Hobbiton: Welcome to Middle Earth

Hobbiton Movie Set (501 Buckland Road, Matamata) Pretty much in the middle of nowhere (but somewhere in the region of Waikato) lies the Alexander family sheep farm, a farm that was spotted by Sir Peter Jackson and crew as they scoured the New Zealand country-side hunting for an ideal filming location. Well, here they found…

The Fork & Tap

The Fork and Tap (51 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown) A cosy little pub in the corner of Arrowtown, how could you go wrong? Everywhere needs somewhere warm to go after a day on the slopes and The Fork and Tap has a pretty good name for itself. Live music each Wednesday night, a massive blackboard with…

Arrowtown Bakery

Arrowtown Bakery (1 Buckingham Street) A visit to Arrowtown is never complete without a visit to the Arrowtown Bakery. Famed for its pies (and venison in particular), th e Arrowtown Bakery also does a good coffee and some delicious scrumptious pastries. Conveniently located on the very edge of town, there is a parking lot across…

Recipe: Lamb rack with veg

When done right, lamb rack would easily be one of my favourite meals. The meat, so pink and tender on the inside, and then coated with a deliciously crunchy crust just makes for a five star meal every time. But because the meat is so thin it can be difficult to get right. This is…

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia (14B Pacific Ave, Mt Maunganui) I can safely say that even after living in Italy, my appetite for pizza and pasta has never once faltered. I love it. Comfort food at its best; I must admit that my default is to usually order pizza. Not on this occasion; as orders from around the…

The Rabbit Hole

The Rabbit Hole¬†(217 Maunganui Road) Only recently opened, my mum essentially dragged me there to try the ‘cool-looking place’ with the ‘funky interior’. I have to admit, the rabbit (?) skins draped over the back of the chairs made for a pretty interesting sight. I couldn’t help but being mildly impressed by this sunny court-yard…

Devonport, Auckland

Only a short 20 minute ferry ride away from Auckland’s CBD, visiting the seaside village of Devonport can sometimes feel like a whole world away from Auckland. You can catch a ferry from Queen’s Wharf and it costs $12 for a return trip (although you can get a concession if you plan on making the…

Bay Espresso

Bay Espresso (19 Middle Road) Bay Espresso is basically an HB institution. With locations not just in Havelock, but also on Karamu Road and Omahu Road, you are never that far away from a cafe. With its very own roastery (I’ve seen various cafes nationwide stocking Bay Espresso coffee) the coffee is extremely delicious, and…

Agave

Agave (18 Buckingham Street) *now rebranded as Fan-Tan Sister to the infamous Saffron Restaurant, Agave offers Mexican food (/verging on Italian, with its pizza menu) in a family friendly environment, with booth-style seating and sombrero hats for those who are keen. Located just at the foot of Dorothy Browns boutique cinema, it has both¬†take-away and…

The Botanist

The Botanist (219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay) Lyall Bay’s latest addition, The Botanist, is off to a cracker of a start. It only opened in January 2017, and already I feel like most people I have spoken to have either been there or it’s on their to-do list. A few of us headed out there…