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Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's off to work we go

As I mentioned in the last A Deer Cottage Newsletter, winter was a great time to sort things out and have a clean up; and so that I did. However, things did not stop there.....I was looking at our forlorn spa pool cover that had seen better days, and thought, could I be clever enough to repair the cover myself and give it a new lease of life? I got out my trusty sewing machine, bought some new vinyl, and got to work.

Never knew a domestic sewing machine could be so clever!
The end result - pretty happy 🦌❤️🦌

Sewing the heavy, awkward cover was rather challenging. However, with a determined attitude, I was not going to let the cover get the better of me. With a heavy leather needle and thread, I worked quietly and consistently to construct the new cover. Once finished, I bought some glue that was not only water-resistant but also had some give. I glued a new panel down the centre of the two halves (where the two foam panels meet in the middle). I then put the new cover to the test. I am rather pleased with the end result and hope that the new cover will last another season. If you want to come stay and try out the spa pool book here


One thing I love about A Deer Cottage is the creativity that I can bring to making a difference. I have booked in with a group of girlfriends to give a soft stone sculpture workshop a go through a Company called "The Essential Garden" in the Upper Waiwera Valley. I am wondering what I can make to add to the garden - I love those planters in the shape of a head; you plant them up with a cool plant to look like hair. Could I construct a deer head with antlers? Anyway food for thought....


Last month, I featured Lauren at Farm Folly; a local homemade soap maker. I am looking forward to buying some of her products, especially with Father's Day coming up. I always struggle to think of what I should get for my husband from my kids, but Lauren has made this year easy.


This month, I interviewed Ashley Bartley from "Waterfall Farm"; a magnificent Wedding Venue less than 10 minutes from Kaukapakapa and A Deer Cottage and 25 minutes from the Silverdale Interchange. We are so blessed to be in a gorgeous part of Auckland where you can just wander through the woodland setting, quickly conjure up your imagination, and plan your dream wedding just the way you want it. No one would have any idea that the hustle and bustle of Auckland and its CBD is within one hour's reach, or coming from the other direction only 1 hour 38 minutes from Whangarei.


Check out all the gorgeous eye candy photos below, and have a peruse of Ashley's interview. I love the passion and excitement that Ashley brings to what she does and it certainly shows with the happy brides and grooms that set foot at "Waterfall Farm". See below our Monthly special at A Deer Cottage.

"Walter" the drinks caravan, looking stylish
The toilets usually don't feature.... but how could you not?
I just love this combination of the macramé and the flowers from local florist "One Poppy Wedding Flowers"
"Summer Love"
How good does this photo with the pond reflection look?.......Love
Summer sunsets
"Waterfall Farm" Wedding Venue
How romantic does the Blackboard Wedding message look?
First ever Wedding at Waterfall Farm.... I love the mingling of nature and nurture
And glamping tents on site too

On a cool mid winter's day, I had plans to visit Ashley at Waterfall Farms. However when I rang Ashley, she was all rugged up ready to do her winter maintenance with a spot of weed eating. As I know Ashley and her husband have a wee baby, I didn't want to upset a woman on a mission! So I asked Ashley if it would be ok to do the interview over the phone. Only 20 minutes prior I had my first Covid Jab, and the interview would be a welcome distraction for me as well.


So off we went....


My first question I asked Ashley, "What is your inspiration behind Waterfall Farm, and what do you do to enjoy yourself with making Waterfall Farm a success?"


She told me a lovely story I know many brides and grooms can relate to. Her brother and his wife-to-be were looking for a venue to host their wedding. They wanted a forest and wilderness; a relaxed kind of vibe. They also wanted to add their own beers and wine to share with their loved ones; to add their own special touches. They looked all over Auckland, but could not find the exact venue they wanted to host all of their wishes. They couldn't find a place that would work for the way they wanted their day to pan out. At a family get together expressing their frustrations, the penny dropped, and they thought about their mum and dad's beautiful property in Kaukapakapa....it was perfect! and the planning began..... The Farm already had an idyllic grove of trees, paddocks and lovely little walks. A gorgeous pond was designed and created to perfection, taking about a year to plant and get the dragonflies flitting around.


Ashley loves meeting the happy and excited couples. She loves to be a part of their "love bubble". I can hear the excitement in her voice as she relates how this makes her feel. Ashley absolutely adores helping the couples create their dream day. She loves the ideas they bring to the conversation and she loves helping bring these ideas to fruition. The couples have a blank canvas and Ashley states that this can be a unique venue for the couples; "we just help perfect their vision".


I am impressed with the enthusiasm, and I mention that it must be tricky and challenging at times with a young baby. Ashley states that she is blessed that her mum and dad are on call, and on site, to help with this interesting learning curve. She is so grateful they can look after Chloe at the drop of a hat. When the weather is good Chloe can be in the pram. "We have the fur baby on site as well", she chuckles and mentions the fur baby is great with the sticks. Ashley says it is a perfect up-bringing for Chloe and she is getting lots of baby sensory at the Farm, and lots of "Chloe time". Waterfall Farm, she mentions, is the dream job, "I love going in everyday....in wedding season we only have one wedding a week, this is less stressful for the couples, as they know we will give them the undivided attention that they deserve."


I asked Ashley about using local, and she say's it is totally dependent on the wishes of the couples. However she has a "Vendor Sheet", and this is contact details of tried and true local vendors. I really like the idea that you can plan your wedding exactly how you want your day to run; if you want to have a pizza and paella caravan, or your granny's chocolate log, or even grandad's home-brew, I am sure they can accommodate.


I left Ashley to carry on with her weed eating, and for me to contemplate the romance and excitement of happy times at the Waterfall Farm wedding venue in Kaukapakapa, Auckland. To find out more, or to chat to Ashley, click here


Our Monthly Subscribers Special Deal: Book 2 nights or more at A Deer Cottage and you will be eligible for a 10% discount off your total bill. Ask for your Voucher Code. To book click here







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