Just 30 minutes from Rotorua you'll find the small town of Tirau (once known as Oxford). Drop in there on the way to Hamilton or Auckland and if you have time to shop you'll find all manner of ways to spend money.
There's a foodie shop now, supposedly very good - owned by a rower’s mum and dad, Julia’s boyfriend … Healey’s parents. They have a farm on the kaimais and that great shop called the Merchant of Tirau. Go there! Go now!
Whenever entering or leaving Whakatane, be sure to stop at Julian's Berry Farm. They have the entire Berry experience sorted! Berry icecreams... nyum! Fresh berries, picked or pick-your-own.
Venture north - keep going - and a little further ... nearly there - and way north of Auckland on the east coast you'll see signs for mangonui. Go there! Wait until you see this wonderful fish and chip shop over hanging the water, and step inside to look at the beautifully full, clean well-stocked cabinets - smoked fish of all kinds, salads, sauces, platters... We settled easily for fish and chips with battered oysters and scallops - and took our wine and beers to the great communal tables near the water.
You will not find anything like the Jewish plate anywhere else in Auckland.
Afterwards we went to view the Wallace art collection at its new home in Mt Roskill. The cafe there was busy but had a bit of sock-pulling-up to do... so won't recommend that just yetKingsland
this sounds wonderful - wish there was something near me like this... very useful! Cooking classes for $15 every Thursday evening in Kingsland by the Shoestring Chef - email them to learn more. It's held at Crave cafe. Crave is fantastic, a real oasis in amongst industrial buildings in Kingsland, behind the main shops. I want their lights! And their large White's Aviation photo of Auckland!
After a mini-break involving the Ellerslie Novotel, my husband and I toddled off to Newmarket for breakfast. I love Newmarket - my favourite shops are there, and it has a lovely slow pace and friendly-ish Aucklanders (is that an oxymoron?). We decided upon Zarbo - a place I've been to many times over the past 14 years since they opened.
As a Rotorua resident I can remember being amazed at the sophistication of the place back a while - but then I was rather sheltered.
No matter - it's a great place to visit now too, and it seems every time I go in there are changes that keep it conversant with current trends ... or even ahead. I liken it to Farro Fresh and Nosh. But it's more of a 'people' place than those, with its friendly ambience and spaces made for conversation. Family friendly....
At 10am the cabinets were full to the brim, sparkling and colourful.
beautiful colours, appetising combinations - I love beetroot and the colour of the beetroot and plum salad was simply divine.
This is smallish compared to other European-style delis, but it's also much more homely and personal. Like visiting a favourite Aunt in a familiar place....
HororataNow I don't believe everyone will find their way to this spot not an hour south of Christchurch... but we were thankful we did. A proprietor who could manage us (she took the photo),
and friendly locals to complement the wood fire.Geraldine
Along the way in Geraldine we came upon a fab little cafe by the name of Verde. You too can find it : The Verde' Cafe Deli, 45C Talbot Street, Geraldine.