Falling in Love

With New Plymouth….

This reviewer/blogger really touched me with their enthusiasm for the little part of the world that I’ve made my new home.


NewPlymouth-40-1030x580image courtesy of Dan Flying Solo

“New Plymouth is without a doubt my favourite city in Aotearoa.”

“slowly but surely New Plymouth got under my skin, and to my surprise, found it’s way to my heart.”

“If there were more work opportunities in a city that holds around 2% of New Zealand’s population, and only welcomes around 2% of the country’s international tourists, I would likely have settled down some roots for a while.”


I get quite emotional reading and hearing others views of this region that I now call home…

I love hearing about guest’s experiences, bumping into them in town during their stay (happens most often when our dog Weston is being naughty in the park or on the beach, or when Rod and I steal away for a wine at the Hour Glass.)  It always reminds me of how we fell in love with this place.  Rod, from being away for 10+ years, and seeing the town transform from his days in Stratford, and for me, seeing the balance of vibrancy and calmness.  I knew we could find beauty here, little did I know we could make our dream of owning the House our reality.  Goosebumps!



As I mainly work at home, for and by myself… I am always looking for ways that I can connect with fellow small business owners.

I’ve joined some groups of fellow B&B owners on Facebook and really enjoy being able to bounce ideas off of this very professional group, many of them in the Northern Hemisphere.

The topic of blogging came up recently, and I was able to view some of their blogs….I’ve fallen in love with this one:




Photo courtesy of the Old Square Inn

I just need to meet Nancy, the Owner and Innkeeper of the Old Square Inn B&B in Lancaster Pennsylvania.  I want to visit her kitchen and have a wee dram of Cranberry, Orange Vodka and just share a bit of the goss about this great industry….


Well done Nancy!

Happy New Year


We’ve had a fabulous start to the year with guests in from Israel, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, a few brides and grooms – it’s been amazing.

We love recommending local places and restaurants and experiences that we’ve enjoyed in New Zealand.  After recommending a local winery in Martinborough our guests wrote to us…..

“We mentioned your names and they found us a table today- it was really fantastic thank you so much as I am sure it made the difference for us getting in!”

I just loved reading this, it gave me goosebumps.

Here is to a year filled with great adventures, good health, and to our fabulous guests!

-Rachel & Rod (and Ms. Weston….)



Kindness of Strangers

It has been a very, very long time since I’ve written on this blog – all is very well, great really, at the House, business is growing and we’ve had some really amazing guests…but this year has been a very tough one personally for me and for Rod.

I will write about our losses and stresses, but for now, I’m focusing on the unbelievable community that we live in.  So many people here have reached out to us, stopped by, sent flowers, popped into the house for a cup of tea, baked us cakes, and just made sure that we knew they were thinking of us, and sharing in our time of sadness.  Just over 4 years of making this lovely seaside town our new home, and we’ve made a tremendous life here.  Our friends have become family and our relationships with our family and each other have grown because of it.

This blog by a fellow New Yorker captures the spirit of this amazing country.  “Marcel Proust said that, ‘The only true voyage of discovery is not to go to new places, but to have other eyes.’ It only took a week in New Zealand to see my need for new eyes.”  Welcome!


Taranaki Weddings – Industry Awards


We are delighted to have been nominated in two categories in the upcoming Taranaki Weddings – Industry Awards.  These nominations mean so much to us, because they come directly from brides and grooms who have stayed at the House and given us the huge honor of hosting their wedding in our garden.

I get such joy out of hosting people during their wedding.  The House has a certain energy when we are hosting wedding parties.  I’ll never forget crying tears of joy when I saw our first bride getting ready at the House….we strive to help with every detail, making sure they are pampered, that the bridesmaids are taken care of, that the families have something to eat, that everyone is happy and ready for the gorgeous event that awaits them.

It is a huge feeling of emotion and accomplishment when the wedding cars leave…or the bride and groom check out.  I’ll never forget the weddings we’ve had here.  This House was built in the 1890’s and we are truly just caretakers of it for a brief time…but I am proud that for the time that we will own it, that we’ve been able to fill our garden with love and celebration.

I get to do this for a living…I am so very humbled by these nominations, and thank you if you could kindly vote for us.  We will break out the champagne to celebrate!

You can vote for us in the Accommodation category here:


and in the Venue category here:




Through a different lense….

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A talented local photographer, Biance Brons recently took some photos of our Taranaki Suite, and guest lounge.

I just love them, the light, the way she captures the combination of character and modern elements that we created, the warmth of the environment….it is so lovely to see the House through different eyes.

Words of wisdom


We’ve been heads down with guests for the past two months.  The House has been full, filled with suitcases carried in and out, chairs, blankets and picnics being carried up into the park to listen to the bands and see the lights, and our mornings filled with eggs and coffees.  There have been so many interesting and delightful guests that we have been honored to meet.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them and sharing our own stories.

After a year of running this House as my full time job, I am slowly settling into what people would tell me about this type of role, “it’s a lifestyle business.”  I do often joke that this is not a rock style life, but one of cleaning and scrambling eggs.  But truly and slowly I’ve realized that it is one of simple, daily pleasures.

Serving people a meal, and having the recipient say, ‘thank you’ and enjoy it

Seeing their smiles and hearing the ooohs and ahhhhs when guests see their room for the first time

Having the time every day to walk our dog on a black sand beach and walk until we are done

Picking flowers and vegetables from the garden

The joy of hard work and being able to relax and feel accomplished at the end of the day

The beauty of working for ourselves

I’ve started a new ritual that has greatly improved my enjoyment of cleaning the House.  I listen to podcasts while I clean.  One of my favorites is Fresh Air, with Terry Gross.  I recently read an article about her, and understand my connection to her….

‘‘I don’t know if it’s a function of age or temperament,’’ she said, ‘‘but I’m no longer seeking those major exclamatory notes of pleasure. I want a life that has pleasure contained within it.’’

Wise words – ones to create a life by.