Day 99: Food and Drink – Hawke’s Bay and Hastings

What’s a good way to start a lazy Sunday?

Heading to a local farmers’ market and this morning, we headed into the Market held at the Showground in Hastings.

Hastings is just South of Napier and the drive there took us past vineyards and apple orchards.

The Farmers Market held in the grounds of the Agriculture and Produce Showground was quietly busy. All manner of locally grown and produced food was available, quite a few stalls apparently being staffed by Father Christmas.

There was a stunning array of white beards and Santa hats.

Several options for stocking up on goodies for Christmas were on offer, as well as on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week ahead: Christmas puddings, wines, apple crumble flavoured ciders, walnut fudge, chilli sauces and soy sauce glazes (which would be great brushed on gammon joints) and so many cheeses.

We weren’t sure about the claim to be selling authentic black pudding. Surely, if it doesn’t come from Bury, just outside of Manchester, it can’t be authentic? Tasted good, if a little crumbly.

A number of vans were selling bacon sandwiches and the bread must have been really expensive. I reached this conclusion because a bacon sandwich (which I am reliably informed was delicious) cost 6 NZD while the beef sausage in onions and thick gravy was allowed only one slice of sourdough and was priced at 3.50 NZD.

And the sausage with bread? Gorgeous. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

In the centre of all of this were two young men playing guitar and creating a relaxed festival feel for the morning.

The commitment to recycling and waste management was prevalent with one stall selling glass bottles to be refilled weekly with milk, rather than buying plastic from the supermarket, while Recycling Warriors patrolled the grounds ensuring waste was disposed of appropriately.

I think UK events should rename their litter patrols to Recycling Warriors.

The Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday morning at the Hastings A and P Showground. Parking is free.

From here, we headed further into Hastings to visit the Rush Munro’s Icecream Garden.

They’ve been making icecream since 1926 and decisions were tough when faced with a vast array of flavours but the Hokey-Pokey had been recommended for me by several people so that was what I went with.

Apart from sounding like an irritating song, what does it taste like? It’s honeycomb toffee and Munro’s sell a very smooth and creamy version at 5.50 NZD for a ridiculously generous scoop.

The centre of Hastings has several Art Deco style buildings and the main streets are very pretty. My favourite was the cinema (though they have missed a trick as our investigators found that the toilets weren’t Art Deco style).

But, we were in Hawke’s Bay, an area famous for wine, so we had lunch to eat and wine to taste.

There are over seventy wineries in the region and we headed to the restaurant at Elephant Hill. The guide book describes it as “modern, minimalist…with an award winning restaurant positioned for ocean views”.

Bit of a distance to the ocean view but a great view of the vineyards.

We had a lounge platter which comprised different types of breads (including crisp breads), two (only two) types of cheeses, chorizo, Parma ham, prickly pear, olives and grapes marinaded in a mulled wine. At 48 NZD, it fed four people supplemented with a plate of fried potato slices at 10 NZD.

I couldn’t describe them as chips or fries.

We also shared a bottle of the winery’s chardonnay and syrah at 26 NZD each. The syrah was very smooth, and you’ll have to take the others’ word for it that the chardonnay was good too.

After all of this eating and drinking, we headed up to the Maraetotara Waterfalls for a rest.

This is a beautiful part of the world.

*Featured Photo: The Drive out of the Wlephant Hill Winery.

Categories: Food, New Zealand, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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