Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chateau on the Park - New Years Eve Dinner

Here are some photos from around the Chateau on the Park hotel, where we went for dinner on New Year's Eve. This was the first time I'd really done much photo snapping using my new phone (Note 4), and definitely the first time with varying light levels in twilight conditions.

The weather that day had been quite strange (and definitely quite unusual by Christchurch standards): after a warm start, around 1:30pm a heavy downpour started. The rain was absolutely bucketing down; in fact, the skies just keep getting darker and darker, and before long, I realised that my socks were feeling rather damp around the toes (I later discovered that that pair of shoes had bizarrely cracked in the same place on both, as if they had been slit using a sharp knife. I guess they really don't make 'em like they used to!). But by 2:30, the rain was starting to ease, and by 3, it was starting to get quite hot, humid, and muggy, with bits of sun poking through. Now, anyone who knows Christchurch knows that it's a relatively cool and "dry" climate (thank goodness), instead of being hot and humid (like most of the popular "big cities" - e.g. Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Hong Kong, etc.). So, to have both hot and rather humid air was very unusual here; it definitely wasn't a very comfortable mix, that's for sure.

Anyways, by dinner time, things had started to dry out, and were just warm/hot and sunny. Arriving at the hotel, it was immediately clear that we were setting foot in a "New Zealand hotel" (you'll probably know what I mean if you've stayed at a few).

One of the things that caught my eye as we navigated to the restaurant was the water feature/gardens, visible out of the large windows facing the foyer.

IIRC, the Chateau on the Park was designed by the late Peter Bevan (one of the two architects which designed most of the stuff around town - pre quakes, and who was notable for having a distinctive "white mushroom-head" hairstyle and an office in the old provincial chambers building) in a style inspired by Gothic Revival (or something like that) architecture. Which can be noticed in the external details, like:

This here seems to be their function rooms, which can be hired to host weddings, conferences, and other social gatherings AFAIK

This tower was one of my favourite features of the buildings...

And here, the loading bay out the back...

But perhaps my favourite part of the place was the narrow glass-lined corridor leading from the foyer towards the accommodation wings: There was something about the way that the windows, lights, triangle ceiling, and surroundings (e.g. the restaurant, water features, and rose garden courtyard on one side, and more gardens on the other) which made this look very very pretty :)

As mentioned earlier, in the middle of the complex, there is a courtyard with some gardens, and also a swimming pool. The restaurant is a small-ish building which opens up to this one one side of the quadrangle.

The restaurant and part of the garden, as seen while the sun was still up

The pool, as seen after dinner. Although it was starting to cool down a little (making it a bit chilly), it was still quite relaxing walking around here after dinner, and listening to the water in the pool gently sloshing around...

The garden and the restaurant - after dark

Although the restaurant is quite small, it has quite a homely feel, with a white decor. Since this was the festive season, they had decorated the place, with some large ornamental gift boxes wrapped in shiny wrapping paper in the middle, and colourful balloons attached to each chair. Service was calm, relaxed, and under very much under control, with a healthy dollop of a particularly distinctive fragrance/perfume to boot.

Some deserts :)

Finally, here are some various other shots from around the place

Looking into the restaurant from outside, including the water garden outside...

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