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It's no coincidence that wedding vows have the line: something old, something new. Sure, brand new venues are all very shiny and nice, but they lack that je ne sais quois something special; that charm of the old.
With the trend for vintage being so hot right now, the historic homestead Abbeville Estate's renovation couldn't come at a better time. Thread went along to the launch event on Friday 27th April to take a look.
Abbeville Estate (www.abbeville.co.nz) is located at 5 Nixon Road just before you get to Auckland Airport's business district precinct and is pitching itself as a boutique destination for celebrations (read: weddings), conferences and events.
It has been beautifully restored by architects in conjunction with its owners Auckland Airport, and the Historic Places Trust, overseen by catering maestro The Great Catering Co's Sue Fleischl as the renovation's creative director.
Below: Immaculately-restored verandahs and fretwork on the historic house (built 1854) opens up onto to the courtyard, perfect for sitting out in, of an afternoon.
The sitting room where brides can get ready.
Which brings us to the food. Boy, what food - all lovingly prepared by the chefs from The Great Catering Co. in small bites that ranged from canapes (mushrooms in pastry, tiny fish burgers) to substantial mini-meals (steak strips on mashed potato, cauliflower cheese.)
Fish and chips in a cone. Brilliant.
Beef on creamy mash. So very good.
Next, we took a look outside around the property at the garden, sheds, the barn, and church.
I was very taken with the charming garden boxed vegetable plot.
Below right: Sue Fleischl (fabulous in Trelise Cooper) chats about the garden with guests.
These guavas were incredible; Sue has already taken 30 kilos off one tree and this tree will be laden down with fruit next. Jelly time!
The most amazing collection of cool old stuff that I highly covet.
An amazing old stove is juxtaposed against stylish contemporary Stark ghost chairs. That pretty much sums up the style of Abbeville Estate, really.
Onto the renovated old barn (built 1853), with a dinner party set up with a hunting theme.
The dinner table, seen through the barn window.
The dinner party complete with stag's head. Perfect, might we suggest, for a stag party?
The most incredibly rich chocolate pudding served baked in an espresso cup and saucer. Divine.
Westney Road Methodist church, moved onto the site.
The old church signs.
The launch event inside the homestead, now dusk has fallen.
By Megan Robinson, 27 April 2012
Photos Kevin Robinson