Little Free Library at Jester House

The Little Free Library is now Open.

                                        Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. Now, a new Little Free Library is open on the Tasman’s Great Taste Trail at Jester House,                                                                                    joining the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.

The small, frontyard book exchanges number over 60,000 around the world in 80 countries — from Iceland to Tasman to Pakistan.

   Little Free Library is a nonprofit organisation that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighbourhood book exchanges around the world.

            Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

We are proud to have a Little Free library outside Jester House and look forward to seeing the coming and going of books and being its creative stewards.




   A Grand Opening was held on Friday evening with many books being donated and taken.

Speeches were made, cake eaten and lemonade drunk by neighbours from our wider community who came along to celebrate this new community asset situated on the Great Taste Trail outside Jester House.

It is open every day, 24 hours a day so you will never be short of a great read.

          Take a Book, Share a Book, Donate a Book.

Feel free to stop by anytime.

Secret Recipe No 1


We love to share and are often asked for our recipes so here is No 1 in a series of special Jester House recipes. We hope you enjoy it as much as our cafe customers do.
Steve, our exceptional baker, has chosen our classic shortbread with a twist recipe to share with you.

He says it is super easy and great with a cup of tea or coffee.

Lavender Shortbread
Process in a food processor until smooth:
440 grms chilled butter, chopped
1 1/3 cup caster sugar
4 cups flour
1 cup rice flour
2 eggs
Place on a lightly floured surface and knead gently.
While kneading add:
2 Tbsp dried lavender buds
Shape the dough using an icecream scoop to make level scoops.
Cut each level scoop in half.
Roll half scoops into balls.
Place on 3 lined trays.
Flatten each ball gently with a floured fork.
Makes approx 75 biscuits.
Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes.
You can omit the lavender and have them plain or you can add lemon zest for a lemony twist.



This recipe makes quite a number of biscuits but they make a great little treat to give to a neighbour, friend, mother or your boss.

Sending Love Project




The Sending Love Project is about honouring those we care about and to take a moment to let them know.

 Jester House has dedicated the month of February to creating a space for people to connect with those they love but may not have told recently.

There is nothing nicer than getting an unexpected postcard, in the mail, from your friend, daughter, mother, brother, father, Aunty, cousin etc.
and by Sending Love we hope we are helping to put more love and positivity into the world.

                                                               13 artists, both local and international, were given the Sending Love Brief to create an art piece to express what Sending Love means to them.  The original art pieces they created have been scanned and reduced to a postcard size so that they can share their version of Sending Love with the world.

The postcards of the original art works will be for sale. Our guests can send a message of love to someone important in their lives, and to bring more expressions of love into the community. Along with the 13  postcards to choose from, stamps will be available and an especially designed Sending Love Postbox at Jester House will provide for ease of sending a message of love.

Our aim is to send 500 messages of love into the world and to date 299 have been sent. With 10 days to go we hope to reach this target.

Come into the cafe anytime from 9am to 5pm and send your Message of Love and make someones day.

House of Cards, a 52 day evolving exhibit


A house of cards, a 52 day evolving exhibit is the latest and greatest creative project from Steve, our creative director.

He has created a giant pack of cards and the premiss is that every day a new card get drawn from the pack and used, with the cards already drawn, to build that days’ card house.

Friends and public have been invited to book a day and come and participate in the project which is nearing it’s half way point.

This is a press release issued on day 20 to draw attention to the themes of the exhibit,  shelter and housing affordability.

“Day 20 sees Tasman artist Steve Richards reveal his hand and build a card house he can sleep in.

This is a response to the 52 day evolving exhibit’s theme, ‘a practical solution to housing affordability’

“It’s really luck of the draw whether you are in the housing market or not. The government are doing all in their power to 

maintain upward pressure on house prices as this maintains economic growth. Meanwhile the house of cards becomes ever more unstable”

The exhibit finishes 12 November, there are still plenty of days available if you would like to come and participate.

You can follow progress on Jester House instagram  and facebook.

Jester House Royal Family



Jester House Royal Family

Doesn’t everyone want to be a Queen or King? even if it is only as part of the funist aristocracy.
We’ve had Princess Harriette and a Lady Judy in the family here for years, as well a Tickle Monkey and a Grogan.
It’s all part of the fun of life, to give yourself a title beyond Mr/Mrs/Ms.

Now we have decided to update our loyalty system to give us more opportunity to treat you royally.
We still want to treat you on your birthday and we will treat you for becoming part of the family,
but now we can also treat you for coming regularly too.

For every dollar you spend you earn 1 point, once you’ve earned 200 points we send you a voucher for 20 Jester Dollars.

Our new system uses your eftpos or credit card (or both) as your loyalty card so you don’t need to carry anymore cards and it’s all perfectly safe with paymark.

To join Text: jester (space) your email address to 4664 or go to the steps and you’ll soon be part of the royal family.

The loyal royal servers look forward to giving you a right royal time here at Jester House

Get Arty in the School Holidays





It’s nearly the school holidays again and that means the kids are home or your grandchildren are staying and you need activities to do with them. What could be better than a trip to the country and a visit to Jester House. To make it even more worthwhile we a running a FREE activity every day of the holidays, so while you enjoy some peace the children will be happily occupied getting arty.

We have collected a variety of artworks to hang around the garden to inspire the children and then there’s an activity table set up where they can create their own pendant to add to a banner. The banner will then be displayed in the Enchanted Forest when we reopen after our winter break(25th July- 1st September). You can then come and admire the handiwork and there will be a peoples choice competition to choose the best piece.

The holiday activities have been running here at Jester House for several years now and should be a permanent fixture on your holiday calender. Combine your trip to Jester House with a walk on Kina Beach or play on the playground at McKee Reserve or do some rounds of the Pump track at Tasman Domain. There is so much to do here in Tasman and getting Arty ay Jester House is just a start. We look forward to seeing you and your creative children this school holidays.

Nice pair



In May, all around New Zealand, individuals and businesses get involved in Pink Ribbon Breakfasts. This is the major fund raising opportunity for the  N.Z. Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer is an unfortunate fact of life for many woman but it is not only woman who are affected. A lot of men stand beside their wives, lovers, mothers, sisters, friends and share the fear and trepidation that comes with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Even the discovery of a lump on a loved ones breast can cause great anxiety, as I can attest from personal experience. Luckily it was nothing serious but the process was enough to give me an understanding of what is is like to wait for the results of tests, the sleepless nights, the what ifs.

Here at Jester House, this is the 5th year we have been supporting this worthy cause, last year raising over $1000. This year we are having our Pink Ribbon weekend on the Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. Get a group of friends together, get your pink gear on and make a booking for breakfast, or lunch to show your support for this very worthwhile charity, and it is a great way to celebrate life.

Contact us on 03 5266742 or book online . Remember this is not just about woman.


Grateful to Mother

With Mother

My Mother was a big influence on my path in life , her interests, enthusiasm and sheer joy has helped to mould the person I am.

I’m grateful to have my Mother still able to come and stay with us and enjoy the Autumn garden here at Jester House. Now 78, and waiting for a hip operation later in the month, she doesn’t really garden for herself anymore but still enjoys a perambulate around ours.

When I was growing up I remember her spending every free hour in her garden. I think that is where I got my love of gardening from and my idea of horticultural imperialism, pushing the frontiers of the garden back and back like a true imperialist. Going from nothing to be just as big and beautiful as you want it to be.

I’m also grateful to her for my love of cooking.  Helping with dinner parties and then socializing with friends around the table is a very fond memory of my teenage years in Marsden Valley. I think it is the responsibility of every parent to teach their children to cook as part of independence training and I know our children appreciated having a repertoire of dishes they could cook when they left home. Of course I took it more seriously than most and went on to train as a chef, something my Mother encouraged.

She is only staying a few days before going home to Golden Bay again before Mother’s Day on Sunday so I’m grateful we are spending some time together this week.

Autumn Scavenger Hunt


When our children were still at school, well actually Harriette(28) and Pip(27) are both still studying, the school holidays were always a time to kick back and relax. Being at home with no morning schedule was what they looked forward to most, that and having special time out with us.

It was always a bit of a challenge to find different activities for them to do. Something that was fun, energetic and that they subliminally learnt something in the process.

So when I had this clever idea of putting on school holiday activities at Jester House these 3 key points were firmly in my planning process. Create a fun activity that children of all ages can enjoy, that has them running around the garden in search of something and has an educational element.

I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome and this holidays activity – An Autumn Scavenger Hunt is no exception. Yesterday it was a pure delight to see so many children and many parents scooting around the garden in search of mushrooms, walnuts, autumn leaves, counting chickens and finding hidden animals.They learnt things like the difference between chestnuts and walnuts, what a persimmon tree looks like and what a rose arcade is. And for all their running about with clip board in hand they finished with a free autumn jelly treat.

My reward is seeing the pleasure on the children’s faces and watching whole families having a fun time together. I know Pip and Harriette would have loved doing this type of thing in the holidays when they were young and it is with them in mind that I create each school holiday activity for the pleasure of our young guests.

The Autumn Scavenger Hunt runs for the duration of the holidays and Jester House is open everyday (except Anzac Day) 9am to 4.30pm until the 25th July.

At Loggerheads


It is amazing what you find when you start filling the woodshed for the winter.  I started cutting up a big branch trimmed of our gum tree when I came across this smile.

As sometimes happens when you are dealing with wood, it will talk to you. It said “I’m to good to burn, I need to be seen. I have a job to do.”

So the firewood mission was put aside for another day and I put on my creative hat. Following some research into te moko and noting the recurring patterns I made a few sketches.

It was then a process of fitting the patterns to the faces and using a plunge router to carve te moko. Some black paint, paua shell and a couple of coats of oil finished the faces. They were then mounted on robinia posts and set to stand as  nga tutei (sentries)

These two now stand as tutei on the path to the Enchanted Forest making sure your games are fun.

Now it is back to the firewood.