NZ: Nelson – Jester House Cafe


Back in January when we went to Nelson, one of the places Annette and Terry took us to was Jester House cafe. They won an award for top cafe in NZ in 2013/14.

You know how Melbourne cafes have a certain ~~thing~~ in common – the coffee, the food, a certain kind of aesthetic with the decor? Jester House Cafe is nothing like that. No blond wood, exposed bricks, or single origin coffee here.

They have a cafe cat – but more impressively and much more quirky – they also have tame eels! How many cafes do you know that can claim that?


The property is amazing. The tame eels linger in a creek,

It’s an amazing property – along with the eels lingering in the creek, there’s also a giant chess board, sculptures, a maze, a grove of manuka trees, as well as an accommodation house that looks like a boot.

(Yes, a boot – as per the nursery rhyme: there was an old lady who lived in a shoe.)

Lamb burger

Okay, food! Alastair and I both had a lamb burger, speared through with a thick sprig of fresh rosemary and accompanied by crispy wedges, complete with skin. Nothing fancy but really tasty.

Beetroot tart

Annette had a beautiful pink and white tart – beetroot, goats curd and a bit of balsamic vinegar.


And Terry had the seafood chowder. This photo was taken by Terry on his brand new phone – well done, Terry!


The resident cat came and paid us a visit during lunch and then wandered back down to the creek. After lunch we followed it down to check out the eels.

When we visited, the water level in the creek was really low and we could easily spot them in between the rocks. Normally visitors can feed the eels, but due to the water level, feeding was restricted to the morning.

Court Jester cafe

It’s a really interesting cafe – very endearing, with lots of little bits to do and see. I’m not sure about staying in a boot, but the rest of the place (and the cat) was cute.

Jester House Cafe
320 Aporo Road, Tasman,
Nelson 7152
New Zealand
Phone:+64 3-526 6742


It was such a nice day and instead of heading straight home, we all decided ice cream would be a good idea.

Annette and Terry took us to Berrylands. They’re a farm who grow fruit and vegetables, as well as berries (you can pick your own even).

Preparing ice cream

They also sell fresh berries mixed with ice cream – you select your choice of berry, ice cream or yoghurt, and cone or a cup.

Preparing ice cream

Mine was ice cream and blueberry swirl in a waffle cone. Perfect.

Ice cream

108 Appleby Highway
Nelson 07081
New Zealand


That’s it for Nelson (only several months later – but hey, who’s counting…)

I have two more NZ trips coming up in the next couple of months for family reasons – this is turning into a very NZ year. 😐 I don’t think I’ve ever been back so much since we left.