Good food, friendly people!October 27 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C
Woke up this morning, Sunday, to glorious blue skies though the wind was quite strong.
After a decent continental breakfast we decided to once again go cycling as the hotel had bikes available for guests. In the Marlborough area there are a number of wine estates some offering wine tasting so it is quite a big deal here for people to hop on their bikes and visit these estates. We set off down quiet lanes amidst magnificent scenery down to the Wairau river which flows through the valley. It is quite a wide river and flowing quite fast. We cycled along the bank of the river and then came upon the Nautilus estate where we stopped to try their wine. A while ago a friend of ours had recommended Nautilus to us. We had a warm welcome from the fellow who was in charge of tasting who twenty years ago had moved out here from Liverpool so we had a good chat with him for he still follows the Reds and of course the rugby. He loves it out here and understandably so. As we had lunch booked today at the Brancott estate we made our way back to the hotel into the teeth of the wind which was a challenge!
A month or so ago doing some research for this trip we’d read good things about the restaurant at Brancott whose wines we were familiar with at home. We needed to book a taxi ( drink driving is rightly frowned upon over here) to get there and on arrival you are met by a man in a mini bus who drives you up the hill to the restaurant, the driver came from Leicester so more banter!
The views from the restaurant which is perched half way up a hill overlooking the vineyards down the valley towards the North Island were amazing. The quality of the food and wine matched the view. As good a meal as we’ve had in many a year with wine paired for each course. We were served by a girl from Paris and in overall charge was Sophie from Blackpool! Is there anybody left in England!
Got back to the hotel late afternoon had a short rest before heading to the bar over the road which closes at 5pm (strange I know). We had been there yesterday and got chatting to the owner to insisted we called in again tonight. We left with a few bits of food for later this evening - felt a bit like a Red Cross food parcel, but a tad more expensive! He also gave us some tips for eating places for later in our journey so will be interesting to see what they are like.
I cannot praise the people over here too highly, everybody is so friendly with time to chat, even about rugby, and are interested to know where we’ve been and where we’re going. An interesting aside about people over here I’ve hardly seen anybody smoking.
We leave Marlborough tomorrow and head down the coast to Kaikoura.Read more