The Old School Enfield

We Chat with the Owners: Craig & Blanche

It’s a small world as we know, so when Geoff was riding the Tour of Aotearoa, and fellow rider Steve Bird mentioned his friends who had opened a new accommodation on the Alps 2 Ocean at Enfield, he knew who he was talking about.  The Old School at Enfield opened last season and immediately provided a great option for those who wanted to spend time in Oamaru before moving on.  Before we even got to visit our customer feedback was awesome, so we were keen to talk with Craig and Blanche about their project…

What does The Old School offer by way of accommodation on the Alps 2 Ocean?

“The Old School now has 4 large, luxurious double rooms, and 2 studio rooms adjacent to the main building; all with ensuites. Two rooms also have sofa beds to accommodate extra family members, children, etc. We can accommodate, at the School, 14 guests in 6 rooms.”

“In addition, we have recently purchased, and refurbished, the Headmasters House opposite. This is a 3 bedroom facility capable of sleeping 6 persons with shared bathroom and kitchen and while not the same high standard of the School, is still very comfortable. Tennis courts are available all year, while the school swimming pool is only open during the summer.”

“We offer a very comprehensive breakfast, at a time that suits our guests, comprising a selection of cereals, yoghurts, fruit juice, fruit salad made fresh every morning, selection of breads for toast, tea and coffee, and of course a not too large portion of Bacon and Eggs. The evening meal is arranged at the very popular Fort Enfield, a 3 minute stroll away. A country pub where guests have the opportunity to mingle”.

What was your driver behind the development of your business and how long have you been running?

“Blanche and I have a background in Farming and running small business. We have travelled a great deal and have always enjoyed meeting and hosting travellers.  Our guests seem to enjoy the fact that when they reach us, all their hard work is over. They can have a relaxing evening, and leisurely cycle into Oamaru the following day, many come back for a second night. We opened for business in 2018.”

What is your back story – where did you come from and what got you motivated to do this renovation?

“We were looking for a project and the School was recommended to us.  It had been empty for many years but we fell in love with it immediately. We had always thought about doing B&B on the farm. But with young family it never happened. We knew The School would give us an opportunity to have a go! The restoration took 14 months and we are thrilled with the result. This is our home and we love it.”

What do you see that the Alps 2 Ocean trail done for the Enfield community?

“The trail has encouraged the local community to get out & use the facility themselves, whether on a bike or to go for a walk. The wider Oamaru community also use it & cycle out to Enfield to go to our friendly local, The Fort Enfield Tavern.”

“Our guests that have their last night on the trail go to The Fort for dinner – It has become part of their trail experience. They are made to feel welcome by the owners Johnny & Amber Rogers & their wonderful staff. Also locals who have embraced new faces each night & are happy to talk about the area & farming. The Alps 2 Ocean trail has added diversity to our community & is a win for us all.”

How have you enjoyed this new challenge and the clients you come in contact with?

“We pride ourselves on the level of service we provide but are always happy to do more if our clients need any assistance. We have met the most wonderful people, all unique in their own way, and it is probably true that Blanche and I get as much out of the hosting experience as our guests.”