We purchased our beautiful home in 2019 from a French antique dealer, who by chance purchased our own cottage in Cambridge. It was a charming start to this story, and made our transition between homes exciting and seamless.
We eloped on the eve of lockdown 2020 in our overgrown and very dry paddock… and thus began an idea. We didn’t have a plan, just a dream, and as Paul often says, ‘when Nat arrived home with yet another animal, new projects came to life’. This often resulted in two or three projects on the go, in the evenings, after our day jobs and during the weekends.
We began with a blank canvas, Nat’s love of rearing animals and eventually a pond. Two years of hard work later we have envisioned and built this rural paradise that we can now share with you.
Paul works in Risk and Emergency Management by day, transforming into the retreat’s designer & builder by night. Growing up in a construction family triggered an appeal to create magic from timber and thus, Flume Road’s sanctuary now boasts one of a kind features throughout. With a background in the Military and Police, safety and attention to detail come naturally. And it’s a good thing when his father, the building inspector, ensures it is all up to standard.
But alas, he says it is not a one man job.
‘When Nat arrives home with a new baby animal to rear I wonder where we can possibly fit in another species. But at the same time, I actually see it as an opportunity to create a new experience for our visitors here at The Good Life Retreat. Nat and I are a wonderful team and we love working on projects together. I have a limited sense of colour or understanding of plant life, and this is where Nat comes into her own.’
Nat, an ‘active relaxer’, works in the veterinary industry, does the books for Paul, and manages his work production time! She has a love of nature, any animal, and is the gardener out of the two – it’s fair to say that while Paul enjoys power tools, he has been known to over trim on occasion!
She says they are both excited to meet and welcome people from near and far to experience a taste of rural NZ good life and all the unique and bespoke luxuries their haven has to offer.
“I have loved creating The Good Life Retreat with my best friend. Just when we think we are done, we think of a new project, usually over a wine or two! As they say, the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”