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Stay where the world can’t find you …

Milady A - Monday, April 11, 2016

These inspiring words are written on the ANNANDALE website and are the exact words that convinced me - in a glimpse of an eye - to select this destination after our 2,5 weeks tour throughout Japan.

It was as if I knew that a totally secluded place, offering the privacy and luxury we adore, was going to be exactly what we needed after leaving Tokyo, a city where in day time you find 20.000.000 people, all in ONE city!?
At Annandale you see none!

Annandale is a luxury coastal farm escape offering different villas for exclusive use. Developed in 1843, Annandale was one of the earliest and most renowned farms in New Zealand’s South Island.
With 10 kilometers of spectacular and rugged coastline, Annandale today boasts 4,000 acres, 500 cattle and between 7,000 and 14,000 sheep.

I am pretty sure my readers already know that I am a huge fan of farm escapes, so it won’t be a surprise we chose to stay in the totally lonesome Shepherd’s Cottage standing in the middle of nature, high on the hill where you can only see the woollen tiny spots as in “sheep”, the Pacific Ocean and green fields.
No houses. No shops. No streets. And especially: no people around us.
Truly heaven on earth.

As soon as we tugged our 100 kg of luggage into our rental car at the airport of Christchurch – I was wrong last time: we have 100 instead of 80 kilos of luggage – we drove into the green, wide fields of New Zealand.

About an hour later, we ended up on a small country road leading us to a classy sign announcing the Annandale Homestead.

‘Oh drop your car here and we’ll change the luggage into our car!’ Callum said while he welcomed us warmly.

Euh … leaving our car?!
We just picked it up at the airport and we already have to leave it behind?!
We just arrived!

It seemed that the Shepherd’s Cottage, the little romantic hideaway where we would pamper only ourselves for the next 4 days, was still a 30 minutes 4WD journey further into the private area of nothing else than Lord of the Rings fields. Stunning.

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

As of the moment I stepped in the cottage, I felt at home, but I mean: totally at home! The farm where I grew up as a child can also be found in the middle of nowhere, so anything that can remind me of my wonderful, loving youth makes me so extremely happy.

The interior offers a historic ambiance but as we already know: A picture can tell more than a thousand words. Therefore see for yourself what this place looks like and you’ll understand I felt like a queen in our own little farmhouse on the prairie.

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

The only thing we did out there was just enjoying life as kings and queens or in our case, as a Milady with her Milord.
Although Milord planned to cook on our 7-weeks holiday, actually only for those 4 days we were going to stay in our own little cottage – he quickly changed plans as soon as we tasted the delicious food that was hiding away in our fridge upon our arrival.
We asked upfront for a full day catering, thinking that we would not want to go and find a supermarket after our 11 hours flight.
Every single dish looked so damn appealing. And it was.
Amazing food and our stomach was as happy as we were, because it received food it was used to. It is clear that New Zealand is invaded with so many Europeans because the food seems totally European.

As you will see on our pictures once again, the meals were heavenly yummy!

Let me guide you through the food plan …

First of all there was a “welcome basket” filled with goodies like chocolate, home-made cookies, grapes, plums, popcorn baskets, nuts, apricots, licorice sticks, healthy nacho’s and so much more …

The dinner of our first night looked mouthwatering. Each plate was put into our fridge mentioning the ingredients as well as the timing of how long it should be cooked in the oven or microwave or where we could find it as some things were hidden in the refrigerator to add to our lovely desserts.

The menu looked as follows … just to have you all begging for more! ;-)

Entrée
90° steamed prawns, heirloom tomatoes, watermelon radish, yuzu dressing, peanut, sesame, thai basil and miso aioli

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

Main
Roast Banks Peninsula beef fillet, heirloom carrots, leeks, oxtail, ravioli, carrot puree and natural jus

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

Dessert
Toffee cake, toffee crunch, apple butter, poached heritage apple, pecan, maple gel, green apple ice cream

Do I need to say more?

Note that almost all their ingredients come from their own farm, which makes the food taste even better. Our own home cooked meals on the farm.
Can a Milady wish for more?

But that is not all … there was also another plate filled with all sorts of delights for our next morning. Here we go!

The Annandale Morning Riser `

Free range eggs omelette, cheddar, tomato, onion, bacon and sriracha aioli
Plum friands
Annandale plum jam and apricot jam
The iconic kiwi crumpets – great with lashings of honey
Legendary NZ vogels toast slice
Fresh watermelon
Housemade yoghurt and black boy conserve

And as we had the breakfast waiting for us in the room, we could have “Breakfast in Bed”!!
Do I need to go on? I ‘totally’ felt at home! ;-)

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

For lunch, the chef prepares a picnic basket, also delivered straight into your room and filled up with … for example:

The coastal farm picnic

Oatmeal and nut cookies
Yoghurt panna cotta, poached plums, banana cake
Smoked chicken buns with tomato and basil
Whipped feta eclairs
Mixed greens and herbs with yuzu dressing

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

And what did we do when we wanted to leave the place? We had to call the office 30 minutes before the time on which we would like to leave our secluded haven and they came to pick us up to bring us back to our car which was parked at the entrance.

But … we did not want to leave this place … at least not for the first day.
We enjoyed outdoor living throughout the day and indoor living in the evening where we could have our private dinner right in front of the huge fire place and snug ourselves in the wool blankets with a great book. Temperatures dropped significantly as evening fell but that just made it even more romantic as we could light the fire!

And then … there was …

More on photography.milady-a.com
Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Annandale The Shepards Cottage

… nothing else than the sound of the crackling fire inside and whispering nature outside.

How magical can life get!

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