Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Everything but wine really

Our plans to get away early were slightly foiled by making the grand tour of Christchurch hunting for Seth's house but we made it out to the motorway with only one wrong turn. Too early in the day to stop at the Brew Moon brewery cafe; good name but Murch & Dice is still in the lead. Passed a giant robot dog and stopped for coffee at the Northwest in Amberley which is too popular to be able to park at; pizza of the day is confit duck, roast pumpkin and spinach! I particularly liked the painting of a nor'wester by Ashley (er, I'll have to ask Seth the name again) which was so windblown the frame was at an angle: the wind was blowing the tussock grass so hard it was rolling up to show the hessian back and the floorboards underneath the plain.

It's a nice run up to Kaikoura: nountains, rolling plains and then the turquise sea and white surf. Along the way we saw a pink corrugated iron pig with white wings. We stopped at the Kaikoura winery for the view and to pick up a bottle of the sauv blanc: they had two vintages on so we had to taste them to pick one.

We dropeed in to see Seth's parents, to admire the view and the garden and the latest iteration of the ceramic speakers, which sound better than ever. Then we found ourselves stopping for crayfish with garlic butter at Nin's Bin. You pick a cray you like from the coolbox and they halve and fry it. We tore it apart at a table behind the caravan, watched by the seagulls and battered by the wind. Plastic spoons do not work for cray, especially when the wind breaks them in half.

More turquoise sea, rolling green hills and retreating mountains on the way up to Bleinheim. We tried several wineries, all of which were closed or closing, so we called it on account of time and went to meet Seth's friend Heather, book into a motel and have dinner at Rocco's.

The motel room had beds for six so we had space to spread out, the south island's most powerful shower and enough hot water for two people :(

Breakfast at Figaros, where the slogan outside read 'Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups' and the pancakes and eggs benedict were yummy. It tipped down with rain all day so being inside at the wineries was just perfect; we managed Wither Hills, Villa Maria, Matua, Cloudy Bay and St Clair, with lunch at the Mudhouse village, and then down to Kaikoura for dinner again. Still raining...
Tags: food, new zealand, travel
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