Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Art Deco Weekend in Beautiful Napier

Art deco weekend has come and gone once again, and it was the best ever!  (I think I have said this every year so far.)  The weather was magnificent, the events were wonderful, the Masonic Hotel where we stay has the most helpful staff and interesting guests.  The facilities are excellent and the rooms are being redecorated.

The vintage cars come from all around the country (and some from overseas) to converge on the forecourt at the front of the Masonic Hotel, so we had a wonderful view of all the people coming and going and of the beautiful vehicles too.  

There was dancing in the streets during the day as well as at night time and the swing dancers danced themselves to a standstill.

Bands played in the soundshell and we all were so enthusiastic that we ended up hobbling back to our rooms in the early hours of the morning with blisters on our feet, only to do it all again the next day.  

The architecture has been carefully preserved since the city was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and the paint colours have been researched so as to be as sympathetic as possible.  There are awards for the best paint jobs even, to encourage the preservation of the art deco atmosphere.  

The trolley derby took place on Sunday morning, just before the Gatsby Picnic on the seafront.  Children (and lots of mums and dads as well) competed in a huge range of novelty trolleys including one shaped like a wine bottle, and competition is always very fierce.

 All ready to take up their position in their gazebo at the Gatsby Picnic
 The speakeasy tent

A black and white themed gazebo
Charlie Chaplin enjoying a stroll by the sea during the picnic

This gentleman was returning from an event where the guests went along dressed as passengers on The Titanic, wearing what they would have been wearing at the time.  They were also treated to a meal recreated from the menu.  He has on an old life preserver as well as his long johns and smoking jacket.

Happy times at lunch at The Mission, a very long and leisurely lunch it has to be said, outside and with wonderful company and a beautiful setting.  This year there were 14 of us for lunch and we would have stayed on all afternoon if the venue wasn't needed for a wedding.
 Out for more dancing
The boys played in the annual golf tournament - Lord Raglan on the right won the prize for best dressed man!  This came as a surprise to everybody apart from Lord Raglan.  You can imagine how we all suffered after that, especially the other men.  Lord Raglan is offering to give them costume hints for next year.

The ladies happily entertained themselves shopping while the golf tournament took place
A wonderful air display over the water is put on every year
The botanic gardens are in the centre of town, always worth a visit and beautifully maintained.

We saw The Mousetrap at The Little Theatre and that was an extra treat because we don't always take a play.  Perhaps the best event though was the ball at the Assembly Rooms in Hastings, because the band played a wide range of music and the dance floor was a bit softer than the concrete when we danced in the street!