Joyce Hebbard and Daughter came for a surprise visit!!

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Joyce Hebbard and daughter Noeline ( and husband Paul) made a surprise visit To Tophouse last week. Joyce lived here with husband Snow from 1971 for 12 years then other family lived here until 1988 Noeline was able to show us where the long drop was behind the Bar whih we didn’t know about. Joyce told us she used to go pig hunting by herself in the old days. Joyce is 92 years old now and lives in a rest home in Westport .She was so pleased she had come back ,she was overwhelmed by all the flowers in the garden
Joyce having a look in the bar
Noeline showing us about where the 2nd long drop had been
Paul Joyce,and Noeline sitting outside Tophouse
Helen ( owner) Joyce and Noeline before they left



More Guests Love Tophouse!!

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Vitus from Germany and Michael & Rafaela from Austria stayed with us recently and loved Tophouse.They both spoke well in German & English and had a lot to talk about as they are from neighbouring countries.
Charlene and Elise from France stayed in a cottage and came over to Tophouse’s dining room for breakfast. They were excited about being on holiday
Ana was biking around NZ. She was originally from Russia now living in the UK .She is a psychotherapist in the UK,.Ana stayed at Tophouse and loved and our fire and loved playing with our dog Casey.


Recent Visitors Stayed at Tophouse & our Mountainview Cottages

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Recent Visitors to Tophouse Vincent Wong and family came over from the cottages and had breakfast in the Tophouse dining room.
Murray and Joy from Taupo stayed in Tophouse and had dinner with us at night and and really enjoyed their stay.
Joanne and her husband from the USA enjoyed their stay ,they also had dinner with us .They were very interested in the history of Tophouse

Uk friends buy drinks from the Bar …..

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We had 3 friends from The UK call in for a drink at the Bar ,and found it cosier inside and soon were playing cards. The chinese guests staying in one of our cottages turned up to use the WIFI and had a great conversation as one of the UK guys spoke Cantonese

Tophouse has a new Roof !

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The new roof
Tophouse finally got a new roof in March and it looks great !!! When the iron was removed Miles was replacing any rot or missing wood with Red Beech and it got a layer of paper insulation which it never had.We are so pleased the roof looks the same as it did before



Molesworth Tours Group stayed the Night

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We had our first group from “The Molesworth Tours ” stay the night in Tophouse .they were lots of fun ,enjoyed a drink at the bar and dinner,and listened to Miles tell the 2 Murders & a Suicide Tragedy back in 1894 which Tophouse is well known for.


Tophouse gets a new Roof on Monday

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The scaffolding is up and Tophouse will get a new roof on Monday!! The Contour roofing contractors will take 3 days to insulate and re roof while Miles replaces some rot in the rafters with Red Beech Some of the original roof is still up there after 129years after Tophouse was built in 1887. The Historical Society are paying half the money towards this much needed restoration of Tophouse

Chook Chasers on Motorbikes

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21 blokes on motorbikes from Christchurch called the Chook Chasers stayed a night in the cottages and in the cob house .We did a barbeque for them all and the bar was open and ,they all had a good time . They all drove through The Rainbow and went back though The Rainbow the next day.

Accommodation has been to the full over December /Jan .Sorry if you have found the cafe closed we have been too busy with the accommodation

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All our accommodation inside the house and in the cottages have been full all through December and up until this week half way through January We have met so many lovely people who have stayed with us from all different parts of the worlds,they have found our  Historic Cob Inn and enjoyed the experience of staying in a cob house with all its rustic charm

Johanne and Kristen from Denmark  stayed with us for 2 nights and loved Casey our dog.

We also had 2 guys from Belgium and a couple from France stay and they got on very well as the Belgiums spoke french where the french couple didn’t speak fluent English but we got by and had a great evening with them.

The Red Hats from Dargaville !!!

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These ladies belong to “The Red Hat Society ” from Dargaville where you meet up from all over NZ wearing purple and a red hat!! and have lots of fun & laughs.They had their husbands with them as chaperones . They had Devonshire tea & coffee at Tophouse this morning, a beautiful day being Monday we decided to open the Cafe and we were so glad we did or we would have missed them

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The Bar is OPEN!!!

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We now have our Bar Managers licence and this weekend we have opened our bar to the public to sell alcohol and had our first customer here chatting with Miles on this beautiful spring day



Senior Citizens from Picton

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The weather turned on the sun and most of the 35 senior citizens from Picton were able to sit outside and enjoy Devonshire Tea & coffee
The rest enjoyed sitting at the historic table in the Dining Room

Ray Clarke’s son visits

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Colin Clarke (only son of Ray and Ruth Clarke) and his wife Jill came and had a Devonshire Tea last Saturday .Colin grew up at Tophouse his parents owned Tophouse as a Hotel from 1936 -19771 .A lot of people remember Ray Clarke,if he was alive today he would be 111years old

Café open

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Our first customers at our Café this Queens Birtday weekend
Our first customers at our Café this Queens Birtday weekend

We opened last weekend to beautiful weather and welcomed our first customers. Lois, Bill Mark and Sue all live in the top of the South and seemed to enjoy their Devonshire teas and coffee.

Mountain View cottages available now for booking

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We are now taking accommodation bookings for Queens Birthday Weekend, which is when we are officially opening.Tophouse cottages 007

We have 4 self-contained cottages. Each has 2 bedrooms and sleeps 4. One cottage also has bunks which will accommodate 3 children.

All cottages are well heated and beds have electric blankets to keep you toasty warm.

Our cottages also come with stunning views of the St Arnaud Range and Mt Robert.

Contact us now to make your booking. Email

Tophouse is open for business this winter!

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Miles and Helen Anderson are the new owners of Tophouse.

At the moment, they’re busy moving in and they hope to have accommodation and meals available in the inn soon. They’re also planning to open the cafe for Devonshire teas and coffee. Getting a liquor licence in the near future is on the agenda too. Watch this space!


Stay at Tophouse this summer!

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Tophouse Inn in early summer with cirrus clouds in the backgroundAfter 15 years, Mike and Melody Nicholls are back. We’re open for visitors and the jug’s on for a free cuppa.

Self-contained accommodation is available at the Mountainview Cottages from $100. However, the cafe and bar are closed, sorry. Tophouse is for sale, and as we’re expecting a sale soon we’re not getting the various licenses back.

We won’t be charging for tours and we’re more than happy to chat over a cup of tea. Donations appreciated.

Come stay with us this summer!

Closed until further notice

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As a result of circumstances beyond our control, we’re sad to advise that Tophouse is closed until further notice.

Elaine thanks all those who gave their support and encouragement to this venture.

Open 7 days these school holidays

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Little boy on a swing with winter trees in backgroundGreat news for families – we’re expanding our hours at Tophouse Inn to open seven days in the coming school holidays!

With the third term finishing up this Friday, 25 September, we’ll be stoking the fire in the old inn and plumping up the pillows in the cottages, ready to welcome families and holidaymakers heading to our own little slice of heaven in the Nelson Lakes.

The Rainbow Ski Area will be open throughout the school holidays, right up until Sunday 11 October. The snow depth currently ranges from 70-100cm, with snow showers forecast through until this coming weekend. Rainbow is running a school holiday programme, with great deals on coaching, gear and day passes.

Rotoiti Water Taxis are offering a 1.5 hour Alpine Lake Explorer cruise until 30 September. You get an entirely different appreciation of Lake Rotoiti and surrounding mountains when you’re on the water. The cruise will take you up to the lake head, where you can enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee. You also have the option of checking out beautiful Whiskey Falls.

The temperature’s slowly rising but spring weather is always unpredictable in the mountains, so make sure you’re prepared, with plenty of warm clothing and good footwear.

After a great day on the slopes or the lake, come back to Tophouse Inn and let Elaine warm you down to your toes with her superb, family-friendly cafe fare. Enjoy a drink by the fire and sink into a comfortable bed for a great night’s sleep before you do it all again the next day.

Please book well in advance for dinners and let Elaine know if you or your family have any special dietary requirements.

See you in the holidays!



Liquor licence approved!

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Tohu Wines logoWe now have a full liquor licence at Tophouse Inn, so it’s been a busy week for Elaine, dealing with industry reps and taking deliveries.

We’re stocking a selection of premium wines from local producer Tohu, the world’s first Maori-owned wine company. We’ll expand the range in the near future to include, among others, Coal Pit Pinot Noir. This luscious wine is produced at a family-owned vineyard in Central Otago’s Gibbston Valley.

Beer lovers certainly won’t miss out either. We’re proud to serve craft beers from Lighthouse Brewery, about 50 minutes down the road in Stoke, along with big brands Tui, Heineken and Steinlager.

Pop in and see us for a drink soon. And, while you’re at it, stay for dinner! We’d love to see you.

Staff wanted

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Chef holding metal food tongs and a hot frypanWe’re looking for a chef with at least two years’ experience (or a very experienced cook), plus a capable Front of House barista, to start as soon as possible.

You’ll need to commit to working our full summer season (Oct 2015 to May 2016). Live-in accommodation will be provided and would best suit a couple.

You’ll be friendly, versatile and creative, able to rise to the challenges that working in a historic building can present.

If you want to work in a beautiful part of New Zealand with a dedicated and passionate team, we’d love to hear from you.

For more information and/or to register your interest, phone Elaine on 03 521 1269 or 027 521 1010; or email

Liquor licence very soon

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Wine glass containing red wine
Cheers! Sante! Prost!

We’re happy to announce that we should have our new liquor licence in a couple of weeks.

Very soon, you’ll be able to sit by the fire before dinner and relax with a glass of something excellent! Given that we’re only an hour’s drive away from Marlborough, you can be sure we’ll feature some superb local wines.

Beer drinkers won’t miss out either, as we’ll have ample stocks of the amber fluid to keep you well hydrated.

With its roaring fire, wonderful ambience and great food and drink, Tophouse Inn is the perfect venue for your après-ski chillout. Pay us a visit after a hard day on the slopes and sample Elaine’s legendary hospitality.