Olveston party to be fit for a queen

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Royal celebration . ..Olveston historic home and garden manager Jan Davies and Dunedin City Council Ara Toi group manager Nick Dixon prepare for the Queen's high tea party in the home's great hall. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Olveston historic home and garden is open for business and set to hold a party fit for a queen.

Home manager Jan Davies said tours of the historic house museum in Royal Tce resumed on Monday.

“Three tours run so that’s a great start.”

The home was hosting a Queen’s high tea party event in the home’s great hall on Monday.

“This is the first time in the great hall that we are having a function like this – so it’s quite exceptional,” Mrs Davies said.

The “experience” – designed to honour Queen Elizabeth II – had sold out.

The 30 guests at the celebration would be dressed in their finest attire and enjoy a performance by a pianist, a tour and be part of a toast to the Queen.

The party would be livestreamed to similar events across New Zealand.

Dunedin City Council Ara Toi group manager Nick Dixon said more events could be held in the home in winter.

“Maybe a cocktail evening or a dance in the great hall, that sort of thing want to animate the house.”

Traditionally, up to 80% of the people visiting the home lived overseas, Mr Dixon said.

He encouraged Dunedin residents to visit the home.

The home was the “jewel in the crown” of historic houses in New Zealand, he said.

“We are open for business and we really hope people come and experience this great treasure on their doorstep.”

The late Dorothy Theomin gave the house and its original contents to the city of Dunedin and it opened as a museum in 1967.