Wonderwoman being Jen. She’s the one in the photo with Alfie, her dog. She’s absolutely amazing. She pretty much runs Wallingford Homestead on her own with the help of Charlotte the chef and her helper Sue, but it’s really all about Jen.
Click on the images for Hi Res or a slideshow
We had all driven down during the day from Clifton beach and we’re staying the night in the carpark after spending the evening there. Wallingford house is a special place and we were all looking forward to it.
Wallingford Homestead was built in 1831 by Jen’s late husbands great great great great(not sure how many generations) grandfather JD Ormond.
Jen and her late husband John moved to what was pretty much a derelict and rundown homestead 15 years or so ago and gave it some real love and turned it into what it is today. She showed us a picture of it with trees growing out it.
On 1800 acres with a full sheep farm and Truffles too, it is now 1400 square feet and comes with 14 bedrooms and numerous bathrooms.
It is used as one of the local meeting places for the locals in the area on a regular basis, the local hunt club and others too.
We arrived early (too early) and parked out of the way until a 70th birthday wrapped up with its 50 visitors. Around 4pm, all 7 of us were sitting in Rafe in pouring rain, having cups of tea when Jen knocked on the door and popped in to say she had prepared the poolhouse for a few drinks. The fire was going, some nice piped classical music, the pool was warm and Alfie the dog wanted to play. A great start to the day. Gary spent half an our or so entertaining Alfie with a ball before pouring some bubbly.
An hour or so later, Jen popped over and we got to enjoy this huge fire in the lounge and then into the dining room. It was just like we’d stepped into a history book with Trophy Cups and old pictures and family collectables all around us.
Charlotte came out to carve a beast and with Jen, they presented a beautiful country home cooked meal for all of us. It was out of this world.
After tea, Jen gave us a tour around this huge house. It was really something special and I felt very lucky to be invited into their home. Just a wonderful experience and Jen was just the perfect hostess.
Wallingford is about 29k’s south of Waipukarau in the central Hawkes Bay.
There was no internet or cell phone reception but you can get wifi from Jen if you’re staying there.