French Bay House
MondayOpen 24 hours.
TuesdayOpen 24 hours.
WednesdayOpen 24 hours.
ThursdayOpen 24 hours.
FridayOpen 24 hours.
SaturdayOpen 24 hours.
SundayOpen 24 hours.
113 Rue Jolie, Akaroa
027 339 0944
This sprawling, idyllic guest house is a seaside escape heaped in local history and genuine hospitality.
From the outside in, everything about the bed and breakfast makes you feel at home, and like you could never leave.
A flourishing garden flanks French Bay House, one of the settlement’s original homesteads, while a wisteria-covered, sun-soaked porch swing seat completes the halcyon picture.
Inside, four king-sized bedrooms with ensuites are named after local landmarks and are comfortably furnished giving each room its own unique feel. Think cosy throws, intricate artworks and luxe linen, while bathrooms are resplendent in tiles and stocked with organic toiletries.
A majestic dining room is transformed into a welcoming breakfast room, with owners Jacqui and Tim serving your choice of a continental or cooked breakfast consisting of free range eggs from their own chickens and sausages and bacon from the Akaroa Butchery with slow roasted tomatoes and mushrooms.
A large sideboard houses an honesty bar for guests, and fresh fruit is available throughout the day, too, as well as a cosy shared lounge and courtyard and lawn areas for socialising or playing petanque and croquet.
Jacqui and Tim’s secret weapon: Delicious, handmade gelato is sold from their endearing, wharf side ice-cream cart.
Under the cabbage trees, and under a red umbrella, the white cart is stocked full of sweet, icy delights created by hand.
Here traditional and quintessential flavours of chocolate and hazelnut nest alongside more contemporary and adventurous like toast and marmalade and lemon cheesecake.
Jacqui’s husband Tim is a local boy, and the pair met when they were seated together on a flight from Hong Kong to Cambodia. They both have experience working in the luxury travel industry (and finance and law for Jacqui), and the history of their love story is now clearly visible in their newest project. Not only through the Asian-influenced artwork but also through the welcoming, relaxed atmosphere which radiates throughout French Bay House.
Words by Morgan Tait & Photography by Nancy Zhou
113 Rue Jolie, Akaroa