Tessuti Travels | Nelson

A cottage on an old apple orchard with a view of the Waimea Inlet, snow-capped mountains quietly dominating the horizon, a roaring fire to read our books beside, and wandering through local artisan studios and galleries. Nelson was an absolute treat.

Last week, we spent three days exploring Nelson, Mapua and Motueka. The purpose of our trip was to visit the studio of Tessuti jeweller Louise Douglas. Without trying to distract Louise too much (sorry!), she guided us on a wonderful Nelson adventure that made us wish we'd booked to stay a little longer! However, there's always next time... 

Read about our little visit to Nelson below. 


Wednesday | 

We could not believe our eyes. Our gorgeous little Matahua Cottage was perfectly situated on the shore of the Waimea Inlet (near Mapua Village), and on the edge of an old apple orchard. Equipped with Crown Lynn dinnerware, unbeatable views and a fireplace. 

We had been recommended a light lunch at The Apple Shed, on the Mapua Wharf. We can safely say that this recommendation still remains a goodie! We enjoyed local mussels in a coconut broth and a fresh mushroom breakfast topped with delicious caramelised onions. 

Heading into Nelson city, we visited Louise Douglas' studio. A hop, skip and a jump from the heart of the city, or as Louise likes to say, "on the fringe", which you can read about [here]. 

After we'd placed our (personal) orders, we decided it was time for a drink! Louise and her assistant Sarah took us to The Free House, a quaint little re-vamped church with, wait for it, 750 different beers on tap. We sampled the Oatmeal Stout from Christchurch. Delicious.  

For dinner, we headed to Nelson's harbour to dine at the newly opened restaurant Nahm Thai. Light, fragrant, full of fresh herbs and seafood. It was delicious. 

Thursday |

We opted for a slow morning at the cottage, watching the sun come up and the skies and the weather change across the lake. Eventually, we drove north to Toad Hall for brunch. Here, we found a wonderful selection of local produce, taking home armfuls of local spray-free walnuts, feijoas, and chilli smoked peanut butter.

After a stint at the old menswear store in Motueka, we ventured into Upper Motueka - the vineyard territory, naturally, and stopped in for a wine tasting at Woolaston Winery. The outstanding views of the vines and locally made sculptures we as delectable as the sampled wines. On our way back through the apple orchards and ginkgo tree dotted roads, we stopped at Icon Art Park and watched an Irish artist carve locally sourced greenstone and fell in love with the moody landscapes of Nelson-based painter Julie Stewart

An afternoon pit-stop consisted of one mouth-watering platter and a glass of red wine, sitting in the sun and overlooking the Mapua Harbour. We picked up kindling and pasta on the way home and retreated back to our humble cottage to read our books beside the roaring fire.

Friday |

Louise met us for breakfast at Melrose Cafe, a beautiful old historic villa, with a huge selection of teas and some deliciously fragrant home-made baked scones. After some vintage shopping and a wander through the town's galleries, we were ready for a pre-exit snack: a flaky croissant and hot black coffee.

Thank you Nelson for a fabulous time, we will most definitely be back!


{all images by Yasmine Ganley}

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