Monday 18 May 2020

Wairarapa staycation at The White Swan

We love sharing our Wairarapa adventures with you all and showcasing this amazing place we get to call home. There’s a place that we have been wanting to tell you about! Since New Zealand has finally entered alert level two, we packed our bags and jumped in the car for a weekend away!

We don't think international travel will be available for a while so now is the perfect time to explore more of your own backyard. It’s time to support local and book a staycation at a hotel, shop at locally owned boutiques and grab your morning coffee in a family owned cafe. Every bit you can do will go a long way to boost local economies. 

We are planning to do a lot more travel around New Zealand this year and we are looking forward to sharing our adventures with you all. Us Kiwis need to explore more of our own backyard and due to Covid-19 it looks like staycations will be on the rise and we know the perfect spot to do so!

Follow me…I know just the place!

The White Swan is a special place for us as it's one of the first places that Jake took me to for a date night when he first brought me back to his childhood home here in the Wairarapa. However, it's been a few years since then…Good news is that The White Swan has new owners and the place has had a makeover! That's right, new menus, new decor and even family studios. They invited us to come and check it out!

The White Swan sits right in the heart of Greytown, making it the perfect place to stay while exploring one of New Zealand's prettiest towns with its Victorian buildings and tree lined streets. The name The White Swan also seems quite fitting as we learnt that the building has a lot of history and was a bit of an ulgy duckling that turned into a beautiful swan! The building used to be an unloved railway administration building situated in Lower Hutt in the 1970’s. They relocated this historic building to Greytown in three pieces over the Rimutaka Ranges. The building was carefully pieced back together and fully restored to create this magnificent hotel that now takes pride right on the main street and is one of the most photogenic buildings in the town! 

We arrived excited to check out the family studios. These are situated behind the rear of the main hotel overlooking the garden and park, providing an ideal relaxing oasis away from all the hustle and bustle! 

The studio itself has a fully equipped kitchenette and offered the comfort and ease of a true home away from home with that country charm! If you are looking for a more romantic getaway, they also offer suites for couples and these are just as stylish and even have private balconies overlooking the park. 

We loved how we had direct access to the park from the lounge. Perfect for letting Arlo have a run around and very family friendly. 

After settling into our accommodation we made our way to the White Swan’s main deck. This is the best spot in Greytown to people watch and enjoy a drink or two. We loved how family friendly the place is, providing a high chair for Arlo along with colouring pencils and paper to keep him entertained while mum and dad enjoyed a drink. 

As the sun began to drop we were seated inside next to the cosy fireplace. We were excited to try out their new menu where we were wowed by stunning dish after dish, accompanied by lovely local wines and yummy cocktails. 

To start, we had the spiced pork steamed buns with hoisin, pickled slaw and peanut sauce and the polenta crumbed mushroom with wild thyme arancini, parmesan and wild rocket. Arlo enjoyed some mini hot dogs with fries and slaw from the children's menu.

And while we enjoyed our main dishes…Arlo happily played with the basket full of children’s toys provided. 

Our mains were brought out and presented by the head chef, Marc Soper. He talked us through each of the dishes and how everything is locally sourced from here in the Wairarapa. Jake enjoyed the Silver Fern eye fillet with spatzli, pumpkin, mushrooms, leek, salsa verde and jus. I had the Palliser ridge lamb shoulder, cumin roasted carrots, shaved fennel, beetroot hummus, olive grape and hazelnut salsa, braising jus. Both were delicious and cooked to perfection!

In the morning we were greeted with breakfast delivered straight to our room. We enjoyed this on our own private patio overlooking the park next door. 

We loved taking a stroll through town,  however our bikes from Blackwell and Sons also made another great way to explore this picturesque community!

There’s a lot more to see and do in Greytown. For nature lovers, Greytown boasts beautiful walking and cycling trails through the countryside. We did the Greytown-Woodside Trail which follows the original branch line that connects Greytown with the historic Woodside Station. It is a flat, limestone path that weaves under an avenue of oak trees and has beautiful views of the Tararuas and Gladstone hills. Great for all ages and abilities.

Greytown itself is still the cutest town I have ever seen. It has a charming feel to it, like you have entered one of your children's book of fairy tales! It makes the perfect short break away, easy to get to, pretty streets for wandering, galleries and museums to keep you entertained and endless boutique shops for dipping in and out of…offering everything from hand-made chocolates to designer clothing. It is the idyllic country shopping destination. 

Turns out you don't need to travel far away from home to enjoy a weekend away. We love exploring more and more of the Wairarapa and The White Swan is a must stay in Greytown. The new owners have out done themselves. We loved our stay and can't wait to come back again soon!

The White Swan have also kindly provided my readers with a 10% discount!  Just use the code JANDJSWAN10 for any accommodation booking between now and 1 December 2020.

Our stay at The White Swan was gifted for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.

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