C’Est Tre Bon
By Gayle Dickson
Earnst Dowson once wrote: “They are not long, the days of wine and roses”, and I couldn’t agree more.
I have, however, had the pleasure of discovering a spot where the days of wine and roses do linger well into the evening; a spot that encourages one to kick back and relax with a glass of fine wine, the scent of roses vying for attention with that of the profuse lavender plantings.
Welcome to Bed of Roses … a fabulous bed and breakfast offering set up high on the hills of Kerikeri, overlooking the basin near the old Stone Store.?? Cliff and Louisa have furnished the guests suites and communal areas with a tastefully romantic French Country flair. Were it not for their accents and the distinctly Kiwi cabbage trees that dot the landscape, one could almost believe we were in the provinces of France.
Chunky dressers are adorned with blue and white serving plates while the antique polished tables show the signs of many happy family meals. The sofas are deep and inviting, the wrought iron chandeliers evoke glamour of old, and white washed walls create a fresh and airy palette upon which colourful artworks reside with ease.
The three luxurious suites are each individually decorated, all bearing touches of that French charm. Antique linens are tucked harmoniously under the thickest of duvets which sit rather comfortably atop modern mattresses. Each suite has its own special charm.
The Vermont, Fleur de Rose and French Cottage, each vary in size and the views they offer. All three suites open onto a large glass-lined galley that runs the length of the building, providing all-weather access to the breakfast room and guest lounge. The gallery, in turn, leads onto a large covered patio with manicured lawns and those delightful beds of roses and lavender … all overlooking the lush valley that leads to the eye over the inlet below to the horizon far beyond.
Breakfast was a truly sumptuous affair. Cliff and Louisa have mastered the art of perfect eggs, no matter which way they’re requested, and their freshly baked croissants were so light that one was never going to be sufficient.
Before heading out to dinner that evening, I joined this entertaining couple in the guest lounge for canapés and aperitifs. I have to say that had I not pre-set my dinner time, we may well have been there into the wee small hours, still chatting, supping and nibbling … such was the warmth of their company and the enthusiasm they have for chatting about all things Kerikeri.