Dartington Barn was built in 2001 as a wedding venue and has hosted many happy ceremonies. We bought it in 2009 and then spent 7 months converting it into a private home with guest accommodation. The landscaped grounds were specifically designed for wedding photos hence the sweeping lawns, the avenue of Sally Holmes roses, the silver garden and hop arches. We’ve added a pond, and planted native shrubs and trees which attract all sorts of birdlife. Our chickens give us a plentiful supply of lovely fresh eggs.
Dartington Barn is owned and managed by Hamish and Angie Beard. We immigrated to New Zealand in 1983 from Sussex and the Midlands of England respectively.
Our professional chef qualifications enabled us to gain permanent residency and we are now both New Zealand citizens – and very proud of it!
Hamish works as a local tour guide and as a chef on board a boat in the Marlborough Sounds. Angie has been a Montessori teacher for the last 10 years. We both love golf, cycling and keeping fit. Hamish is a keen sea and freshwater fisherman, and particularly loves being so close to the Wairau River (1.5 kilometres).
We moved to Marlborough 19 years ago because of its enviable reputation as the ‘wine and food capital of New Zealand’ (and also for the fishing!).
We ran our own successful Blenheim-based cake and gateau business, Truly Scrumptious, for 10 years. Bringing up our 2 lovely children, Hannah and Arun, meant a change in priorities. We then spent over 6 years looking for the right building - with heaps of character and that ‘wow’ factor.
Hamish was brought up in an old Sussex barn, so when we found Dartington it fitted the bill perfectly.
We’ve both had careers as professional chefs and we love our food! Marlborough is famous firstly for its stunning Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wine, but also for its quinnat salmon and greenshell mussels which are reared in the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds.
The Marlborough cornucopia of great produce includes saffron, honey, wild game and more fruit and vegetables than you can throw a stick at. You’ll find hand crafted cheeses, locally grown nuts, scallops, crayfish, oysters, olive oils and we have a couple of superb Dutch bakers in the region.