When we’re flat out pre-Christmas with everyone else’s entertaining, there’s simply no time (or energy) for our own staff Christmas party. Ruth says "we invited our staff, partners and kids for a lovely relaxed Sunday afternoon at Springfield in mid January. Wellington-based staff came up on the train.

"We don’t mind getting our staff to help with the prep and set-up, but we can’t really ask them to work at their own Christmas party! So Paul managed the drinks and I did the food, and our adorable pug dogs Edie, Emerald and Elsa were the entertainment highlights.

The Ice Cream Sundae station was the runaway winner. A special request, the 12 flavours of ice cream and array of sauces were perfect for 27 degrees. Hot Fudge Sauce was voted tops.


My new best helper, 10-year old Jade, was fantastic and I am looking forward to her apprenticeship as soon as we can find an apron to fit her.

It was a gorgeous afternoon in the sunshine: gallons of sunscreen were slapped on and we handed out sunhats.


Ranging from 17 to 90-something in age, everyone loved being guests for a change, especially 

eating rather than cooking or serving Fillet of Beef, Glazed Ham and lots of colourful salads. "The fav passaround was our World Famous Sausage Rolls with our own tasty Tomato Sauce,” Ruth reports.                         

Paul fired up the wood-fired oven at 6am and everyone pitched in and made their own pizzas. Chef Jamie prepped pizza dough on Saturday, leaving it refrigerated in a very large plastic bucket where it rose slowly to be perfect by Sunday. A good tip!

"We wanted to say thanks to the families as well as our terrific staff. So many of our staff work late nights and weekends at functions, and long hours over Christmas especially, and that’s all time away from family. A great day,” she smiled.