Innovate – Just one of the catch words of this unprecedented COVID 19 lockdown

We have all had to be innovative – for some that means having to cook every day, for others it may be finding ways to keep busy and fulfilled, setting up a workspace at home, or even creating an exercise routine with what we have at hand. It has been amazing to see the creative innovations of New Zealanders with their sport challenges, dance offs, neighbourhood connecting. As they say “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and we are proving that to be true.

My recent innovation was making hot cross buns without yeast. I was feeling somewhat smug when I started reading social media posts about people looking for yeast in the supermarkets. It seemed that yeast had become the new TP, a hot commodity! No problem. I had a full jar of it in my pantry. I would be upholding my annual tradition of baking hot cross buns over Easter!

So Good Friday came – I got up early (well, earlier than usual) to start the process. I grabbed the new jar of yeast and measured it into the warm milk for proving. Then I glanced at the expiry date on the jar. 2017! What?! Obviously, it had sat there in the pantry overlooked while other jars of yeast had come and gone. Of course, there was NO yeast reaction in the warm milk. So, there would be NO hot cross buns either – at least not the ones I was planning to make.

Time to innovate! Having just made Chelsea Winters fabulous no yeast ‘lock down loaf’ a few days earlier, I decided to use that recipe and adapt it. Adding baking spices and currants.

Although the buns were not the best I’ve made, they met the criteria and provided some needed hot cross bun yumminess to our Easter weekend.

Innovate = make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

Download our FREE Do it yourself Wedding Favour Box.

All you need to do is print it, cut it and then fold it.

If you are getting married at Silverstream Retreat and have a particular colour or pattern you would like, contact our Functions Manager and she can arrange for our graphic designer to change it for you. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD your Free Wedding Favour Box here.


Deciding how to word your wedding invitation can be challenging. The wording on the invitation will depend on the formality of your wedding as well as who is hosting. If you are planning a casual wedding the wording can be fun and playful, if your wedding is going to be more traditional you will want to use more traditional wording. The most important details to include are the names of the bride and groom, wedding date and time and ceremony location. Here are a few examples of wording.

Parents Host

Mr & Mrs Thomas Jones
Mr & Mrs John Smith
request the pleasure of
the company of
Sally & Michael Clark
at the marriage of their children
Sarah Jones
Matthew Smith
at Silverstream Retreat
3 Reynolds Bach Drive, Lower Hutt
on Saturday 26 March 2016
at 3pm
with a reception to follow
RSVP by Monday 11 January 2016
to Mary Smith
or 04 123 4567

Couple Host

Sarah Jones
Matthew Smith
request the pleasure of
the company of
Sally & Michael Clark
at their marriage
at Silverstream Retreat
3 Reynolds Bach Drive, Lower Hutt
on Saturday 26 March 2016
at 3pm
with a reception to follow
RSVP by Monday 11 January 2016
to Sarah Jones
or 04 123 4567

If you have booked your wedding at Silverstream Retreat check out our free printable wedding invitations here.

In the spirit of the Christmas season we’ve designed some beautiful Christmas gift tags to add a splash of colour to your gift wrapping this year. Simply download the PDF below and print it onto a sheet of good quality white card, set your printer to ‘fit to page’. Use scissors to cut along each of the lines and then use a hole punch to make the holes.

Download your Free Christmas gift tag here.

Have a very Merry Christmas from the team at Silverstream Retreat.


Christmas is fast approaching, yes only six weeks to go and now it’s time to make sure everything runs smoothly for your business over the holiday season. There is a lot to consider to make sure this time is stress free and that work resumes smoothly once the Christmas decorations are down. We wanted to help by putting together a handy checklist to make sure you are ready.

Staff cover and leave
Make sure you plan your staff schedule well in advance. Depending on the type of business you have Christmas may be the busiest time of the year and require more staff and additional opening hours. On the other hand, you may be a business that slows down towards Christmas and closes for a holiday at this time. In that case you need to make staff aware of these dates.

Postal services
If your business posts products make sure you check the postal dates and allow plenty of time for delivery. Don’t forget to let your customers know the date they need to order by to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

Opening hours
Let your customers know in advance what hours you will be operating over the Christmas period. If you have a shop you could display the opening hours in the front window, if you have a website make it clear to customers what your availability is and send out an email newsletter if you have a client database.

Festive marketing
The Christmas season is a great time to promote your business. Show your existing customers your appreciation by posting a Christmas card or emailing a virtual card. It’s also a great time to entice customers with discounts and sales. Use a variety of media, such as website adverts, social media, print advertising and mail outs.

If you have any other helpful tips on preparing your business for Christmas, send us a message and we’ll add it to the list for next year.


bad-weather-backupWedding bad weather backup plan

We all imagine that the weather on our wedding day will be perfect. But what if it rains or there are gale force winds on my wedding day? It’s best to be prepared for all types of weather. Unfortunately we can’t change the weather but we can plan for a fantastic day whatever the weather. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your wedding backup plan

Time of year

Firstly consider the season and month you are planning your wedding. Do some research into average temperatures, wind and rain levels for that time. Looking at historical data from the MetService June has the highest average rainfall and February followed by January have the lowest.

Venue options

If you are planning an outdoor ceremony or reception make sure you discuss alternative indoor options with the venue host. You could also consider using an outdoor cover like a marquee.

Ensure that the alternative venue can accommodate all the guests and that any furniture needs to be rearranged. Check that the venue is warm enough in the winter and well ventilated in the summer.

Plan for all weather

Make sure you don’t just make plans for rainy days, consider any implications if it is going to be extremely windy, you will need to make sure that anything not tied down isn’t going to blow away; if it’s really hot you may want to think about shade cover to avoid guest getting sunburnt.

Involve your photographer

Don’t forget to discuss bad weather alternatives with your photographer, find covered locations and have umbrellas on standby.

Here at Silverstream Retreat we have a number of different indoor and outdoor wedding venues and are happy to help you with your backup planning. Contact us today to start planning.

Fun and productive meetingsWork meetings play an important part in any business and can take up a large amount of the business day, so it is important that the time is used effectively. Making meeting enjoyable and productive encourage participation and creativity. Laughter can also be a great way to improve employee morale.

While the priority of any meeting isn’t to have fun, it’s about creating a productive atmosphere. Try some of the ideas we’ve come up at your next meeting.

  • Most people learn by doing. Whenever possible, include hands-on activities, demonstrations, role-playing, games etc. Mix it up and keep people interested.
  • Organise contests to generate ideas and offer prizes to encourage participation. A little friendly competition can bring great results.
  • Change some aspect of your meeting every twenty minutes: presentation style, questions and answers, use a panel discussion, small group breakouts, videos, team presentations, feedback, etc.
  • Take away the table or remove all the chairs in the meeting room, and hold the meeting standing up. This should help encourage creative ideas and get through the meeting quickly.
  • Take turns being the meeting facilitator and come up with a new activity.
  • During nice weather, hold all or part of the meeting outside. A change in environment and spark new ideas.

Do you have any tips for spicing up a boring meeting? Give us your best tips in the comments below.


Planning your exhibition

Here at Silverstream Retreat we have been busy planning our exciting new Wedding Expo. Between 29 August and 4 September we’ll be down at Westfield mall in Lower Hutt promoting the expo and all the great things Silverstream Retreat have to offer.

For those of you that have already booked an exhibition space at the expo we thought we’d use our experience planning the event to help you with the planning of your exhibition.

  1. Planning The success of your exhibition will depend on the amount of time you spend preparing, not only what your exhibition will look like but the objective of the exhibition. Are you selling products and services or introducing a new business to the market.
  2. Budget – Set a budget early on, invest in a few key items that will give your exhibition the WOW factor. Not everything needs to cost the earth, remember to ask friends and family for items or look at second hand items.
  3. Time – Allow plenty of time for designing and preparing your stand. Have a trial run of setting up your stand and time it. Don’t forget to organise transport, checking that your display will fit. If you are planning to give away promotional items like pens and notepads make sure you allow time for delivery.
  4. Marketing material – Not only does your stand need to look great, you need to think about what your potential customers are going to take away with them. You may want to think about having an exhibition special, giveaway or prize draw. If you are able to collect client contact details you can touch base after the expo when they aren’t so overwhelmed. Have information on hand such as flyers, brochures and business cards and think about how you will display these perhaps on a stand or loosely on a table.
  5. Creating a winning display –Your display should firstly attract clients, create an impression of your business and then show what makes you stand out from the competition. Don’t overcrowd your display, use lighting or motion like video to draw the clients in and use simple signage that says who you are and what you do.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all there. Good luck.

Corporate Christmas Functions

We all look forward to the end of the year Christmas work function, it’s a great opportunity to get all the staff together and show them appreciation for the hard work done during the year. Revisit some of the year’s highlights with speeches and awards and maybe even some dancing. Silverstream Retreat is a little piece of paradise, surrounded by native bush and overlooking the Hutt Valley. With two flexible dining venues, delicious food including your favourite Christmas treats, impeccable service and onsite accommodation, we’ve got everything you need.

Our Function Manager is supported by a professional friendly team to ensure your event is successful, with an in-house executive chef and catering team. There are preset menus to help with your decision making, or a menu can be designed for you.

We have beautiful four star plus motels, twin share and bunk accommodation are available as a group booking. We are just 25 minutes from Wellington city and seven minutes from Lower Hutt CBD and there is ample parking available for all guests.

Now is the perfect time to book. Don’t miss out, contact our Functions Manager and start planning your function. Phone 04 562 9080 or email

If you’re having a wedding at Silverstream Retreat we’ll send you a personalised wedding invitation

Fill in the details below and let us know the date of your wedding at Silverstream Retreat Wellington and we’ll email you a printable invitation to print off. It’s that easy.
If you wish to customise the design, please use the form below to contact us. Watch this space for more wedding invitations.

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