Kitchen Tour - Hospice Fundraiser

Published October 09, 2017

A selection of local kitchens to visit this weekend

French Country Charm

………………………    Stroll down the driveway and continue on to the right and you’ll see Mace Cottage/Foxglove Cottage. - built in 1854, and moved to its current site 30 years ago.  R*** has captured the charm of a bygone era with her clever use of antique and vintage pieces – many purchased on a holiday in France some years ago.  Although tiny, R***’s kitchenette is filled to the brim with cleverly styled bits and pieces collected over her lifetime.  Pots of geraniums line the window sill, old vintage linens drape themselves over the table, and all manner of jars of jams and spices line the shelves.  At her lovely table we sat down to Lemon tea and lightly toasted French bread and butter with pickles.  A delicious accompaniment to our Kitchen Tour conversation.  I love it here and you will too!  There is so much to see here at Foxglove Cottage.   R*** makes Clutter desirable!  
R***  and her daughter Keziah will also have some delicious baking to tempt you if you’d like to purchase a nice cup of tea here as well.   Proceeds to Hospice.  

Tapuae Treasure

…………………  on the Tapuae Estate situated between New Plymouth and Oakura.  M*** and J***  have spent the past few years developing what was originally dry, steep, borderline farming country, into lush green slopes clad in healthy native bush.  As you drive through this development, now and then you’ll get a glimpse of some of the jewels studded throughout these beautiful plantings – designer homes privately nestled into hills, each with its own ocean view.  Follow the signposts to number 18 and you’ll descend into M***’s  serenely beautiful, expansive home.  Her kitchen is like the rest of her home, quietly understated, modern and with lots of room.  Her wonderful pantry houses all the treasures for a dinner party; along with the food supplies, you’ll see glassware enough to start a restaurant, exquisite vintage crockery, ample bench space and the sink!  No need to have any mess visible when your guests arrive. However, aside from the desirable pantry, the star of M***’s  kitchen has to be the view of the coastlines in both directions.  It takes your breath away and any words I can write would simply not do it justice.  Come and see for yourself.
M*** and J***  will organise parking at the top of the drive, and golf carts to transport you from the top of their driveway to their door.  Or those of you with useful legs can simply walk!

Hand Hewn Beams meets Blue China

……………………    When you enter the secret garden that enfolds Plas Mawr, you’ll immediately feel as if you’ve been transported to Ye Olde Worlde Wales.  This hand-crafted home is one of the treasured Chapman-Taylor homes of New Plymouth, and owners J*** and S**** keep it in the manner to which it has become accustomed!  From it’s small-paned lead light windows, to the hand adzed woodwork, this little house is character-home personified.  Although kitchens were never the main attraction in these historic homes (as they have become in modern dwellings), nevertheless, this one has a secret charm all of its own.   Whitewashed brickwork, the muted tones of vintage ceramic tiles and a deep, original, butlers sink whisper of a bygone era.  The beautiful (new) Aga stove drags it into the 21st century and makes this kitchen a cosy and utterly desirable space to work in – and S**** wants it noted that this is not just a ‘woman’s kitchen’ (let me wash my mouth out), HE actually cooks in here too!   J***’s  jars of preserves hint at winter puddings, and if you remember to turn around, you’ll be delighted by entire walls covered in shelves holding her blue china collection – J*** purchased her first pieces when she got her first pay packet.  And she still has them – she’s clearly more careful with her china than some of us!
If S**** has the time, he may have made some cake for you to have with a cup of tea here.  Or perhaps J*** will have helped him out with this ☺     More pennies for Hospice.

Hard Work vs Hard Cash

……………………….. (Surf Highway 45) just 2km out of Oakura heading south.  Please pull to the left before turning right if there’s oncoming traffic
This solid little Depression-era farmhouse had been neglected for some years before D***** and M***** purchased it.  With the help of D*****’s Parents M*** and V** , they have won the battle with the kikuyu which was up to the window sills and threatening to invade the interior, and have landscaped and renovated the grounds and house on a shoestring budget.  Never afraid of hard work, D*****  has hoarded every bit of scrap timber, concrete, old windows & doors etc, that were destined for the dump and they’ve used this pile of treasure to transform the cottage and the paddock it’s set in.  Her humble little kitchen is so different from the dingy lean-to they were initially faced with.  Sunny and open and very user friendly.   M*****  (a heavy machinery operator and farmer by trade) has now turned his hand to carpentry, and his newly developed skills can be seen everywhere.  Old French doors reveal a pantry displaying (amongst other things), jars of fruit grown on the property from transplanted mature trees.  Note the wall paper made from pages of vintage cookbooks!  D*****  has been involved in publishing a cook book with “Farming Mums NZ”, to raise funds for Rural Support Trust and St Johns Ambulance, and copies of these will be on display. (there may be third reprint for Christmas if there’s enough demand).  You are welcome to look around the house and the garden to see what can be done with a little imagination and a lot of hard graft ☺ She reminds me it’s a work in progress!  
D***** will have home baked gluten free goodies available for morning/afternoon tea.  More funds for Hospice.

Bill’s Kitchen

……………………. – on the corner of …………and Hobson Z** and B*** bought this lovely old villa some years ago, and whilst previous owners had renovated much of it, Z** and B***  have transformed the kitchen from the original into a sleek, modern, open space worthy of B***’s cooking.  Gleaming rimu floors reflect the home’s origins and are echoed in the beautifully set up dining table and pews.  Z**’s  love of colour is evident in the deep red walls and colourful furnishings in the dining area.  They’ve also installed French doors which now open out onto the decks which they have wrapped around the house, thus extending the entertaining areas considerably.  Note the vege garden along the edge of the deck – just 10 steps from the stove to the broccoli patch and 12 steps to the spinach.  No food miles travelled for these veges -  ‘Paddock to Plate’ practitioners eat your heart out!   We’re hoping for a fine day for the Kitchen Tour so that you can enjoy this outdoor area too. 
Although they’ll only have been home from an overseas holiday for 3 days before the tour, B***  plans to entertain you with some delicious snacks for morning/afternoon tea if you’re feeling peckish.  $$$ for Hospice.

A Cooks Kitchen

………………..   Get your walking feet on, stroll down the driveway and continue to the left and you’ll end up in …………….. kitchen.  Not visible from the street, J**** and her partner J***  are enjoying transforming this home into their warm, secluded hideaway.  Among her many talents (exquisite sewing and knitting for grandchildren and for her daughters online shops; creative gardener),  J**** is an absolutely superb cook. Her kitchen is her creative hub and it all happens here!   I note that she’s got the ‘kitchen triangle’ thing going on here, with the large almost industrial stove at the end, and opposing each other the fridge and the sink.  Beautiful bench tops hold an array of useful and beautiful kitchen paraphernalia and you’ll find yourself seeing charming little vignettes on ladders, windowsills, and in every little nook.  Behind the stove you’ll note all the messages to herself scribbled on the splashback – catering details, little reminders, recipe notes.  Who needs a memory when you’ve got a splash back and a writing stick?  The perfect accessory for every menopausal woman☺! This is my absolutely favourite place to get a dinner invitation from. J****’s skills in presentation (not just the cooking) always fill me with delight.  I love it when people make an effort for me and I’m sure you’ll love it too. Find the magnet that says “Sometimes all you need is an old friend, a good chat, and a slightly expensive block of cheese”  It says it all.
 J****  will have homemade treats for you to enjoy for morning/afternoon tea if you’re in the mood.  More $$$ for Hospice.

Upcycled Magic

………………………. Oakura.   Note – the house is hidden down the drive and is NOT the one you see from the street.   Five years ago, B****** and A*** built their pole house on a very steep gorse-covered section overlooking the Oakura River and surrounding farmland.  B*****’s  bohemian kitchen is colourful and full!  An old ladder is attached to the ceiling beams and is home to all her pots and pans and the eclectic mix of olden-day utensils she enjoys using in her cooking.  Open shelving stores the crockery and the many pottery pieces she made herself when she was a potter in a previous life.  Wharf pile ‘shorts’ are her prep counter, the old Bertrand Road bridge provided the shelving in their snug library and an old treadle sewing machine sacrificed it’s drawers to hold cutlery in this very colourful kitchen.  There are fascinating details everywhere you look, not the least of which are the light shades and door handles that Alan has made her from all manner of castoffs from the scrap metal yards.  This is another Cooks Kitchen and cook books on B*****’s current passion – vegan/plant-based cooking will inspire anyone who shares this interest. The Pizza Oven A***  made from the crumbly clay soil under the house, stands outside, sheltered by the Pizza Hut wood shed.  It needs a little mending before this summer’s pizza season as it got a little storm-ravaged this winter.  It’s very cute and they use it a lot when family and friends visit. 
B***** will have tasty nibbles and a drink to tempt you for morning/afternoon tea here.    Proceeds for our Hospice. 

Shades of the Sea

……………….. Devonport Apartments – 127 St Aubyn Street.  J***  has washed her tiny inner city apartment with colours from the palette of an angry sea.  Soft Aquamarine, dull palest blues, foamy whites, sun-bleached timber furniture with whispers of taupe are all blended to create a wonderfully feminine environment.  The ocean in the distance glints off the little chandelier and brings a quiet sparkle into the shadows of the lounge. (sorry people – a wave of poetry washed over me and I had to flow with it!)  Sitting with J***  having a cup of tea in her tiny dining room as we discussed the Kitchen Tour was so relaxing.  She has created a truly beautiful space.  But of course you’ve come to see the kitchen – how remiss of me!  Tucked away in a corner is the most user friendly little kitchen you could wish for.  Everything has fitted in nicely and can be reached without having to move from the one spot.  Her decorations give the area a delightful French feel of subtly distressed woodwork and plain off white china.  J*** invites you to look through her apartment and enjoy this inner city treasure with her.

Can I offer you a View with your Juice?

……………………….     Find somewhere to park on the street, and walk towards the tall slender silver apartment building on …………………, and you’ll find yourself climbing the stairs to K****’s  first floor inner city apartment.  Built on a very small footprint, this building captures the rooftop and ocean views with its north facing kitchen and living area.  Clean lines greet you as your gaze is drawn past the sleek white cabinetry and the brushed stainless steel of the bench tops, across the tiny deck and over the neighbouring homes out toward the sea.  Everything is neatly hidden away in this kitchen, with the stainless appliance garage housing K****’s huge collection of wine glasses.  She must entertain a lot of visitors!   K****  has recently returned from a yoga training retreat in Bali and is passionate about the value of not just yoga, but also creating a healthy body by including raw juice and raw food in our diets.  She will be demonstrating her juicing food techniques in her lovely kitchen as part of the Kitchen Tour, and you might be lucky enough to do some taste testing for her when you get there.  You might be interested to know that K****’s  beautiful Opunake villa is soon to be transformed into Kenkora Yoga Retreat.   She plans to hold retreats there once a month for folk wanting to experience the healing powers of Hatha Yoga and her dietary regime.  She is also planning to set up a yoga studio in New Plymouth, and this lovely apartment will soon be for sale as she fulfils her dreams.  Join her in her kitchen as she shares her journey.