My family and I stayed in the Woolshed Cottage, one of five cottages on the St Leonards grounds. The cottage was very nicely done out - they refer to it on the website as being a 'character' 2-bed cottage, and it really is. The cottage itself is built from wood, with lovely old windows (bought from a school that was being demolished apparently) and very good-quality furnishings. The beds were comfortable, as were the sofas, and the cottage was well-supplied with all the crockery, cutlery and glassware we needed (again, good quality). The only slight problem we had was with the shower - there was plenty of hot water, but ever so often the shower head seemed to get ideas of its own and try to leap off the fitting. Not a big deal, however!
For breakfast, we were provided with cereals, bread, butter and jam, ground coffee and some lovely fresh eggs from the hens they keep. Daphne also had a number of recommendations for dinner and actually sorted out our booking for us, which was a big help (we went to Marlborough Vintners which was excellent).
The property has a shared swimming pool, a boules pitch (is that the right word?!), a paddock with some very friendly sheep and hens, and a lemon orchard with deer, which were beautiful to look at. The property is set back from the road, making it a quiet and peaceful place to be, surrounded by rows of grapes and with beautiful views up to the hills and mountains in the background - just the sort of place you want to be when you're in wine country. Paul had recommendations for wineries that we might like to visit - we followed his suggestions and had a great morning and lunch out (we particularly liked Bladen vineyard - small but perfectly formed!). It's a drive or a taxi ride (or a bike ride) to get to any restaurants or into town, but the beautiful setting is more than worth it.
Daphne and Paul were extremely helpful and pleasant hosts and really went the extra mile, when Paul tracked us down to one of the vineyards he had recommended to bring us the hat my brother had left under his bed after we checked out!
Sadly we only had time for one night here, but I would certainly stay again if I returned to the area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ST LEONARD’S VINEYARD COTTAGES is set on 4.5 acres, with five self-contained boutique cottages positioned around the semi-rural property. The original farm homestead (circa 1856) is home to your hosts - Marcus and Michele - and is an excellent example of early NZ colonial architecture. The house is situated in the hub of this private setting with century-old walnut, gum and elm trees. The charming cottages are themed around the old farm buildings, offering their own unique view of mountains, vines or gardens, and are privately located around the property. They are all fully self-contained and self-catering. Make the most of your idyllic surroundings by exploring the grounds with its picturesque gardens and majestic trees. Near the lemon grove you will find sheep and chickens (all prepared to become your new best friend for a handful of food) plus a couple of very shy deer. Pool, Petanque, lawn tennis and Bicycles ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- St Leonards Vineyard Hotel
- St Leonards Vineyard Blenheim
- St Leonards Vineyard Cottages Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand