Humpty Dumpty – Can it Be Put Back Together Again?

It is a shambles.

No floor, no ceiling cladding, no wall cladding. Old pink batts. The main lodge floor piled up with kitchen equipment, container after container of kitchen “stuff”, ovens and dishwasher sitting forlornly in the lounge area, and finally, load after load of old plasterboard on its way to the waste transfer station. The plasterboard is joined by old timber framing and anything else that is non-reusable or just too old and tired.

This scene reminded me of the children’s nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall and all the King’s Horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

New Kitchen
Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail

Such is the scale of the project, I wonder, can we possibly put our Humpty Dumpty back together again?

This winter, starting in mid-June, we closed River Valley Lodge for two months. This closure is the longest we have voluntarily shut the doors since we opened the main building in 1987. The opportunity was there to do something we had talked about for several years, namely upgrading and renovating the lodge kitchen.

This kitchen had only ever had relatively minor upgrades in its 36 year life, and to be fair, and it showed it! In fact, it is such a credit to Miranda and her team that they managed day after day to deliver such fantastic meals from it, often in quantity.

A couple of weeks into renovations, the area again has a floor, some electrical cabling has been redone, and new pipes for taps and tubs have been laid. Much of the rubbish has now gone, but in some ways, this shows more clearly how much more there is to do.

We have bookings in mid-August, and as the saying goes, the clock is ticking to complete the renovation by then.

Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail

Will our guests be able to notice any differences?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is probably not. The meals will still be of the quality and tastiness that you all comment on so often. Hopefully, even more so.

However, life should be much easier for the team working in the kitchen. Using lots of stainless steel will make cleanup more straightforward, and a better preparation setup will simplify prep. At the same time, a new oven should remedy the problems with one of the old ones which, at periodic mostly inconvenient times, would decide it would not go at all or, alternatively, only go at half power.

At the same time, the bar, which is attached to the kitchen area, is also getting a makeover. This again will make things a lot easier for staff, but should have little impact on guests’ experience. Of course, if our team is not stressed from working with old and inconvenient equipment, this will positively impact their staying cheerful and helpful throughout the day.

Why don’t you check out the changes this Spring and book a night (or more) with us? It is going to be fun sharing the changes.

Brian Megaw