Briarwood Greytown

Briarwood is a genteel provincial residence dating back to 1867. Exquisitely restored, this gracious building epitomises colonial charm, its classic Victorian features and timeless craftsmanship combining the beauty of heart totara with modern style and comfort. Apartment-style suites provide the perfect meeting place for old and new. The elegantly appointed dining room and lounge, supplied with fresh flowers, fruit and chocolates, front onto Greytown’s historic main street, providing a quiet vantage point to watch the world go by, surrounded by tasteful mementoes of bygone days – fishing prints, maps, and photos of early Wellington. A cosy wood-burner provides warmth for wintry nights, and DVD, Sky TV, the latest magazines, phone, espresso coffee, bottled water, and fresh milk offer all the comforts of home.

Bedrooms open out to the private garden, a relaxing haven with a bubbling water feature. In the bathroom, underfloor heating and a heated towel rail sit easily alongside the claw-foot bath and shower, along with luxurious bath products. Breakfast is worth ordering in: when I stayed there was the choice of fishcakes flavoured with fresh coriander and served with cooked vine tomato and chilli sauce; farmhouse bacon and eggs with grilled mushroom and tomato; or pancakes with Canadian maple syrup bacon and banana. Picnic hampers are also available on request, as is a portable foot spa with aromatherapy products, a deep-tissue or relaxation massage and – for those with more prosaic needs – ironing facilities and internet/email access.

It's a great place to stay and an ideal base from which to explore the southern Wairarapa region.