Penny and Neen came to NZ in 2014,
after spending 20+ years in the United
Arab Emirates working in tertiary education.
Whilst working in the UAE, their primary
residence was on a working date farm in
Ras Al Khaimah near the Oman border. It
was an oasis in the desert. During these
years, they owned and renovated a 400
year old stone cottage on the island of
Lesvos in Greece which they used for family and friends and eventually built a larger stone and
marble home in the traditional style for their own use. This Greek property, which contained over 40 trees in an orchard and small vineyard, was their primary holiday home for 20 years.
Prior to this, they had been professional expatriates travelling the world for most of their adult lives.
Upon leaving their jobs in Dubai, they bought a 100 acre property in the Capertee Valley of the greater Blue Mountain region in NSW, Australia, however the cost to negate the extreme fire risks of the region proved prohibitive. They came to the Clutha region in 2016 after looking for NZ properties to renovate online and first converted the old Post Office in Clydevale into a one bedroom cottage before moving to Lawrence to renovate the 1867 house they currently reside in. Being one of the earliest double brick houses still remaining in the area, it’s understated grandeur was still evident through the leaking roof and rotting lime mortar. As of writing, this renovation is still a work in progress.
Formerly a holiday home, they bought the Pickled Pigeon Cottage in Lawrence in November 2018 and spent six weeks doing a quick cosmetic makeover before opening the doors as a holiday rental in time for the Christmas period. So started the journey.
The name Pickled Pigeon originated from sitting on the veranda with neighbours not long after purchase, a glass of wine in hand and witnessing the wood pigeons (Kereru) getting tipsy devouring berries in the surrounding trees. And the name stuck.
Penny and Neen are passionate about preserving and protecting old buildings for future generations to enjoy. They have owned many properties in different countries around the world and their philosophy has never changed, that is to leave a property and its surrounding environment in a better state than when they took it over. Planting trees and creating gardens for birds, insects and wildlife is a big part of this philosophy. Read the Tiaki Promise
L to R: Penny Archer and Neen Welsby