Friday, November 25, 2011

North Otago - Road Trip - Part 2 (The Rest of It)!

Beware of mega post below.  Its a round up of colours, tastes and moments of that North Otago roadie that energised us big time a couple of weeks ago...

Moeraki pics first up...

Fish drying outside Fleur's

Loving the Oamaru Botanic Gardens. I spent a few childhood holidays here with my Grandmother.


Oamaru - such a weird place, such a good place...
 Loan and Merc for dinner in a spectacular building that felt 'safe as houses' even to seasoned quakers.. 

House smoked fish starter
 Condiments for the carvery - these are placed on the table whilst you are at the carvery choosing your meat treat!  Superb concept. Men were going crazy - as if they hadn't eaten a proper meal in years.  It was done really well.
Superb dessert - baclava, with star anise granita, and pistachio creme anglaise.  
Stopped off at 'Shagpoint', and watched 2 seals playing in the surf (along with this guy - just a local shooting the breeze)...

And then we embarked through the magnificent Danzies Pass to drop back into Canterbury.  This pub at half way point seemed out of a movie - but really real.  Toasted sandwich - perfectly flipped on the hot plate.

And crazy, gold mining country and unaffectedness all around..

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This is where we spent the weekend. Renting a stranger's 'home' that felt like our home.  My eyes were opened to the majesty of Canterbury, how remote and undersold it is, how it surrounds us - and this particular part  (up the Rakaia River) is so close to Christchurch. Good times, hill walks, spas, crazy breeds of cow, Digby caught a possum, we had a cocktail party on a cliff and ate hearty was all good!

Monday, November 14, 2011

North Otago Roadie - Part 1, Riverstone Kitchen

Just returned from a 3 day roadie around North Otago. The parting thought was: is this the most fertile growing region in NZ? The black soils, sculptured hills and heritage of market vege growing seemed so obvious - especially when all tied up together at the very modern Riverstone Kitchen. Their food, and gardens are truly remarkable.  Huge project - executed with integrity and care.  Awesome. Go there.

 Pistachio Porc Terrine, wrapped in what I think was vine leaf.  Best modern take I've had on the terrine.
 They smoke their own salmon - and of course 'lay their own eggs' (well the chooks do)...
 And then the extensive gardens just go on and on - and they only grow for themselves, which means they are feeding many mouths - with whatever is growing well.  Having seen many restaurant gardens in California - this left them in the dust I have to say.  No tokenism here - just production!

 Perhaps - photographer of the year for the photo above?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Poor Parenting

Came home after dinner at the neighbour's last night - to see Digby the dog had carefully pawed out some books to find a spot to hide from fireworks.  They were so orderly displaced, Al thought it was me doing a clear out before we went out - but when we put our hand on the wood of the bookcase, it was warm - a sure sign Diggers had found a safe place.  Must not leave him alone next 5 November!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kickin Lunch

I had an hour spare on Wednesday when in Auckland for meetings.  I dropped into my Godparents' house around 12 unannounced and was offered lunch.  Within minutes check out what emmerged from their cupboards and fridge...
Just the staples for a week day lunch: Pork Pie, cheese selection, pickled onions, chutneys, mustard, HP sauce and tomatoes.  I don't reckon living gets much better than this. Especially when it comes with cloth napkins.  Thanks for the lunch stop guys!