It’s hard to know where to start with this post. Shall I tell you how much weight I put on in New Zealand over the 14 days we were there? 2.5kg. Yep. That’s going to take ages to burn off! But it was worth it as pretty much everything we ate in that country was delicious.
From day 1 we were spoiled for choice. Mum had arranged a party to celebrate Dad’s 60th and my wedding so all the relatives and family friends were over. My aunty who is a great cook started prepping for it at 6am and we spent all day, and most of the evening munching on a lot of home baking, sandwiches and plenty of party food, including mussels which I ate every day of the trip.
In Auckland the highlights were incredible kiwi food at many of the city’s fantastic cafes; starting at Devonport’s Manuka which consisted of steamed green lipped mussels (they’re huge), a kumara with roast vegetable salad and shared giant potato wedges served with aoili (everything in New Zealand comes with aoili which suits me just fine). The service there was amazing and we were made to feel so welcome, thanks to their friendliness, knowledge of the menu and huge smiles.
The day after our excursion to Devonport we spent some time on Waiheke Island (a charming place where time just slows down and buses only come once an hour) where ate at Mudbrick Vineyard. The food and wine was gorgeous – but the view was the best part. Here is a picture of the spectacular food, wine and view:
On our third day in Auckland we spent a couple of hours at Auckland Seafood School which was one of the highlights of our trip. We did the French seafood class where we were taught by a professional chef how to make mussels and this great flounder, salmon and prawn dish with a lemon buerre blanc sauce. The first part was an hour of him demonstrating the whole process, then we got to spend an hour cooking the same thing, followed by dinner where we all ate our creations (served with a wonderful glass of NZ sauvignon blanc and dessert of course). I would HIGHLY recommend a visit there. It cost NZ$80 (£40) which is very cheap for an activity in central Auckland and was so much fun.
We went to the South Island for a week but came back for one and a half final days. First up was a family dinner at Tides Restaurant at Waiake Beach. I don’t have a picture of it but the food there was perfect (I had snapper, such a tasty fish). On our final day we went to the Otara Market where we would have bought kumara had we not been leaving that afternoon, ate delicious and cheap mussel fritters and I bought a skirt. Otara Market has so much soul and I really recommend a visit if you happen to be in Auckland on a Saturday morning.
Many more flat whites, icecreams, sausage rolls, things served with aioli and Mum’s baking were consumed during our week in Auckland but those were the highlights out of a great bunch.
Then it was down to the South Island. And this is has become a very long post sorry. Keep posted for Part 3. I promise to pay London some more attention the week after next (look out for a wonderful visit to Orange Pekoe in Barnes).