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Thirteen years ago, Sue Giddens and her husband walked onto a property in Springston, looked around at its overgrown plantation, untamed trees and buildings beyond repair and said, “oh dear, we’ll have this,” and their daughters said, “oh dear, you two are nuts!”
Over eight years, the pair put in a lot of hard work, love, sweat and tears into restoring and transforming the abandoned garden nursery into a courtyard restaurant.
“Every free weekend, every moment, both my husband and I were working full time, so no holidays but we had a great journey. It took us, two and a half years to find the garden! The phoenix went in for the long haul and eventually came out of the flame, so to speak.”
Sue now considers Memory’s as an extension of her own home and family, worth the time and effort put in to creating it.
“I’d been involved in hospitality 40 years prior to this adventure and had always wanted my own place. We feel we have achieved what we set out to do. We’ve created a place we can share with people. It’s a lovely bolthole for them to come, sit and relax and take time to smell the roses, enjoy the ambience and the food.”
Sue’s vision is for the restaurant to be a place for customers to make memories with friends and family and feel as though they are coming around to a friend’s place.
“I have tried to keep it as least commercial as possible. I want it to be a place where people experience something that’s fulfilling—fulfilling in that you’ve relaxed, you’ve had a lovely experience, you’ve been with friends or family and you’ve enjoyed good food, simple things, simple pleasures. It’s not a dine and dash, you come here to enjoy the moment.”
The land the restaurant sits on used to be a farm belonging to the Memory family, hence the restaurant’s name being spelt with a ‘y’ and not ‘ies’. One of Sue’s customers has a photo of Bill Memory, which she is excited to get and put up in the restaurant in memory of the former farming family.
“Apparently he was a lovely old chap, a real gentleman.”
Much like visiting a friend’s place, you only find out what you will be eating once you arrive at Memory’s.
There are no set menus. They get changed every two weeks depending on the weather and the available local produce, says Sue.
This is something unique Memory’s offers, a concept Sue is really driven by.
“Changing the menu fortnightly is good, it keeps me on my toes, and it keeps people interested, you don’t want to be going back for the same old same old, try something different!”
The Springston restaurant also caters for up to 60 guests at small private functions in a similar way, delivering something unique and special.
“I don’t want to be producing a wedding breakfast or wedding food for a couple that is the same, I want something unique to them. I get pleasure from seeing somebody see something that is special, they’re paying for a service, and I love to see that surprise. Just come and enjoy the moment and sit down and be surprised with what’s put in front of you.”
What's on the menu at Memory's this week? Make your next lunch or dinner out in Springston a proper occasion. A relaxed affair with some of Selwyn's best local produce. Bookings are essential, so get organised and get down to Memory's Restaurant in Springston.