A delightful property with plenty of original charm
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Beach | City | Natural world
Just 15 minutes from the airport and city centre, ‘The Birches’ is a boutique bed and breakfast in a private location. It’s set in an attractive mature garden that hosts delightful rural views. The Birches are ideally positioned to explore Dunedin, a historic coastal city where fading weatherboard houses rub shoulders with stately Victorian bluestone architecture. And, just beyond the city limits, you’ll enjoy walks – ‘tramping’ in Kiwi-speak – that map the green contours of its hilly surrounds. There’s also some excellent surfing.
The original house was built in 1907 and, since Avril and Karl’s 2003 purchase, has been lovingly restored into the gentleman’s residence it once was. It’s got weight to its history too, having once been the home of Dunedin’s youngest MP, Professor Harry Bedford. There are just two rooms here, ensuring boutique intimacy. Bay windows bathe spacious bedrooms, plush sofas and Egyptian cotton lined king beds in natural light while complimentary high-speed WiFi and Sky TV provide the mod cons.
Complimentary full English breakfasts are served either in the period dining room or, weather permitting, out on the terrace. For lunches and dinner, Dunedin has an excellent selection of restaurants. Unsurprisingly, given its location, seafood features strongly but there’s also a resurgent café culture gripping the city. Moreover, its famous university – the country’s oldest – has brought in a wave of international influence.
Given that there are just two rooms at The Birches, it’s true draw is the welcome provided by Avril and Karl. Other than the delightful breakfasts, they’ll be able to recommend from the region’s array of attractions, whether it’s a Chinese Garden stroll, game of cricket or a castle visit. Of course, Cadbury’s World remains a fun afternoon with plenty of free samples but, for something more adult, book onto a brewery tour instead.
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