We are in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand and one of my Kiwi friends is visiting us from the North Island. She has bought along the youngest of her four daughters so our kids are delighted to have a familiar playmate for a while.
Amongst other things we have made a trip into Lake Tennyson via Molesworth Station, She’s made a hike up one of the surrounding hills and tonight she wants to take us out for dinner.
One small hitch is that we got back from Molesworth to find that one of the bigger rocks has given us a slow puncture in a rear tyre of the van, and since we need to drop people off at Christchurch Airport tomorrow morning it’s important that we get it changed and the tyre fixed as soon as possible.
It’s early evening and it’s only when we are leaving the house to got out for dinner that we discover the flat tyre so Himself wants to change it and contact the garage whilst the rest of us walk on to the restaurant down the road.
It’s a matter of good news/bad news /good news… It won’t be safe to drive the hour and a half into the city on the emergency spare so Himself manages to ring the local garage minutes before closing time, explains our need to drop off our guests at the airport and they agree to sort out the tyre early tomorrow morning before we start out for the city.
The bad news is that Himself can’t find the jack for the van anywhere, in order to fit the emergency spare but luckily he manages to contact the owner of the small rental car company we use each visit to New Zealand and we find out that the jack in the van we are using is hidden in a panel under one of the middle passenger sets.
The Good news is that after fitting the emergency spare he makes it to the restaurant in time to order dinner with the rest of us (one time when having a busy kitchen and a longer than usual waiting time works brilliantly in our favour).
The Hot Springs Hotel is on the edge of Hanmer and a short walk from the house, so it’s a nice evening amble. The wind has picked up a lot so we are pleased to get inside, and there a quite a few diners so the kitchen is busy.
The staff are friendly though and I explain that Himself will be joining us late and they will do their best to fit in his meal with ours. Usually you place your order and when your meals are ready a number flashes up on a small screen and you can collect them from the counter.
The tables are make of large trees sliced, and a massive open backed fireplace helps keep two rooms cosy in winter.
The food is good, the kids are happy with the offerings and we are all hungry so it’s nice to enjoy a relaxed meal together before our two sets of guests have to leave tomorrow. We will drop off our Pacific Island friends at the airport after our garage appointment and Kiwi friend will leave a little earlier with her daughter to catch her flight.
Iconic Kiwi “Tomato” tomato sauce bottles…
There’s a little Pavlova hiding under all this cream…
We laugh a lot around the table and as the sun starts to set we take tired kids home to bed… the surrounding views are the icing on the cake for the walk home.