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.

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.

WITH HEART – The Core Values of Jester House



With Heart












Over the last couple of months Steve and I have been working with a business coach. It is exciting, challenging and daunting at times but above all it is focusing. We have a desire to make the Jester House experience as good as it can be and with the help of our coach we will achieve it. One of the topics we recently discussed were our core values. We knew what they were and even had them written down and then nicely tucked away in a drawer. We now have them proudly displayed in my office were I can refer to them easily, we have shared and worked on them with the staff and now I would like to share them with you.

Sharing them makes them stronger and commits us to delivering them everyday in every way and that brings us one step closer to providing you with the best Jester House experience that we can.

 Our core values  W I T H  H E A R T

Well being of staff – We value and encourage learning, feedback, coaching and mentoring.

Individual ownership – We take individual ownership of our customers’ needs and are accountable for delivering an emotionally delightful experience.

Teamwork – We have a supportive, co-operative workplace where customers and staff are all respected and that it is a both a safe and fun environment.

Hospitality – We depend on and enjoy our guests custom so they deserve the best possible service – timely, responsive, proactive, meeting or exceeding their expectations and aiming to delight.

Honesty – We are honest and open in all our dealings and maintain the highest level of integrity at all times.

Environmental Care – We appreciate and advocate for environmental awareness, care and responsibility both onsite and wider environs. We strive for maximum care and aim to have a positive impact.

Art and Humour – We support the local art community and integrate art and humour into all aspects of Jester House. Guest will be amazed, amused and intrigued.

Recognition – We recognise and reward each others contributions and efforts at every level.

Transperancy – We aim to live our values and communicate them clearly to ensure that they flow on to our staff,customers, suppliers and community.