Otahuna Lodge

MondayOpen 24 hours.

TuesdayOpen 24 hours.

WednesdayOpen 24 hours.

ThursdayOpen 24 hours.

FridayOpen 24 hours.

SaturdayOpen 24 hours.

SundayOpen 24 hours.

224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu

03-329 6333

If there ever was a unique dining experience to be had, dining at Otahuna is it. Just the drive out to this historical estate located in the lush rural setting of Tai Tapu is a treat in itself. Weeping willows, golden fields and rolling hills frame the winding road that leads to this special place. But it’s once you’ve passed through the white iron gates of the property that the real magic begins. 

On arrival, expect to be greeted by a member of staff and find yourself with a glass of bubbly in hand while listening to stories of the interesting history of the building originally built in 1895 as a private residence and transformed into luxury accommodation in 2007 by current owners Hall Cannon & Miles Refo. The pair fell in love with the history of the property and made it their mission to restore it to its former glory, which they truly have succeeded in.

Only recently opened to dining without overnight stay, Otahuna is a true hidden gem waiting to be discovered. It is well worth arriving in plenty of time and wandering through the magnificent gardens before sitting down for dinner. Even though Otahuna is located only within a short twenty-minute drive from the city, here you’ll hear only birdsong and wind. The thirty acres of established trees and gardens hide away any nearby properties, yet on a clear day the tops of the Southern Alps can be admired from the front veranda.

There are multiple individual dining rooms within the building, each with a roaring open fire, and guests are seated in these intimate spaces privately. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a larger group gathering, dining at Otahuna will feel more like being a guest at a luxurious home rather than eating out at a restaurant.

The dinner is a set four-course chef’s degustation menu and includes a bottle of premium New Zealand wine for every two guests. The emphasis here is on seasonal, Otahuna-grown produce. The offerings change daily depending on the fresh produce available from the estate’s own potager garden, orchard and mushroom house. Otahuna prides itself on a daily harvest, which is often done by Jimmy the Executive Chef himself. What can’t be produced right here at the estate is sourced from as close by as possible. All of this results in unpretentious, honest dishes full of flavour that are presented beautifully. 

The staff at Otahuna are friendly and knowledgeable; they are true professionals of hospitality and create a warm and relaxed atmosphere for their guests. As the evening darkens the candles are lit and the roar of the fires truly works its wonders. It is easy to see why one would choose the full experience of an overnight stay at Otahuna, but what a treat it is to be able to experience all that this amazing estate has to offer as a dinner guest as well.

Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu

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