Although this blog is primarily about the wonders of Oamaru and the surrounding Waitaki district, it seems only fair occasionally to venture a bit further afield when there is something worthy of comment and that may be of interest to the outside world. So those today you will be treated to a post about a wonderful lodge that I visited this weekend not just outside of Oamaru, but outside of the South Island.
The lodge in question is Greenmantle Estate, a beautiful and large stately home near the town of Waikanae, on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington. Owned by the charming couple, Letizia and Ralph Green, Greenmantle’s six guest rooms are all individually decorated, offering exceptional comfort and relaxation to guests who seek a respite from the daily grind. Set amongst two hectares of gardens that include a stunning native forest of Nikau palms, ferns and other New Zealand flora that defies description, it seems that there are countless places for guests to venture out and find a little corner that you can imagine no one has ever visited before.
Among the many charming features of Greenmantle Estate are the pair of tame domesticated ducks who have been engaged to keep the lawns well manicured, who will come toward you if they have the sense you might be bringing them some food; a koi pond that the ducks also enjoy swimming in; an artesian well that provides pristine drinking water for the dining table; a dovecote that draws beautiful snow-white doves to the property; and interesting and eclectic art throughout the lodge.
Letizia and Ralph are charming hosts. Ralph is a Kiwi with a quick wit who, like so many lodge owners in New Zealand, has a range of interests and experience that ensure interesting conversation on virtually any topic. Letizia, originally from Sardinia, has been in New Zealand for decades, but still exudes all the warmth and humour associated with that blessed island in the Mediterranean, and if you are lucky enough to enjoy a meal that she has prepared, you’re in store for a real treat, with authentic Italian flavours using the best local and imported ingredients.
Greenmantle is located just an hour’s train ride from Wellington, and would make an ideal weekend getaway, or a base from which to explore the capital, or just a destination to recharge your batteries.