Desmond and Pat had spent time at Tree Elle Retreat several years ago whilst touring the south west with some friends from Europe. It was clearly an experience that was memorable for all the right reasons because when they were thinking about how to mark Desmond’s 80th birthday, a gathering of the clan from far and wide at Tree Elle over the Easter long weekend was the perfect solution. With four separate self-contained houses set amongst beautiful gardens it was the perfect location for a big family reunion with their five children and eleven grandchildren (and the perfect opportunity for an extended family photo session!)
Wanting to surprise their family with their secret hideaway, Desmond and Pat enlisted the help of Tree Elle’s owner, Kim, to help plan everything.
Silas and his team at Pepper & Salt Restaurant made sure that no one went hungry, bringing his restaurant to them. With everyone arriving at different times on the Thursday, there was a selection of curries waiting for them. The next evening was Desmond’s Birthday Party and Silas created a dinner with local produce – from marron to beef, in-season vegetables and divine desserts. There was a gourmet barbecue for the third night and on the final night the family was treated to a Fijian-style hangi which Pat describes as “a veritable feast of pork, lamb, chickens and goat with masses of potatoes wrapped in muslin cooking on top of the meat, all meltingly delicious and a wonderful finale to our celebrations”.
The days were filled with visits to nearby beaches and local wineries, and while the grandkids explored the property on bikes, played giant chess and fed the farm animals, the adults enjoyed spas and massages at Tree Elle, as well as quality family time. All Desmond and Pat had to do was relax and enjoy themselves.
Tree Elle is also a wonderful venue for a wedding with plenty of room for a marquee in picture-perfect surroundings and additional holiday accommodation nearby for extra wedding guests.