Hostess: Evelyne Siegrist
Taiwan-born artist Evelyne Siegrist and her late husband Swiss-born artist Raouf Siegrist travelled and exhibited widely before settling in the Coromandel, New Zealand. During a holiday in the Coromandel in 1992, they fell so in love with a property that they bought it on the spot. They developed it into a comfortable, elegant country retreat they named buffalo lodge. The lodge's name was inspired by the HMS Buffalo, which sailed into the Coromandel in the nineteenth century. The ship was wrecked in July 1840 off a beach near Whitianga, now known as Buffalo Beach, while on a journey to collect kauri spars.
Evelyne and Raouf's fascination with other cultures is reflected in the tribal artifacts that they have collected from exotic locations such as Sumatra, Morocco and Bali. They are attractively displayed in the lodge, along with their own distinctive paintings and terracotta sculptures.
The discovery of gold in 1852 at Driving Creek brought a boom to the Coromandel. Artifacts and buildings of that period are still evident in the township today. Old shop facades have been restored and Coromandel town is now lined with cafes and craft and curio shops.
Evelyne is a gracious and welcoming host who combines her work at the lodge with her painting. She finds the inspiring and tranquil natural environment very conducive to her creativity.
Evelyne is a great cook, with over five years experience as a chef in a Gault Millau-rated restaurant in Switzerland. Breakfast at buffalo lodge is in a spacious dining room with magnificent views over the Coromandel hills, and features home-made jams/marmalade, home-made muesli, yoghurt and freshly baked croissants, fresh free-range eggs. Even the coffee is freshly roasted in-house.
Coromandel Town has some excellent restaurants that cater for a wide range of tastes and budgets. If you prefer to eat at the lodge, Evelyne can prepare a delicious and healthy meal by arrangement.