Day Thirty Seven: Great to Even Better, with Two Good Stops in Between!

It was birdsong and sunshine that woke us up at Lacoste Cottage in Martinborough. We had breakfast “in” and really enjoyed the huge variety of breakfast goodies that the owners had in place for us. It’s the first place we have stayed that had an entire rack full of jams, jellies, peanut butter, and MARMITE (yum!) tubs, as well as a loaf of Vogel’s bread.  On the way up to Matamata we made two good stops. The first one was a Stonehenge Aotearoa (see my post for December 21 for my first time there’s post). This time we just watched the video presentation and did the self-guided tour.

Stonehenge 1

Stonehenge full

Stonehenge 2

Stonehenge 3

Stonehenge 4

Tiny visitor center.

Tiny visitor center.

Stonehenge tui

Stonehenge tui

Our next stop was at Tui HQ in Mangatainoka. This is the main plant / brewery for my favorite NZ beer, Tui. We didn’t have time to go one of the brewery tours (nor did we think the kids would have enjoyed it much!) but I had a grand old time looking around a bit and hitting the Tui Shop!

Tui HQ 1

Tui HQ 2

Etched on the glass door: Welcome tui you

Etched on the glass door:
Welcome tui you

Our LONG drive finished up on Matamata at a “farm stay”. What was I expecting? Rustic rooms, sheep and/or cows, sheds, hay bales…you know…FARM stuff. And what did we find? Well, first we found Ian Diprose (one of the owners) on a tractor at the start of the driveway. Once we’d figured out that we were in the right place, he welcomed us warmly and sent us down “to the end of the drive” to find the house. On the way down we passed some cows (check) and some sheds (check). What we saw when we got to the end of the very long drive was anything but what I’d expected to find there! Welcome to de Preaux Lodge! A luxury farmstay… The link will show you a great shot of the house. We were greeted oh so warmly and shown to our rooms by Joy Diprose, Ian’s wife and our hostess, then we chatted a while before Ian came in to collect us to see a bit of the farm before dinner. Yes, it IS a working farm with both sheep and cows! It was out the back door first to meet the sheep who are right behind the house. Ian had some cookies with him, and let me tell you those sheep came running! The Diproses grow their own vegetables and have a very nice veg garden on the side of the house. We learned about what happens with the cows who come to board at the farm and watched as they were shifted to a different section of the pasture and onto fresh grass.

Take your shoes off an stay a while, the door is open!

Take your shoes off an stay a while, the door is open!

DPL meeting sheep

Sheep LOVE biscuits (cookies)

Sheep LOVE biscuits (cookies)

Ian leads us to the local mob.

Ian leads us to the local mob.

Young, and not too sure of us...but very curious!

Young, and not too sure of us…but very curious!

Cow thought: "I wonder if that guy is salty?" Human thought: "I've been slimed!"

Cow thought: “I wonder if that guy is salty?”
Human thought: “I’ve been slimed!”

All settled on some fresh pasture.

All settled on some fresh pasture.

Joy is a fantastic cook and made us the most delicious home-cooked vegetarian meal we’ve had since we got here. Hearts (and stomachs) were won over well before she served dessert, but ohmygoodness really…she served mini pavlovas (meringues, fruit, whipped cream, and ice cream) which got both seconds requests and smiles out of both of the girls! I’m very happy to report that the outdoor fireplace (and pizza oven) have very recently been completed and Ian got a nice blaze going for us when it cooled down during dessert.

spotted on the patio

spotted on the patio

This is Edmund. I was lucky enough to have him visit my room!

This is Edmund. I was lucky enough to have him visit my room!

Fireplace and pizza oven that Ian built at twilight. I'll put another (daytime) shot in so you can see it better but this one had a fire lit in it!.

Fireplace and pizza oven that Ian built at twilight.
I’ll put another (daytime) shot in so you can see it better but this one had a fire lit in it!.

Moonrise

Moonrise

Twilight sheep and path

Twilight sheep and path

Sunset light on one of our rooms.

Sunset light on one of our rooms.

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One Response to Day Thirty Seven: Great to Even Better, with Two Good Stops in Between!

  1. EO says:

    Forget pavlova – I think Edmund is the highlight of that evening’s entertainment!

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