Waiau Country Estate
Moira Irving is the new owner of Waiau Country Estate having taken over
from the previous owners in December last year. The place has had a
remarkable update, with new wallpaper, light fittings and the new
'Woolshed' room. This allows the place to remain a functioning
restaurant to the public without interrupting occasions in the main
area. The woolshed is a comfortable area together with lounge suite that
perceives being in the comfort of your own home and has its own
entry/exit and bathroom for convenience.
With a pastime of entertaining and an open door policy, Moira is not new to the standards of hospitality. "The concept of Waiau Country Estate is to feel at home, so I've created a soothing place for people and friends to enjoy award winning food and great wine" she says.
And homely it does feel. Upon arriving, I was greeted by friendly staff who asked if I'd like a coffee while I waited. Sitting there and admiring the new look, Moiras two Bichon dogs, Sybil and Basil came to say hello. They are very cute and friendly and when I mention this to Moira, she tells me a story about how much they are part of the furniture.
Sybil and Basil love weddings, which is part of Waiau's core business. Moira tells me about one wedding where Basil decided he'd like to be part of the bridal party and followed them up the aisle, stayed for the ceremony and trotted back after them. "Most people don't mind" says Moira. The thought of it made me giggle.
Waiau Country Estate, despite beliefs that it is only good as an outdoor function venue, is perfect for winter weddings with its large outdoor fireplace and under cover area. "We've had the ceremony under the tree with guests sitting on the patio by the fire and the reception inside, which sits comfortably 100 - 120 people. If we have a cocktail reception, we can have more".
With the flexibility of the new woolshed room, Waiau can accommodate intimate functions such as birthdays and anniversaries. Gone are the days where the place is completely booked out for weddings during the summer on a Friday/Saturday night. Now we can all enjoy Waiau during the warmer months!
We discuss weddings and Moira tells me they are pretty much booked out for the whole 2012/13 season but is offering 15% off wedding packages for Thursday weddings. This allows the wedding celebrations to extend into a long weekend - love the idea!
I ask to have a group photo with her staff out the front and while bustling them up, I'm introduced to her team. Talk about award winning chefs! Moira is proud to have Dustin Horton, a fine dining chef who some will remember as having the restaurant in town called Aubergine. Troy Waters is a New Zealand champion junior chef as Sous and Heidi Waters as Chef de partie, also a competition chef.
Carys is Waiau's cost-effective in-house florist and is available for weddings. She has a creative flair which shows throughout the restaurant with arrangements here and there. Moira also has Front of House Managers, Bar Managers and casual staff when required, especially during the wedding season.
They are a fun, tight knit team working hard to make Waiau not just a wedding venue, but a place for other outside the box themed dinners, such as the up-coming Nuts and Bolts singles series. Get your tickets and perhaps you'll meet your soul mate and come back to where it all started at Waiau Country Estate!!