My last recommendation for New Zealand… Foxglove in Wellington was somewhere we spotted on our first night in town where we had some really great food, then I insisted we came back here on our last day to drink rose on the balcony day beds.

I am so tired in this photo, no make up just my trusty hat.

 I loved the glamorous sign on the side of the building. It’s what hooked me in for sure.

All the decor is cool, the terrace outside… 

 The beautiful green tiles on the bar…

 I loved these brass lamps… hung around record shelving on the stairs.

We drank some Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough with our meal, and later drove past this very vineyard on our trip through.

We ate handcut agria chips with smoked tomato mayo, these were pretty special.

Crispy wasabi salt and pepper calamari with coriander alioli, if squid is on the menu we cannot go without, this was beautiful although we couldn’t really taste the wasabi.

These were my favourite, goats cheese and mozzarella balls centred with apple and manuka honey which you had to squeeze into the ball before you ate it. So fun.

We just ate bar bites, it was late and we had just flown in, but the full on restaurant looked amazing so book in and have a blow out meal then go and sit on the beds upstairs on the deck and look at the stars.

Perfect.

Foxglove – Wellington, New Zealand

One of my must do’s in New Zealand was to visit some vineyards, which I think we could have done more of but since you have to drive everywhere and once you’ve seen some really good ones… it’s more about tasting some great wine then seeing as many as possible.

So on our last day on the south island instead of rushing around trying to see a few different ones, since we couldn’t drink much or buy any wine we decided to go for a blow out lunch instead.

We chose to go to Highfield as the hostel owner said the food was amazing and the setting beautiful, plus the wine is great.

Perfect.

I loved that just beyond the bathrooms you could go onto a viewing platform and check out the wine.

We walked through a small but perfectly formed shop and a lovely dining room straight outside to the patio. 

A beautiful place to eat lunch. 

 The only problem was chosing what to have. I wanted everything. Salmon, rabbit croquettes and cheese. Yes.


Pork belly and beef and local seafood. Yes.

Luckily they have a platter, which had a selection of… everything. Sold. 

Chardonnay or Sauvignon…

 

The perfect setting. At this point I was so gutted to be leaving. Who wouldn’t want this to be on your doorstep? 

 
We ordered a bottle of Chardonnay, my favourite. It was beautiful. We each had a glass with lunch and took the rest back to enjoy with dinner.
 

And then we absolutely stuffed our faces with amazing olive oil, bread and crackers… 

…a Vietnamese style chicken salad, pork belly, marinated beef, mussels, fish, little mini tarts, mini tastes of the soup, dips, fruit, olives and cheese.
 

Big picky lunches like this, in the sunshine with Chardonnay is possibly my favourite way to eat. Tasting lots of little bits is so satisfying.

And somehow we even found room for this delight… a rich chocolate cake with raspberry compote served with mint chocolate chip. Loved this flavour combination.

We even saved a few crumbs for the this little guy, my the birds in New Zealand are cheeky, and very brave.

We loved Highfield and highly recommend you stop here to eat not just taste the wine.

Highfield – Marlborough, New Zealand

This place… 

Is amazing. 

We stayed here for two nights towards the end of our time in New Zealand, read more about it here and about the lodge here.

They make a good cappuccino…

And perfect eggs…  Bacon or smoked salmon… who knew we were in the middle of no-where.

 

On our final morning I ordered french toast with berries and caramelised bananas, have you ever heard of a more decadent breakfast?

 

After our big long bush walk we treated ourselves to a blow out meal in the sunshine.

 

 

My husband ate fish chowder, thick and gloopy and filled with local fish with bacon and a poached egg. Again so decadent.

 

I ate delicious locally caught fish with a beautiful tomato salsa and olive oil potatoes.

 

We finished with a home-made lemon tart and a glass of Sauterne. Perfect.

 
Furneaux Lodge – The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand 

See more about this leg of the trip here and more about Furneaux Lodge here

Espresso Cafe, Oamaru

July 16, 2012

The kind of neighbourhood cafe I would love near me…

Pretty on the outside with some chairs in case of sunshine.

With so many tasty treats inside and a handy tap in reach of customers.

I really want to make something like this, how cool does that look?

Great coffee, and proper cappuccino’s.

I had a savoury scone. Again I really want to make these, I have made cheese scones tons of times but I’ve never gone further than that. I really need to do this.

This one had a little cream cheese surprise. Love that.

My husband got the tortilla stack… it was served with some smoky chilli jam and was delicious. Such a colourful meal, this would be great to bring to a BBQ and see everyone got ahhhh when you cut through it.

 Espresso is in Omaru, a town we drove through you can read more about this crazy steampunk place at You Make Me Swoon

Pier 19 – Queenstown

July 12, 2012

This was another stand out meal… we picked this place because it was very busy, right on the lake side too. They actually didn’t have room for us but the very helpful staff found a spare table and set it up for us just outside of their patch on the pavement.

We felt like it was just us on the waterside.

Scallops and peas, my most favourite things combined. I had to have this. Add bacon and I am in heaven.

I will never tire of this starter.

Then my husband chose the New Zealand eye fillet of beef served with roasted Portobello mushrooms, creamed spinach and Pinot Noir jus which was amazing.

We know all about New Zealand lamb, but their beef is also great. This melted in my mouth.

I went back to my old ways and chose the Pan seared salmon with a lemon and herb potato cake, sautéed courgette and saffron sauce.

This sauce was so gorgeous. Really soft but complimented everything.

This was a beautiful, delicate meal with a huge meaty piece of salmon, the tastiest piece I have ever had.

We finished off with with Rhubarb cheesecake.

Such a great last-minute dessert idea, just crumble biscuits into the bottom of a bowl, add the cheese mix then add some fruity compote on top.

Delicious and swift.


Such a perfect setting

Pier 19 – Queenstown

*edit… big shouts to the eagle eyed reader who saw I had added the wrong restaurant name!, in my defence this meal was in January!

We visited many vineyards on our trip but we want to recommend one particular one because the setting is so lovely and the owners were amazing.

Chard Farm is opposite the bungee bridge, you cross over this valley then down a long winding track…

I don’t know what would happen if you met someone on the way in… there isn’t much room.

Then you drive through the vines…

And pull up to this beautiful house, very mediterranean don’t you think?

The old till…
 

 
We got an amazing red called the Tiger for my father in law, that was the name of his squadron in the RAF so we thought it’d make a good present.


Unlike the bigger vineyards there is no charge for tasting here (you can tip if you like) and they didn’t get snooty when we didn’t buy much. With two very full backpacks and two flights to go we couldn’t get more than 1 bottle in.
 

We really love Chard Farm, they are lovely go visit!
 

Chard Farm – outside of Queenstown, New Zealand

The Cow, Queenstown

July 10, 2012

Another Queenstown gem… I spotted this place one day while shopping on my own and insisted that we ate there.

My husband loves pizza more than anything so he didn’t protest too much.

I just loved how cute it was, I bet it’s the best in the winter.

A little history lesson from the menu…

I loved how simple the menu was, spaghetti and pizza.

They still had the fire going inside, it adds to the atmosphere.

Such a cosy little spot.

We sat in a booth (I really love booths), and were told that there is no booking and they sit people where they can because they get so busy so chances are you could be sitting with strangers halfway through your dinner.

Since we had been greedy we decided to just share a pizza and salad.

And in a token effort to be healthy, ordered half meaty, half total veggie overload.

Perfect pizza. Thin crust, crispy and with lots of great quality toppings.

Highly Recommend – The Cow