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Luxury Oamaru lodge provides a taste of Europe

15 November 2011

Luxury Oamaru lodge provides a taste of Europe this Christmas

A fairytale castle in Bavaria was the inspiration for two luxury lodge owners in Oamaru to craft a stunning Christmas gingerbread creation.

Every year Pen-y-bryn lodge owners James Glucksman and James Boussy – known as ‘the Jameses’ – create a gingerbread marvel in the lead up to Christmas.

Last year their replica of Christchurch Cathedral, created as a tribute to the 130-year-old icon following the devastating February 2011 earthquake, proved a huge drawcard for locals and visitors to the property.

This year, following a business and holiday trip to Germany in July, they were overwhelmed by the beauty of the castle that was also the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

To be formally unveiled on December 1, Neuschwanstein Gingerbread Castle can be viewed by guests either staying or enjoying a meal at the five-star Pen-y-bryn Lodge. In keeping with the European theme, guests can opt for a three or four course ‘European Christmas’ dinner for Christmas functions.

The Gingerbread castle, however, will not be on the menu. But since the aroma of the gingerbread is so enticing, the Jameses also prepare gingerbread cookies that guests are welcome to enjoy to their hearts’ content.


More about Pen-y-bryn Lodge and the Jameses
Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a small luxury hotel offering exclusive Lodge-style accommodation in five elegant and superbly appointed guestrooms with modern en-suite facilities in a hillside location overlooking historic Oamaru with views of sea and mountains.

Pen-y-bryn Lodge was built in 1889 for Oamaru businessman John Bulleid, who gave the building a Welsh name meaning “On Top of the Hill” in honour of his Welsh-born wife, Fanny. Reputedly the largest single-level wooden structure in Australasia, the house retains many of its original furnishings and fittings, giving it a very elegant, yet comfortable, feeling. Converted into a lodge in the mid-1990s, and bearing five Qualmark stars, Pen-y-bryn offers guests a rare combination of authentic Kiwi heritage and modern convenience.

Hosts James Glucksman and James Boussy (aka ‘the Jameses’), purchased Pen-y-bryn in 2010. Born in the United States, the Jameses lived and travelled all over the world before making their home in Oamaru.

Before Pen-y-bryn, James Glucksman had a career in international management consulting and healthcare for more than 20 years, living and working in more than forty countries all over the world. Fluent in Russian and Chinese, and with a very good knowledge of French, Spanish and German (as well as some limited Japanese and Hungarian), James' first love was always fine food and wine. He is a member of the Slow Food movement (the international organisation that promotes local and sustainable foods) and is an Officier Maître Hôtelier (since elevated to Chancelier of the NZ chapter of the Chaîne) in the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the Paris-based gourmet society, in the Bailliage of Christchurch.

James Boussy was a dentist who practiced in the US state of Virginia for 15 years before moving his practice to Beijing. James is also a highly skilled baker, gardener and home renovator, and has made a name for himself among his friends for the exquisite gingerbread houses that he creates as the centrepiece of the Jameses' annual Christmas party.

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