Tag Archives: treehouse

Hapuku Lodge, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Though it’s not one for regular Saturday morning, this rates as one of the finest breakfast venues we’ve seen. Rumbling into the perfectly coiffed driveway in our beaten up hire car, we were a hotel’s worst nightmare – grubby, tent-laden and skint. Nevertheless, the staff at Hapuku Lodge welcomed us with an ingenious mix of informality and attention to our every want and need, while subtly offering us the use of their laundry service as soon as we’d found our room.

Kaikoura itself isn’t much to look at, with a strip of tourist shops, off licenses and shifty looking skateboarders hanging around the (one) street corner. Hapuku, however, is a wonder: there are six treehouse lodges that have been built to take in the incredible views, with balconies on either side for sunrise and sunset. From the rooms on the highest ‘bough’ you can see both the snow-topped mountains and the sea, though it would take keener eyes than mine to spot the sperm whales which make this such a popular spot to visit.

Amongst joys such as a stocked woodburner, coffee grinders for fresh coffee beans, self-heating jacuzzi baths, a DVD library and a fridge stocked with beer, there’s also some very fine food. Breakfast was as local as you can get, with eggs from their own hens, olive oil from their own groves and home-smoked bacon and salmon; the water even comes from their own well. Having been spoiled in their restaurant the night before, I opted for porridge that was perfectly cooked, the Egg Poacher’s eggs were declared ‘divine’ and the spread of fresh breads, pastries and tropical fruits were every hungry backpacker’s dream.

Price: B&B from $600 per night.

New Zealand 167

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Harptree Treehouse, East Haptree, Somerset

Harptree TreehouseSafely ensconced in the boughs of an ancient oak is a treehouse unlike any other. Hand-crafted and beautifully appointed, it suits its regal surroundings in the grounds of Harptree Court and makes waking up for breakfast very special indeed.

The Egg Poacher and I arrived on a crispy Autumnal evening and were left to wonder at the russet coloured surroundings and indulge in Linda’s famous lemon drizzle cake in perfect peace. A somewhat cack-handed attempt at stoking the woodburner nevertheless left us feeling snug as night drew in, and after a soak in the deep copper bath we wrapped ourselves up to look up at a night sky heaving with stars. With so much beauty surrounding us, we left our windows uncovered and were rewarded with a smouldering sunrise that burned through the mist that clung to the fields around us.

Breakfast waits for the first to rise – there are local sausages and thick cut bacon in the fridge, freshly baked bread and eggs from Haprtree’s own hens. The treehouse kitchen is anything but rustic, with electric hobs and all the bits you need… dishwasher included. For less hungry souls organic muesli or porridge await, as well as teas and ground coffee to be made just as you please. Such magical surroundings would make any breakfast good, but this one will be hard to beat.

Price: From £175 a night (self-catering, with breakfast provided or available in the house on request).

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