45am: It’s been at least 20 years farms. At the Raspberry Farm cafeThe lodge’s dining room. We admire the formal ‘‘Dutch and Australians are more likely to since I last rode a bike, and I’m a down the road from Otahuna I buy gardens’’, bordered by hedges in a stay over winter when the tariffs little nervous. My feet could reach a big box of strawberries for the windmill pattern, the organic are lower. the ground on my last bicycle and I kids to assuage the mother guilt. orchard where trees are laden with 7.30pm: It’s a sign of how well don’t recall that crossbar being 1.20pm: We reluctantly head back pears and apples, and a vast, we’re all getting on that chef quite so high. Refo has given us to Christchurch airport, thinking stonewalled vegetable garden, McIntyre has to politely tap a glass directions for a 6km circuit of the how nice it would be to talk about which would make any home cook to get our attention as he surrounding countryside and as I the day’s events with our new green with envy. There are more introduces each course. It is a five- zoom off between Otahuna’s trees friends over dinner. But that would than 120 types of fruit and course feast, each dish towards the front gate, I hope I look mean another 10km bike ride to vegetables grown for the lodge’s accompanied by a different local more in control than I feel. But the work off all that fabulous food. LATIN AMERICA ON SALE! Marvellous Mexico! MAYAN HEARTLAND Explore historic Mexico City and the lost world of the Mayans in Chichen Itza then relax in beautiful Cancun. 10 days from $1719* per person Tour includes: 9 nights accommodation, most meals, transfers and sightseeing. This 10 day South America tour has it all! LATIN RENDEZVOUS Discover the romance of Buenos Aires, spectacular Iguazu Falls and soak up the sun in beautiful Rio de Janeiro. New brochure out now! 10 days from $1899* per person Tour includes: 9 nights accommodation, breakfast daily, transfers and sightseeing. Call us to receive your copy today. Call: 0800 955 855 Click: Visit: your Mondo store Orewa • Whangaparaoa • Takapuna • Auckland CBD • Mt Eden • Remuera • Kerikeri • Whangarei • Chartwell, Hamilton • Cherrywood & Devonport Road, Tauranga • New Plymouth • Motueka • Richmond • Christchurch TERMS & CONDITIONS: *Prices are correct as of 15 MAR 2010 and are subject to change without notice. Prices shown are based on low season per person twin share and do not include airfares.12 escape / travel SundayStar★Times / March 21, 2010