Rustic Retreat
NEXT|December 2018
Rustic Retreat

Monique Balvert-O’Connor goes off the grid in a seriously luxe way on a mini-break in Blenheim

Monique Balvert-O'Connor

Who knew a shepherd’s hut could be so luxurious? It’s a thought I muster while stargazing in the bath – the surrounds enchantingly festooned with solar lanterns – outside my rustic accommodation.

Taylor Pass Hut is tucked in amongst monstrous hills, in a valley on the banks of a rocky river bed. It’s a glamour camping site in rural Blenheim that has proven to be a treasure of a find. Modelled on a shepherd’s hut, it has the requisite old wheels and corrugated cladding. Most other things remotely rudimentary remain outside the door.

Inside, pretty paintwork, floral touches and beautiful bed linen ooze atmosphere. Running water, electricity, a shower, and a composting toilet are also, thankfully, on offer. Cell phone coverage isn’t, which is perfect for a digital detox. Free-range eggs are provided, and there’s the option of ordering a ploughman’s platter.

The shepherd’s hut ownership dream and beautification project belong to Victoria Leov whose husband, Justin, gained numerous brownie points when he discovered the hut on TradeMe.

“I was sold,” Victoria says. “I love the character of it and know that as it ages it will get more rustic and settle into its environment.”


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December 2018