Abbey's keys handed over
DESPITE his fear of ghosts, Mark Cains couldn’t be happier to unlock the door of the Abbey of the Roses with his wife Sonia Hunt and call it home.
“It feels great... it’s been a dream really,” Mr Cains said.
The Gold Coast couple had already heard the ghost rumours, and yesterday celebrated the sale officially going through as they prepared to start a new chapter of their lives as guardians of the Abbey.
“We want to beautify this place. We will be doing a lot of work here over the next few weeks,” Mr Cains said.
“We are going to live here privately and we are going to have a boutique guesthouse.”
Mr Cains runs the Plumbing Direct business and Mrs Hunt recently retired from her position as the Cold Rock franchisee owner of more than 80 stores Australia wide.
The Warwick landmark will continue as per usual hosting weddings and functions as well as the weekly Abbey of the Roses markets each Sunday.
“We have 40 for lunch on Monday so we are getting straight into it,” Mrs Hunt said.
They have grand plans for the building, giving it a revamp which includes a library and a drawing room for guests to sit down, have a drink and relax.
The couple are eager to set up an outdoor dining area to have alfresco morning teas and use the gardens more as well as put up a sandstone-and-wrought-iron fence.
“We are looking at different avenues with lots of ideas we are going to implement in the future,” Mrs Hunt said.
Mr Cains said the building reminded him of his time in England, and when they spotted the property for sale on the internet they wanted it immediately.
“We rang Max Holder from Harcourts and we came out. When we saw it on the internet we just thought ‘wow’, and we wanted it,” Mrs Hunt said.
Mr Cains is busting to get to work with the first of the renovations starting on Monday with the repainting of the roof.
“We aren’t the owners; we are the guardians of it for the next few years. You can’t own a building like this,” Mrs Hunt said.