I enjoy travelling because I like to see different landscapes, cultures, architecture and people and to try different food. I particularly enjoy getting to know a different county from the perspective of the people who live in it. So one of the main pleasures of staying with Kath is the opportunity to get to see her New Zealand. We had a lovely day, visiting people and places close to where she lives. Like me, Kath appreciates good food and wine so the day had a foodie theme to it.
What a happy start to the day – a full fruit bowl to select some goodies from for a breakfast smoothie. I was going to have the pear on the side but I was full after the smoothie so didn’t have it. But everything else went in to the Thermomix with some ice to make a delicious smoothie. The pot contains some home made cashew nut butter which is really good.
A perfect start to the day. We visited so many places today! First stop was Kath’s brother Peter’s house which he is renovating in Bayswater. It is all being done to a very high spec and is quite stunning. I have kitchen envy. The wooden floor is completely fabulous and the view from here is beautiful. Beyond the lush vegetation is the sea and there are steps down to the sea so you can keep a boat here and pop out for a sail when ever the fancy takes you. Having had a little look around Bayswater we set off for Matakana and stopped on the way at the Honey Centre. This wall gave us a glimpse of the lives of the bees making honey which was fascinating. They make many different flavours of honey here and you can try before you buy. Which we did ! There is a cafe next to the Honey Centre which makes all the food on site. They make wonderful looking cakes so to make sure we did not over eat, Kath and I shared a salmon and cream cheese quiche which was served with a salad. Followed by a latte and for me, a chocolate caramel slice which was fabulous. We continued on to Matakana where we stopped to admire the architecture. An ‘Opportunity Shop’, known locally as an ‘Op’ Shop’ is what we call a ‘Charity Shop’ in the UK. Matakana’s unusual public toilets.
This is a perfect beach with white soft powdery sand. The water proved irresistible to someone! Auckland’s winter is far milder than ours. Today it was 18 ° so very pleasant to be outside in but not warm enough for me to want to swim. This is a popular place for wealthy Aucklanders to own a holiday home, known as a “Bach”. An abbreviation of ‘Bachelor pad’, they used to be basic dwellings in attractive locations but I think these developments are not as basic as they used to be. I would happily own one of these and enjoy the short walk down to Omaha Beach. There is a lot of farming in NZ and along the roads it is quite common to see little stalls set up to sell the local produce. This one was selling oranges, lemons and kindling.We drove along a little beyond Matakana to visit Heron’s Flight, a vineyard specialising in Italian grape varieties.
You can also taste wines at Heron’s Flight and there are several places in side and out side where you can sit. Mary is going to start serving some food to eat with the wine, such as these little cheese crackers. We also tried a single bite sized serving of a vegetable quiche. I particularly liked the cheese crackers.I coud very easily have enjoyed sitting out here with a sample of wine but we were well behaved and didn’t try the wine.
We drove on a little further to Carmel’s, another beautiful NZ home in another stunning setting. Virtually everywhere we went had amazing views. The scenery here really is so spectacular! I feel like I have spent all day commenting on the stunning scenery. Harvey was delighted to find a skateboard ramp and board to ride on !These make life easier for the postman!
Our final visit for the day was to Kath’s Mother who lives opposite Orewa Beach which we visited yesterday. This is the view from her verandah towards the Ocean. From here she can walk to the shops or straight over the road to the beach for a swim, which she regularly does in summer. We had a cuppa and a fresh baked cheese scone which was really good. Before the sun set we had a walk down to Orewa Beach. This is a good idea. An electric BBQ on the beach so you can meet up with friends and family, have a BBQ and a day on the beach. More exciting than a sandwich! Come on boys, time to go home.
For supper Kath made us a beef casserole, which she served with brown rice, carrots, broccoli and silver beet leaves.