150-year-old cot­tage with fresh de­sign


New own­ers and a ren­o­va­tion on a pop­u­lar Ar­row­town restau­rant in a 150-year-old cot­tage has re­tained the ‘‘old cot­tage charm’’, the own­ers say.

It took Cen­tral Otago’s Akarua Win­ery and Ar­ti­san Cater­ing over three months and hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to up­grade the old Wal­nut Cot­tage into Akarua Wines and Kitchen by Ar­ti­san.

Akarua Wines gen­eral man­ager Kathryn Pet­tit said the cot­tage’s struc­ture was still the same and the gar­den was re­tained but the bridge and pond had to go.

The restau­rant sits in a ru­ral space on the out­skirts of Ar­row­town, and in­cludes func­tion rooms, a cov­ered out­doors area, an open kitchen with a wood­fire oven, a chil­dren’s play­ground and bean­bags on the front gar­den.

The restau­rant opened on De­cem­ber 10 - a month be­hind the sched­ule as it was a big­ger job than ex­pected, Petit said.

Restau­rant ex­ec­u­tive chef John Pick­ens, of Ar­ti­san Cater­ing, and di­rec­tor Deb­bie Pick­ens said they and the cus­tomers were happy with the re­sults of the makeover.

De­spite many changes, the place still had the same charm, he said.

‘‘It still has all the idio­syn­cra­sies of the sort of un­usual spots and quirk­i­ness.’’

He said the menu was also a big fea­ture.

‘‘I’m pas­sion­ate about my desserts.’’

The restau­rant will be serv­ing hand­crafted break­fasts, lunches, din­ners and also cater­ing for func­tions.

‘‘We are tak­ing some things from the cater­ing but are still try­ing to keep it op­er­a­tion cen­tric.’’


Akarua Wines gen­eral man­ager Kathryn Pet­tit, Ar­ti­san Cater­ing ex­ec­u­tive chef John Pick­ens and di­rec­tor Deb­bie Pick­ens.

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