Local Heart, Global Soul

December 10, 2018

New Farm, When Urban Gardening Reaches New Heights…

There is a new revolution going on around the world, where people are trying to cut down on the “food miles”  generated by the food we eat. By this it is meant the number of miles/kilometres that are between where there food is produced and where it is consumed. This means things cutting down on food transport wherever possible. This has meant the development of Urban gardens, and The Hague is no different. An old office building has been partly converted to become a place where fresh vegetables are grown and the name of this enterprise is “The New Farm.” Amazingly the farm produces not just tomatoes and peppers but also herbs and fish! I went with friends to take a look two summers ago, and also, of course to buy some local vegetables.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 30, 2018

The “Town” of Hari Hari…

Family Kiwidutch are known for needing frequent stops on road trips. Maps or graphs that give “estimated time” from one place to another are useless when you have passengers who get car-sick. One the up-side our gasps for fresh air and need to stand still mean stopping in some rather stunning locations for a breather, as many photographs attest. This time we got to stretch our legs in the tiny “town” of Hari Hari. In New Zealand, outside of cities, almost everything is a “town”, even if it only has 300 or so inhabitants like Hari Hari . Curiously our favourite holiday destination of Hanmer Springs is a village, and also known as Hanmer Village but it’s one of the very, very few exceptions. Hari Hari survives due to it being on State Highway 6, the only road running most of the length of the West Coast. It’s also in the Queenstown “loop” (see the map below) so catches passing traffic as a rest stop. We top up on drinks and are soon back on the road…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve borrowed a map from Tourism West Coast and edited it to show where Hari Hari is…

Tourism West Coast Map

October 21, 2018

Kiwi Daughter Starts Off In The Kitchen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst on the West Coast of New Zealand and staying in the “South of the Barber hostel”  in Greymouth we start cooking up an evening meal in the communal kitchen.

I was feeling tired so Himself told me to get in a nap because Kiwi Daughter really wanted to make a Caesar salad and wanted to help Himself cook.

We only have some very basic ingredients with us, pasta and a can of frankfurters and some cherry tomatoes that we would put separately on the side because Kiwi Daughter is allergic to raw tomatoes.

Cooked tomatoes are no problem, it’s apparently something to so with the tomato skins.

I get to do the dishes (I knew there had to be a catch somewhere!).

Kiwi Daughter remarked that she quite liked the cooking experience so Himself and I quickly responded with praise and told her she was most welcome to do it more often. Sadly that was met with “no thanks, this was enough“. Oh well, we tried. One day she will show a flicker of interest in learning to cook, probably when she leaves home and realizes that it’s something she wished she had taken an interest in at home! That said, her Caesar salad was excellent and she has to start somewhere so we encouraged her as much as possible. The meal filled a gap and after the dishes were done we could finally relax.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 9, 2018

Our Saints Meal Was Heavenly…

Arriving in Hanmer Springs again brings back many happy memories. the New Zealand summer has turned up the heat, delivering temperatures above 30C and we are enjoying every moment of it. We are having lunch at “Saints”, a restaurant, café, pub, in the village, burgers and salads on our menu. The outer seats were full when we arrived so we sat in the cool shade inside. The staff were very friendly, the food was great and we were very happy customers indeed. There is nothing like a good meal to get a stay off to a great start… You might even say that our Saints meal was… heavenly!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 19, 2018

Showing Local Businesses Some Love…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I neglected to mention that before Family Kiwidutch visited the main shopping area in Kaikoura, New Zealand, we had already had lunch on the main road a bit further out.

Kiwi Daughter had given us one wish (read ultimatum): to go back to “Beach House Café”… “Kiwi Daughter Finds Food Heavenhttps://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/new-2830/… so that she could get another one of their amazing Caesar salads that she had discovered and loved so much.

We made a short stop before that though so that I could get a pie from the Kaikoura Bakery.

I know that the town has had a rough time, the road to the north has been closed for more than a year, the one south was only recently cleared, so access to the town has been via two smaller inland roads, the second of which was a gravel road until about a decade ago.

I also know that it wasn’t only our family who expressed a wish to specifically stop in Kaikoura in order to spend some money whilst having a rest stop from our journey, and at the same time do our bit to help a struggling community and many businesses on the financial brink.

I don’t know if it was this kind of wish that brought so many people to the bakery, or if it was just extra busy with the New Year’s public holiday imminent, but the bakery was almost beyond packed.

The shop is decently large and people patiently waiting were packed in right to the doors. Inside was what might be called “organized chaos”: staff rattling off orders, filling bags and ringing up final figures for purchases at the cash register, then calling “Next please!” for the next customer.

With at least half a dozen people working behind the counter, it was noisy and the closer I got to the counter the more people came in behind me. This was the New Year rush; it was people showing some love for a local business too. I had no hope at all to take photographs inside, but can attest that my meat pie was delicious and I think that the lolly cake and sandwich I got for Little Mr. passed his fussy inspection.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

New Zealand’s native “Pohutakawa” tree flowers with distinctive blossoms in December, earning it the nickname: “New Zealand’s Christmas Tree”, it’s included in the painted festive decorations for the bakery window…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 29, 2018

Sweet Or Sour?

New Zealand has it’s fair share of delicious bakery treasures. Some have their origins in our British heritage like Lemon pie (think Lemon meringue sans the meringue), others have been adapted and updated to become  more recent favourites, like caramel slice (bar). Travelling on the Interisland ferry between Wellington and Picton at the very end of 2017 we had the chance to try for ourselves. Himself’s caramel slice came this time a little modified in pie form, the filling still the sweet favourite that he loves. Given the choice between these two I will always choose the lemon, and was not disappointed: just the right amount of tartness, …Perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 6, 2018

Cherry Lovers Find A New Delight…

Filed under: FOOD,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Wellington region: Wainuiomata — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Spending our 2017 Christmas Day in Wainuiomata, just outside of Wellington, we came of course bearing gifts.

But in addition to the ones destined to go under the Christmas tree there were also some gifts for the dinner table.

Our journey from Christchurch to Picton means passing through Blenheim, a region world famous for it’s award winning wines.

Less known is that both Blenheim and Central Otago in the south of the South Island both enjoy being the primary growing regions of cherries.

They both also grow apricots and Otago, many more stone fruit. We have been fortunate on our last two travels to find roadside stalls in Blenheim where we can get boxes of freshly  (that morning!)picked cherries.

I bought two boxes, one the “typical” dark red variety but the other, one new to me. It’s lighter in colour, a bright reddy-orange-yellow in parts with a white inside.

At first, I was more than a little suspicious that these cherries were not ripe, but no… this variety is supposed to look like this. I got to taste-test a few at the road side stall… hmmm, these are seriously good. In Wainuiomata our hosts and other friends also delighted in my find and agreed that the taste was fabulous. Both boxes started emptying at a steady rate. Our friends also were amazed at the prices, I paid NZD 20,– for each large box, far, far less than what they would have paid at supermarkets in the neighbourhood, or even in Lower Hutt or Wellington. The Cook Straight ferry crossing adds unavoidable transport costs to produce travelling in either direction. If we see these again in Blenheim, we will be snapping them up as quickly as we can.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 14, 2018

Kiwi Daughter Finds Food Heaven…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch visited New Zealand recently.

Heading to friends in Wellington for Christmas, we take the State Highway 1 route to Picton.

Blocked by twenty-one land slips in the November 2016 earthquake, this road has been closed for slightly more than one year.

Although it’s clear that a massive amount of work has been done, it’s also clear that this road is going to be “under construction” for a long, long time still in the future.

Of course there have been delays, sections of the road are still one lane only, there are reduced speed limits for very large stretches and more kilometres of road works and works machinery than we’ve ever seen in a single day before.

A stop for lunch in Kaikoura was most welcome, and we chose the “Beach House Café” on the main road. Kiwi daughter has just “discovered” Caesar Salad, and not only has added it to her new culinary experiences, but putting it quickly into her favourites list. Finding Caesar Salad on the menu made her very happy, but also nervous since she didn’t know if it would measure up to the taste of the first one that rocketed it to the top of her “this is gooooooood!” list. The food arrived. I have to say that Little Mr, our mega fussy eater was less than impressed that his toasted sandwich arrived with brown bread (but that’s his fault, and problem to deal with, not in any way that of the café).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Luckily the “eat it or starve” motto worked on this occasion and after a lot of complaining his hunger got the better of him.

It was of course helped by the fact that Himself and I quietly insisted that he at least give it a decent go, otherwise his Lolly cake would not be available for “dessert”.

Suddenly he had the motivation he needed. Not without a lot of grumbling mind you.

Kiwi Daughter tasted the first bite of her salad apprehensively, Would it measure up? Then her face lit up and it was clear that she had hit the jackpot on this one.

In fact as soon as her mouth was empty she started raving about how good this was, the Paparazzi were not welcome, go away Mama with the camera, she wanted to tuck in.

A short time later she declared that this Caesar Salad was the BEST one she has had so far.

We now have strict orders to come back to this café on the return journey. Himself had coffee, I wanted something a little sweet so had a hot chocolate.

The Beach House Café has been a complete winner for one member of the family, the drinks were fine so no problems from Himself and I, Little Mr. had a more critical review, but that must be taken with a sack full of salt considering just how fussy this kid is and how he fights any attempts to stretch away from his limited array of menu favourites. The positive reviews far, far outweighed the grumpy and hard to please Little Mr. and I think that if Kiwi Daughter lived in Kaikoura, half her wages would go to eating Caesar Salad here at the “Beach House” every day!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 13, 2018

Beach House Café: A Villa Remodeled

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch made the drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura in December 2017 on the very newly opened State Highway 1.

Closed for repairs for just over a year after a massive earthquake, some of the damage we saw left us in awe of just how much of hillside can be shifted by Mother Nature during a 2 minute shake.

In fact, it was not only clear why the road had to close for so long, but also a wonder that it’s open this quickly considering the size and number of land slips that need clearing, hillsides to be stabilized, bridges checked and repaired, road edges repaired etc.

Despite a number of places where we needed to wait for oncoming traffic to take their turn getting though sections of road that were still one lane only, and the naturally slow speed limit through areas still not fully repaired, we made fairly good time to Kaikoura, where a break for lunch was in order.

Deciding to avoid the central area of town, we kept to the main road and picked this place for no other reason than there was a parking place on the main road close by and after perusal of the menu it got a thumbs up for serving toasted sandwiches and Caesar Salad for Little Mr. and Kiwi Daughter respectively.

Called the “Beach House Café” this is housed in a traditional old style New Zealand villa and has been open plan renovated to suit a café style. It means that the various rooms of the house open to the public flow from one to another but still retain their own character.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 24, 2017

An Angel of A Dinner At Den Engel…

After a busy day where Himself and I had walked (or in my case, rolled) through the streets of Baarle Nassau / Baarle-Hertog followed by a small car tour of the immediate area, dinner was the next order of the day. We were both tired and since the previous evening’s dinner was excellent, we thought we would stay with a good thing and have dinner at the Den Engel Hotel this evening too. We were not disappointed, Himself choose steak and I had fish, and another amazing meal was enjoyed by us both. It was an excellent end to a wonderful day.
(still with previously “windows” resized photos)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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