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The Art of Creating Tranquility: Updates & Upgrades at A Deer Cottage

Welcome back to A Deer Cottage, our charming bed and breakfast nestled in the heart of the Kaukapakapa countryside, a mere 49.7 km's away from Auckland city's central business district, that hopefully feels like a million miles away.

As we move into autumn, we've been hard at work enhancing our beautiful property, working on new features to create an even more inviting and tranquil space for our guests. In this month's blog post, we'll take you on a tour of our latest projects, including hand rails to improve safety and aesthetics, updates to the pond area with a vision to create a serene reading nook, and a homemade chaise lounge perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun....I am hoping this latest "work in motion" will just go from strength to strength, and be just a gorgeous area where you can relax and restore. Join both Te Kani and I on the journey to master the art of creating a peaceful retreat as we delve into the intricate details of enhancing your B&B experience at A Deer Cottage.

I always have some pretty big plans in my head, and I am constantly putting on my thinking cap to try to work out how to put these plans into fruition, I love thinking that all the creative touches will make your stay not only unforgettable, but functional as well. As a big fan of these personal touches, I am confident that my creativity will add that extra special touch to your stay, if you've been following my journey, you know that I believe it's the little things that make a big difference. On the other side of this coin, I am sure my ideas drive my husband berserk!

At A Deer Cottage, we take pride in listening to our guests' suggestions and feedback, and doing our best to make their stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It's why, after a very early guest suggested that we add an outdoor table and chairs, we didn't waste any time in making that happen. Two years later, the same guests returned for another visit, and this time they had another suggestion for us...........

They mentioned that the mosaic path leading from the car parking spot to the gate leading into A Deer Cottage could be slippery when wet, and suggested adding hand rails to improve safety. We took their feedback to heart, and just recently installed hand rails along the path, we had already added a handrail to our railway sleeper steps down to the outdoor bath and chimera, and as we try to use whatever materials we have around home, I found some hardwood posts lying around, a galvanised round post, some brackets, and with a few bags of readymix concrete, we erected our very first hand rail, so with this in mind when our returning guests suggested hand rails, we had a vague idea how we were going to make some more handrails for the garden pathway leading to the entrance of A Deer Cottage. The idea of recycling something and giving it another purpose really excites me.

As I mentioned in previous blogs, every time I get a "bee in my bonnet", Te Kani groans, and he tries to run as fast as he can, I tend to not really take much notice and forge on, I got on the phone to my younger sister who lives on a farm, and they had some galvanised round tubing that we could have, a perfect excuse for us to take a drive to Te Hana, in the North Island of New Zealand, and just under an hour's drive to stop in and have a cuppa. May I mention that Rachael would have to agree with Te Kani and also groans when one of my idea's are circulating around, however, we had many laughs, and we came away with more than a couple of galvanised poles...

When we got home Te Kani and I dug holes, set the posts in concrete, and hung the galvanised poles. We are more than happy with the results, which will be completed once we receive the galvanised cap ends.

I think it is a testament to our commitment to providing our guests with the best possible experience if we listen to their wishes and needs and for this we're grateful for our guests continued support and feedback.

When we first bought our property over 14 years ago, a very dear friend of ours who has had a significant influence in many of our projects, with not only advice but also helping us put the projects into practice, dug out our large 9 metre pond, put some large boulders on its edge, and hung our swing seat. This very pond has caused a lot of angst, laughter and tears over the years, especially as it has never really held any water. A month or so ago, I decided this pond and the surrounding area needed some attention. Unfortunately our dear friend passed away a couple of weeks ago, and with this, my pond project has so much more significance.

As I work on this pond project, I am filled with both joy and sadness. Joy for the beauty that is being created, and sadness for our friend who played such an important role in its inception and who is no longer with us. Together with one of his friends, my husband Te Kani and our youngest son, have recently installed a fancy gate, this gate I was given by one of our neighbours. We bought some second hand pavers from nearby Parakai, and we are now in the process of completing the paving around the pond, laying weed mat and then planting to beautify the area. I have also with an old brass bell I had lying around, attached a pretty ringer and pull, and have added this to the gate.

I find that when I am working on our pond area, I find myself thinking about all of the memories, the passion he had for helping create something, this I hope will end up being a place that is truly special. In fact, one of the most unique features of this pond area will be an outdoor chaise lounge that I will be making from an old farm bath that he gave me. He also gave me both the previous baths that we have used in our outdoor bath area.

I love the soothing melodies of the birds that call this pond home. This project will be a tribute to his memory and the lasting impact he had on my life, his spirit will live on in the peaceful oasis that he helped create.

And last but not least, please enjoy this little video

In conclusion, renovating our pond area and installing handrails has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience. We look forward to sharing more updates on our cottage renovation journey in the coming months, so stay tuned for our next blog post.

If you're interested in booking a stay at A Deer Cottage to experience the tranquility of the countryside and witness our ongoing outdoor renovation project firsthand, please visit our website to make a reservation, you can do so by clicking here

Additionally, you can stay up-to-date on our progress and upcoming events by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We can't wait to welcome you to our slice of paradise!

Until next time, with kindest regards

Angela & Te Kani Te Wiata - oh and Macy our catahoula 🦌❤️🦌

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