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Herald Sun July 2009 - 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 July 2009 of the Herald Sun

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Herald Sun July 2009 - Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand

  1. 1. Herald Sun, Friday, July 31, 2009 3 Herald Sun extrago +. Impressive: Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch, a » haven for the decadent diner. kiwi treatSouth Island suite F B 1 2 3Just out of Christchurchthere’s a homestead C M Y Kdream, writes Zoe SkewesD INNER at Otahuna Lodge is a little like New Zealand’s weather — New impossible to predict and full of Zealand surprises. Even chef Jimmy McIntyre rarely Christchurchknows what his daily five-coursedegustation dinner will feature until each DHS 31-JUL-2009 PAGEafternoon when he wanders Otahuna’ssprawling organic vegetable garden and Nfruit-and-nut orchard. 0 km 500 In the summer months guests could findthemselves dining on a sorbet of freshlypicked summer berries; in autumn it couldbe Otahuna’s own porcini mushrooms in »THE DEALMcIntyre’s ravioli; with winter comes five Getting there: Pacific Blue, Air Newvarieties of potato for homemade gnocchi; Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar fly dailyand in spring McIntyre is spoilt with a crop to Christchurch. Pacific Blue fliesof new asparagus popping up from the rich direct from Melbourne. Fares startSouth Island soil. from $189 one way. The airport is 25 With 95 different varieties of vegetables minutes by car from Otahunain Otahuna’s garden, the only limit to www.flypacificblue.comMcIntyre’s ever-changing menu is his Staying: Otahuna Lodge, 224 Rhodes formal dining room or to opt for a more artworks by New Zealand artists and views 3imagination. Opulence: Rd, Tai Tapu, Christchurch. Double private dining experience in one of the of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Otahuna ‘‘Today for example I thought I’d go out fireplaces warm rooms from $NZ700 a person per lodge’s many rooms such as the library, the has most certainly been restored to its EGand get leeks and fennel from the garden,’’ even Otahuna’s night in peak season (from $NZ1100 drawing-room turret or the spectacular former glory.McIntyre says as he takes a break from restored for singles). Includes degustation sunken wine cellar. Built in 1895 for high-profile CanterburyOtahuna’s kitchen. bathrooms. dinner with wine, pre-dinner drinks, All options provide a decadent dining pioneer Sir Heaton Rhodes, the three- ‘‘But I found some baby peas instead, so experience, thanks in part to McIntyre’s breakfast and use of all lodgeI picked as many as I needed to go with the storey homestead is considered one of the Seasonal: facilities and equipment. cooking (with five courses each night, best examples of unspoiled Queen Annemain course. guests staying for four nights sample 20 of Otahuna’s huge ‘‘And yesterday I picked chillies and I had architecture in Australasia. organic vegetable McIntyre’s creations, including his own Nearby: Otahuna Lodge is an idealno idea what I was going to do with them. cured meats) and also to Otahuna’s As luxurious as the interior of Otahuna is, garden inspires base for exploring Christchurch andI ended up stuffing them with prawn and stunning renovation, completed in 2007 the surrounding gardens are as impressive chef Jimmy the Canterbury region, touringsalmon and serving them with a salsa made under the watchful eyes of owners Hall — particularly given the property was bare, McIntyre’s menus. Alpine peaks and glaciers or fly-with the last of the summer tomatoes and Cannon and Miles Refo. unimproved land before Rhodes’ time. fishing in the Waimakariri Gorge.avocado. The dish was the perfect blend of Americans Cannon and Refo, both 32, Now the 110-year-old, 12ha gardens aresummer and autumn. more > traded their Manhattan lifestyles three blessed with a breathtaking feature saved ‘‘That’s the way it works around here. As years ago for the quiet of New Zealand. for guests lucky enough to visit in spring.a chef it’s a wonderful way to operate.’’ They spent months in New Zealand More than 10,000 daffodil bulbs are A wonderful way to operate is in fact the looking for the right fit before falling in hidden beneath the grass on the property’sperfect description for what life becomes love with Otahuna. main lawn, which becomes a sea of yellowfor guests of Otahuna Lodge. Cannon and Refo couldn’t wait to every September as the bulbs bloom. The opulent 1890s homestead is a embrace their new life and, with the help of20-minute drive from Christchurch Rhodes was the first to grow daffodils in 40 tradesmen on-site each day and anAirport. With ease, it redefines the notion New Zealand in the early 1900s and the $8 million budget, the renovations wereof luxury accommodation. tradition is something Cannon and Refo are finished in four months before Otahuna Seven suites — including the 110sq m, more than happy to continue, opening Lodge reopened to guests in May, 2007.four-room master suite — mean there is a Otahuna and its daffodils to the public on ‘‘We love sharing Otahuna with ourmaximum of only 14 guests at any one time. the first Sunday in September each year. guests,’’ Cannon says as he sits in front of a And from the moment guests arrive up crackling fire in one of the two drawing As is the case with McIntyre’s menu,the sweeping driveway, it’s clear the most rooms. ‘‘And we were so pleased to be able surprises are around every corner.taxing decision during their stay will be to bring this place back to life.’’ The writer stayed courtesy of Otahuna Lodgewhether to dine with other guests in the With 14 fireplaces, 35 commissioned and Virgin Atlantic. +