Monday, June 20, 2016

The China Room...

Finally I have some photos to share with you of The China Room! For those who have waited patiently here they are...

Above: A view from foyer towards fireplace. The blue and white was inspired by Wedgwood Jasperware. The background of the fireplace will be painted blue eventually to highlight the classical motifs embossed on it.

Below: View south towards front of house. The curtains should be finished next week. They are being made from a backed silk, slightly darker than the wall colour.

Below: Some of the Wedgwood collection... 

I like this cheeky little putto on one of the vases...


Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Inaugural Supper Club - Smashing Success!

Both Peter and I would like to thank all the guests who came to our inaugural degustation dinner. We are glad you had such a good time, and we can't wait for the next one. Here are some pictures of the night...

Above: The invitations.

Below: Chef Phil and Sous Chef Yai Yee from Kerr & Ladbrook, at work in the Willowbrook kitchen...
Above: Our sommelier, Dan, from Mills Reef winery, with Manager Lisa, and Tyler from Kerr & Ladbrook.

Below: Dan lining up the degustation wines in the Billiard room...

The Menu...

The dining room set for dinner, with thanks to Trevor Gibbs for the floristry...

The first of our guests arriving, courtesy of John and Fiona Carrington of Carrington Limousines...

Soprano Evelyn Bourton kicking off the night's entertainment.... 

And continuing in between courses...

Myself with Evelyn, who is actually a very old friend (we went to school together and have kept in touch as our careers took us in different directions).

Thus endeth a wonderful night. A big thank you to all the crew from Kerr & Ladrbook, and Dan from Mills Reef, who worked to hard to produce a flawless evening for everyone.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hedge Archways...


Having been very taken with the shaped hedges at Highgrove, we decided when we planted our leiland hedges, we would add some interest by having archways and castellations in them.

Above and below: The shaped hedges at Highgrove. 

The archways line up with vistas inside the house, so that from certain French windows you can see through the hedges to focal points, such as a bench under the copse of Oaks in Spencer's corner...


The hedge has made reasonable progress since a year ago...


In time the arch will become higher and acuter, resembling more the sort of arch below...


The arch above looks as if it is fashioned out of a Hornbeam or Beech hedge, whereas the more traditional choice for a clipped hedge would be Yew, like the arch below...


There are many things that you can do with hedges to add interest (other than clip them into waves). Here are some more examples I found on Pinterest, which I rather like...


I really like these topiary obelisks which 'book-end' the hedge nicely and again frame a vista in the garden. 


More hedged pillars...

Niches in a hedge with recessed busts are also a dramatic way to add interest to an otherwise green wall, and give people the joy of discovering things as they journey through the grounds...


Friday, May 20, 2016

The Salon...

Last month the leather couches for the salon arrived. We chose some traditional deeply buttoned Chesterfield styled couches, with two matching chairs. After a few iterations, we settled upon a configuration which splits the long salon into two smaller spaces suitable for conversation...


The area is split in two by a Boulle cabinet with a lovely Lalique lamp on it, which we leave on most of the day for effect, and at night it makes a lovely 'night light'.


At the moment the space is still a little less cosy than desired, so we plan to add area rugs under the two coffee tables, which will help to absorb some of the echo, and some parlour palms.

Examples of area rugs and parlour palms used to good effect...

We also have our French Boulle clock in the corner nearest the music room...

I am sure this won't be the last time we rearrange the furniture in the salon, but I think need to live with it as it is for a little while before we change it again. Maybe we will try the couches at either end with the chairs and tables in between...


What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Supper Club...


Willowbrook Park holds an intimate monthly degustation dinner known as “The Supper Club”.  Our guest chef will lead you on a gastronomic journey through six courses of gourmet cuisine, each course accompanied by a different wine on which our sommelier will provide tasting notes.

For our inaugural Supper Club the menu has been carefully chosen by Kerr and Ladbrook to be paired with a selection of wines from Mills Reef winery.


At The Supper Club your pleasure doesn’t stop at the fine dining.  Each of these exclusive events is accompanied by entertainment throughout the evening. Getting our first occasion off to an effervescent start, we are very pleased to announce that soprano Evelyn Bourton, freshly returned from touring aboard, will be providing operatic amusement for our guests.


Willowbrook Park supports the responsible service of alcohol, so guests will be collected from their homes by Carrington Limousines so they can arrive in style, and then be delivered safely back home at the end of the evening.


Of course, guests may choose to make a weekend of it, and having started their mini-break with class, continue it with a stay in one of our three luxury suites.


Numbers are strictly limited to 14, and have already sold out within the first week. Be sure to book ahead for our next one. Bookings can be made through our website www.willowbrookpark.co.nz.
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