Our story

Hamish and Angie

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.

We moved to Marlborough because of its enviable reputation as the gourmet ‘wine and food capital of New Zealand’ (and also for the fishing!).

Our professional chef qualifications enabled us to gain permanent residency and we are now both New Zealand citizens – and very proud of it!

Hamish and Angie - Owners of Dartington Barn Bed and Breakfast

Hamish and Angie Beard

Hamish works part-time as a freelance local tour guide, and Angie has been a Montessori teacher for the last ten 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.

Before Dartington Barn we ran our own successful Blenheim-based cake and gateau business, Truly Scrumptious, for ten years – hence the development of our delicious Florentines business. Bringing up our two lovely children, Hannah and Arun, meant a change in priorities. we then spent over six years looking for the right building – one with heaps of character and that ‘wow’ factor.

Hamish was brought up in an old Sussex barn, so when we found Dartington Barn it fitted the bill perfectly.

Dartington Barn

Dartington Barn was built in 2001 as a wedding venue and has hosted many happy ceremonies. We bought it in 2009 and then spent seven months converting it into a private home offering gourmet cooking masterclasses, along with archery and other leisure sports activities.

Dartington Barn

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.

Food

Hamish in the herb Garden

Hamish in the herb garden

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.

We just love the Marlborough cornucopia of great produce which 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 here and we have a couple of superb Dutch bakers in the region.

In our gourmet masterclass we share our passion for food and for local produce.