NZ House & Garden - - HOMES -

I had no idea: Peo­ple would be so cu­ri­ous but ev­ery day peo­ple say: "Can we see in­side the cas­tle?" We were only build­ing it for our­selves orig­i­nally but we’ve de­cided to do bed and break­fast in the rooms up­stairs. I des­per­ately wanted: A work­ing draw­bridge but it was im­pos­si­ble with health and safety reg­u­la­tions so we’ll have a dec­o­ra­tive one in­stead. We have looked overseas and they’re all the same there now, too.

I couldn’t bear: To take the Christ­mas tree down. It was so lovely. So I filled it with flow­ers and left it there. If my mother could see the cas­tle: She would be over­joyed and never be­lieve it to be pos­si­ble.

My love of cas­tles: Be­gan with fairy sto­ries in my child­hood. But I’ve al­ways been drawn to his­tory. When I did my OE in Kent, Eng­land, I spent my Sun­days off roam­ing stately manors and his­toric gar­dens and old cas­tles.

Dot Smith

THIS PAGE King and queen of the cas­tle, Neil and Dot Smith. OP­PO­SITE (from top) The up­stairs guest lounge is fit­ted with a gas fire, flanked by an old stuffed wal­laby. At the front en­trance, the mirror was re­plas­tered and re­paired af­ter the Christchurch earth­quakes; the curved ceil­ing idea came from a chateau in France: “Ev­ery­where I go I steal an idea.”

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