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Boot of love

Thursday, April 20, 2006
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.

Fares from;

  • 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
Jester House
Coastal Highway Tasman NZ
Ph/fax: 0011 64 3 526 6742

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