Canterbury's Otahuna Lodge is New Zealand's largest private historic residence, built in 1895 by Sir Heaton Rhodes as a wedding present for his young bride, Jessie. Sadly, much of the Tai Tapu property's history was lost when household staff were instructed to burn Sir Heaton's personal papers, diaries, mementoes and documents relating to the house and its gardens after his death in 1956.
In 1957, the family sold the property and Otahuna had stints as a seminary, commune and again as a family home.
American expats Miles Refo and Hall Cannon fell in love with Otahuna when they first saw it a decade ago and the pair restored and reinvigorated the house and its expansive gardens. In mid-2007 they opened Otahuna as private luxury accommodation and the lodge has won accolades ever since, including being voted the "world's Top International Hideaway" recently in influential luxury travel reader poll, Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report.
To tell Otahuna's story, Refo and Cannon collaborated with author Simon Farrell-Green to write For the Love of a Place (RHNZ Godwit), which is released on Thursday.
Below, we share recipes from Otahuna Lodge's kitchen, published in the book.