Poppies (91 Puruatanga Road, Martinborough)

Ever since I moved to Wellington Poppies had been on my bucket list. All the people at work talked about it, my friends talked about, even people I didn’t know talked about it. I knew I had to get there and I just had to find an opportunity. An overseas friend came to visit New Zealand, and I thought perfect, here’s that opportunity. We turned up at Poppies, only to be told they were well and truly booked, because it was Valentine’s Day after all. To us Valentine-less gals, that thought had not even crossed our minds!

The following year, I actually had a valentine of my own, and made sure to make the booking well in advance. We turned up for our 12pm booking, only to be told that they had no booking for us, and not even my call to make the booking had been logged. As I tried to (unsuccessfully) hide my dismay, the maître d offered to take my number and give me a call if a table cleared up early. Of course, we jumped on that opportunity and headed home to lie by the pool… and wait.

Luckily for us, a phone call came about an hour later and we headed straight back to Poppies. We were seated outside, and being an extremely beautiful day we were both stoked. The wine tasting room inside was pretty full, so Shayne Hammond (the partner to Poppy herself) came out and conducted our very own personal wine tasting. We were so happy. The wine was absolutely delicious – favourites being the rose, and also the dry riesling.

And then the food, wow! The food at Poppies is all the same: giant, big platters that come out with a massive array of antipasto goodies on them. They are so delicious, and so beautifully presented. We were literally in heaven. We weren’t ready for the dream to end, so we ordered dessert on top of the platter. Both desserts sounded sensational and we almost ordered both; thankfully we didn’t, because it was big enough for the both of us.

Overall, a very successful day out. A trip well worth making from Wellington, even better if you can make a weekend of it.

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