Piece of paradise discovered in Bluff

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 09/12/2013
land's end hotel
ROBYN EDIE
NEW HOME: Simon and James Cavanagh sit in the bistro of the refurbished Land's End Boutique Hotel. The couple have taken over the former B&B at Stirling Point, Bluff.

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After travelling the world to find the perfect place to start their dream business, James and Simon Cavanagh couldn't go past Bluff.

In the newly refurbished restaurant of Land's End Boutique Hotel with views out across Foveaux Strait, James said a few months ago he hadn't even heard of the small southern town.

"We travelled to France, Canada, Australia and the length of New Zealand but when we came over the rise to Stirling Point, I knew we had found something special."

For James, a school counsellor from the Barossa Valley in Australia and his partner Simon, originally a doctor from London, the opening of Land's End was the realisation of a dream.

"I have wanted to run a boutique hotel and Simon has wanted to follow his passion of cooking," James said.

The couple had set their sights on an art deco building in Napier before one last scouting mission south.

A real estate agent in Queenstown suggested they have a look at Land's End in Bluff.

They were met by a tired and run-down building but the potential was as breathtaking as the view, James said.

"It was a tired seven-bed B&B that served dinner for guests and had an old fashioned souvenir shop," he said.

"We gutted it and started over."

The Land's End Exclusive Hotel Bistro and Wine Bar was now a boutique hotel that could accommodate guests in luxury accommodation, James said.

Bistro 46, now open, served up New Zealand's, especially Southland's, freshest produce cooked by Simon - who has swapped the hospital for the kitchen, he said.

The five luxury super king suites would be ready on December 21 and were already all booked for the Bluff Oyster Festival in May.

The hotel was also available for functions and pre-bookings.

The Cavanaghs have embraced being part of the Bluff community and have hired "Bluffies" to staff their business.

"We are working for the community and we hope to entice tourists to spend more time in Bluff," James said.

However, it was also a place Bluff and Southland residents could come and enjoy, he said.

"People could come for intimate dinners or bring the family for lunch and graze for a few hours."

James said he had joined the Bluff Promotions Committee because he believed the town at the end of the road could offer tourists much more.

About 170,000 people drove into Bluff each year, he said.

"We've found a piece of paradise with so much potential." 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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