What a day! Running our wine stall at the Garden Fete held at Claremont House, on a perfect summer’s day was a highlight!
Our wine stall luckily was in the shade of the gorgeous gardens and our Methode Traditionelle “Milestone Bubbles” served chilled with local Waimate strawberries proved very popular… perfect for the Garden Fete occasion. We had a great day and were delighted to see many of our long time Point Bush Wine friends stop by to chat and wine taste and take advantage to order wines on line saving them having to carry wine around with them on the day.
The charity fund raiser event for “Make a Wish”, organised by Timaru’s Bayleys Estate Agents provided an opportunity for the Public to view the Stately Home with its sweeping driveway, beautifully landscaped gardens and grand Neo-Gothic style mansion. Castle Claremont is the closest thing South Canterbury has to a royal estate. Set on 11 hectares in picturesque park-like setting, Claremont House has 10 bedrooms, five bathrooms, a formal dining room, library/billiard room, reception facilities and a chapel.
The day was filled with music entertainment, food and handcraft stalls, children’s activities, carriage rides drawn by “Brick” a magnificent handsome 6 year old Clydesdale. The day was a record hot one but plenty of visitors came and strolled the grounds, viewed the chapel and house and enjoyed the stunning grounds. Built in 1884 for prominent early settler George Hampton Rhodes and his wife Henrietta, Claremont has a colourful history and played a part in religious and community life. For several years it was the St Joseph's Novitiate for the Marist Brothers. Now in private ownership. The present owner, Rob Young has restored and refurbished the house and surrounding gardens to their former glory.
The property is currently used as wedding venue, bed and breakfast, Airbnb plus conference facility. However, the owner Rob Young has reluctantly decided to sell and is on the Market. (In a perfect world, we felt Claremont would make a wonderful National Trust property, available to the Public, similar to many such Stately Homes we visited in the U.K last summer - if only!)
Our next outing with our Point Bush Wine Stall is at the Twizel Salmon and Wine Festival on the 23rd February and we will be prepared for another hot day with plenty of Bubbles and Strawberries plus jugs of iced water with lemon, fennel and mint! See you there!
Ann is one half of Point Bush Wines, alongside husband Gary. A lover of tropical temperatures, a permanent British expat since the age of 18, and happiest when discovering local history and culture wherever she goes.