Penny from Pickled Pigeon Cottage lives in Lismore Street, Lawrence. If it sounds like a verse out of the book, ‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’, then you’re going to love the other names in Lawrence like Gabriel’s Gully, Jailbreak Cottage and The Wild Walnut. It’s part of the rich history of Lawrence which was Otago’s first gold-rush town. It’s also what makes this accommodation so charming.
“We were sitting on the veranda and the tree was in full yellow flower. There were a couple of wood pigeons, and we sat there and thought, what are we going to call this place? Then the pigeons started to get drunk on the berries and we thought pickled pigeon. It's got to be the Pickled Pigeon, so that's how it came about,” explains Penny Archer.
Wonky wooden walls are just perfect.
Pickled Pigeon is actually two old cottages put together. “It’s originally, I believe, the old surveyor's cottage from Gabriel's Gully, which was moved here in pre-1881 and there’s a photo of it then. It's got wonky walls. It's got a wonky floor. It's a typical hundred and 40 year old plus wooden cottage, and you don't want to take that away. You don't want to modernize it too much because this is what people want.”
Everything about the cottage is cosy.
“When people arrive here, there's a bottle of wine on the table, there's chocolates on the table, there’s milk in the fridge. There are coffee table books inside that guests read from cover to cover and a library at the back. Everything to make them feel at home.”
Stroll down memory lane.
A five-minute walk from the cottage you can pop into the Tuapeka Goldfields Museum, Boatshed Antiques and more.
“I think the area has the most beautiful natural beauty and historic attractions. You know, I've travelled most of the world or a lot of the world, and it just seems to be all packaged here and in one place. You don't have to go to overseas. It's all here in the South Island. It’s special.”