A fine exammple of Edwardian architecture, the house was built as a single storey dwelling in 1901 on the banks of the Waimata River by Mr Henry Mason, which he then sold to Dr William Williams who added two rooms and an upper storey, and included a surgery for his medical practice.
In 1947 the house was sold to a second doctor, Dr Cedric Isaac, who also ran his surgery from the premises. His wife Kathleen Isaac was an inaugural comittee member of the Town & Country Women's Club. Kathleen offered the club the house as their new clubrooms, a place for country women to refresh, relax and socialise, and converted the first storey into a flat which she leased from the club.Alterations were made in 1976, enclosing the ground floor verandah, increasing the size of the library and lounge, for the purposes of the club. Alterations were also made to the egress to the upstairs flat.
In 2011 the club decided to sell the property and moved to Emily Street. Mayflower Lavender Ltd bought the property and made an application for resource consent to the Gisborne District Council for change of use from residential to commercial use which was granted and NZ Historic Places Trust supported the adaptive re-use.
Minor alterations have been made early this year to allow for the new cafe in what was formerly the club committee room. The partition wall which separated the club and flat has been removed, a new kauri balustrade has been married in to the original and the stairwell is once again as per it's original character, opening up the ground and first floor.
A lick of paint, some serious graft, and with a new name, the property looks lovely and is open to the public for the first time in it's history. While the ground floor is utilised for C.A.K.E - a tearoom cafe, the Bird of Prey gift shop and jewellery workshop, the upstairs rooms are available for retail, studios or business activities. Take our virtual tour through La Belle Epoque.