The 1862 gold rush in New Zealand’s Central Otago region brought about incredible riches … and not just of the gold variety.
Olivers Lodge and Stables is a real gem, located in the tiny and now booming town of Clyde.
The property dates back to 1869, when Naylors Victoria Store was built by Benjamin Naylor to sell provisions to the miners. More stone buildings were added over the years, with the store eventually turned into an award-winning restaurant by Fleur Sullivan, one of New Zealand’s prominent chefs. New owners took over in 2010, and faithfully restored all the buildings, the original courtyard and gardens.
And what a job they have done.
The original homestead offers six lodge rooms that are a stunning mix of elegant heritage and modern comfort. Five more rooms flank the courtyard, with schist rock walls, stone floors and timber beams quite magnificent. The Heritage-listed property has a relaxed air, with the guest lounge very homely. The hallway features many of David’s antique maps, while the breakfast room exudes warmth. The communal table is beautifully set, with side tables creaking under the weight of home-made jams in cloth-covered jars, baskets of apples, muesli, yoghurt and other tasty treats.
The piece de resistance is what Andrea calls “Olivers Eggs”; an egg baked in bacon and topped with finely chopped pieces of tomato, chives and drizzled with melted cheese.
One of the most beautiful buildings on the property is the original Naylor’s Victoria store that has been painstakingly restored, and is now Olivers Restaurant and Bar. The meals here are out of this world. The adjoining Merchant of Clyde Café, Deli and Baker is not to be outdone, serving fantastic coffee and tasty treats for breakfast or lunch.
Olivers Lodge is the perfect place to base yourself for a few days before or after tackling the Central Otago Rail Trail.