Rehearsals take place almost exclusively during the day with evenings free for other entertainment.

There is also generally a gap between lunch at 1 pm and a late afternoon rehearsal. Teapotters can fill the spare time with a mixture of do-it-yourself entertainment and slightly (only very slightly) more formal events organised by the Summer School.

Lunch and dinner at camp on the day of the Mystery Tour, and dinner on the day of the cabaret are included in all price packages, even for non-residents.

The Mystery Tour

For the past few years, the trustees have organised a trip for all Summer School attendees to an off-site venue for the afternoon of the Wednesday. They provide wine and light refreshments at the venue and enterprising Teapotters usually take a keyboard and other instruments for informal music-making. To date we have been to a local winery, a local craft gallery and an olive farm.

This is a chance for us to relax and enjoy each other’s company lazing away the afternoon in another part of the lovely Nelson/Tasman region.

In 2018 the heavens opened as we arrived at Mt Heslington olive farm so we turned tail and scooted back to camp to spend an afternoon making music, chatting, dancing and sampling the Mt Heslington olive oil which the owner obligingly brought to us.

The cabaret

This venerable institution rivals the public concert as the highlight of the week for many Teapotters. Anyone and everyone is invited to present a short item, individually or with others, and the programme usually lasts about 1 ½ hours. Many memorable performances have been contributed over the years with wildly varying levels of sophistication and polish.

From spoofs of the conductor and/or vocal coach to recital-standard performances by stellar voice students via distinguished guests’ party tricks, readings of original poems, story-telling, and over several years, a series of extracts from 18th Century masses by Marianna Martines, we have by turns been impressed beyond belief, moved to tears and laughed till we cried. Who could forget Sir David Willcocks playing the piano from underneath with crossed hands? Mike Brewer whistling and singing at the same time? Val’s very English bedtime stories? or David Beattie’s wild west skit with jazzman Fingers Artley at the piano?

It is an event not to be missed for performers and non-performers alike – you will be amazed at the hidden talents of your fellow choristers.

After-dinner games

There are a number of board and card games provided in the dining/common room after dinner and some Teapotters bring their own favourites to supplement the offerings. Alongside the gentle pursuits of giant jigsaw puzzles, fiercely competitive games of Scrabble, Upwords, Boggle and Pictionary have been known to continue well past any sensible bedtime. Many, of course, choose to simply relax and read.

There is no TV provided in any of the common spaces! But there is wifi.

Off campus

There are a number of pleasant walks requiring varying levels of fitness in the vicinity of the camp. One of the least demanding is a 45 minute walk into the nearby village of Brightwater where there are a couple of cafes, a bar, a Four Square and Royce McGlashen’s pottery, alongside the other normal services of a small rural village.

Further afield, there are markets, beaches, wineries, museums and art and craft galleries dotted about throughout the Nelson/Tasman district. To find out more you can visit the Nelson Tasman Tourism and Travel Guide.