Katie, our Product Development Manager recently visited New Zealand, trading grey London skies for the coastal setting of award-winning Annandale. Read on to find out more…
People talk a lot about getting away from it all when they travel, but when it comes down to it, how easy is that to achieve? In a world with increasingly good phone connections and Wi-Fi internet, it’s not that easy to truly switch off and escape the world. For me, living in London and leading a busy life, there is nothing more relaxing than being out in the wilderness, breathing fresh air, knowing you are miles from civilization. So when I arrived at Annandale on the Banks Peninsula of New Zealand, I knew instinctively it was my kind of place.
This beautiful working farm is set over 4000 acres which hug the rugged coastline. Here guests can go out to watch the shepherds and sheep dogs at work, explore the coastline in search of marine-life and caves on a boat, paddle the shore line in kayaks, explore the farm on mountain or quad bikes, or enjoy a massage in the comfort of your own home.
There are four stunning private homes from home to choose from here, each entirely separate from the other and tucked away on the estate. The historic Homestead set in beautiful gardens overlooking Pigeon Bay accommodates up to eight guests who can enjoy the large pool, gym and tennis courts. Meanwhile, the charming and cosy Shepherd’s Cottage has been lovingly reimagined from the wreckage that it once was into an award-winning country cottage, complete with outdoor bath, a truly romantic getaway for two.
Scrubby Bay is a Scandinavian-style villa overlooking a private bay, with vast tall ceilings, a heated pool and hot tub which can accommodate three families comfortably. My home for the night was Seascape, a Grand Designs-esque glass room overlooking a rocky cove, with both indoor and outdoor fireplaces, hot tub, and the sound of the ocean to lull you to sleep. I’ve seen some truly beautiful properties in my time in the travel industry but have never said “wow” so many times in the space of an hour on my tour around the houses. It is no surprise this hidden gem has recently won the World’s Leading Experiential Luxury Property at the World Travel Awards. From the landscape to the different properties, all unique in style, to its philosophy about offering truly above-and-beyond service whilst letting guests choose how to spend their time, Annandale is truly exceptional.
Staying at Annandale is all about seclusion, making the space your own for as long as you’re staying. Paul, the expert resident chef creates their unique “we create, you serve” cuisine. Each house is stocked up every day with food and drinks of your choosing far from your typical ready-meal. I feasted on mussels plucked out of Pigeon Bay that morning, slow cooked lamb, poached rhubarb and more. It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than eating seafood from the sea that you’re looking at and lamb from the sheep farm you’re staying on.
And the best part about Annandale? I didn’t even think of opening my laptop once, choosing instead to simply embrace the beauty and genuine get away from it all feeling of my Seascape escape.
Find out more about Annandale here or call one of our Travel Consultants today on 020 603 3555.