Steve and Judy Richards moved to the tiny town of Tasman, 40 minutes drive from Nelson, and bought a rundown house. They called it "Jester House" because that is what it was "jest a house". When renovations were complete they ran a café for 10 years from the front of their house and it was such a success, they decided to expand.
The 2½-hectare property already had a French-looking farmhouse and over time a two-metre wooden toaster, statues of a tiger and a penguin, a giant chess set, a maze and a playground were added. Local artists put in signs pointing to places which don't exist. Their tame eels have proven to be a major attraction.
Jester House has a loyal following of visitors, as well as new ones who pop in year round. Impromptu things seem to happen there singalongs, people playing instruments and once a family brought their llama with them.
That brings us to the Boot of Love. Straight out of a picture book, there it is, right down to the bootlaces. This particular boot has two levels, a winding staircase, lots of windows and the tongue has become a balcony. The bedroom is upstairs and is set for romance with champagne, chocolates, fluffy bathrobes and thick towels. It is meant to be an adult fairyland providing old-fashioned romance and enjoyment of life.
The boot has no corners and its roundness makes it very welcoming. It has a fireplace, chaise lounge and an adobe feel.
Their place is all about fun for all ages and their next project is bubbling along. Word is it might be a teapot … or a doll's house. Who knows!
Tasman, five hours from Christchurch.
The Boot of Love costs around $209 per couple per night. A full breakfast is included.
Air New Zealand has return flights to Christchurch, valid for sale until April 30, 2006 and for travel between June 1 and September 30, 2006. Conditions apply.
- Sydney, $450
- Melbourne, $581
- Brisbane, $583
- Adelaide, $781
- Perth, $978
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
For further information
The Boot of Love
Coastal Highway Tasman NZ
Ph/fax: 0011 64 3 526 6742