The gorgeous shores of Lake Wanaka, on the South Island, New Zealand

Well that frenetic writing didn’t materialise, did it? Mainly because everything else was so busy, and with jet lag I was no longer able to push myself to work late as I am used to. I also wanted to make the most of my short time in New Zealand and soak up as much as possible. I am now in Hong Kong and moving at a slower pace so should be more present on here this week.

It was my first trip to New Zealand, although I felt quite prepared as I have friends from there and lots of people I know had visited. The stunning landscape and vibrant food still caught my attention in a way that I hadn’t expected. Everything was big and lovely, rich green hills and light blue skies with little popping fluffy clouds and others choosing to streak across the sky.

In food and drink what really came across was the integrity of produce and passion for producing really good things with it. Great chefs have established a wonderful New Zealand cuisine in a way not too dissimilar to what has been happening in the UK and Ireland. Loads on that soon. And the wine, oh the wine was delicious.

Thanks to Air New Zealand for sponsoring the flights for the trip. I can’t imagine any trip starting better than with a business class flight with the whole of Nurse Jackie season 3 to watch, Peter Gordon’s food to eat, and a terrific New Zealand wine list to accompany it. All while I lie in bed. I am now spoiled for economy but I better get used to it.

As always, a little highlight in photographs first.

Nurse Jackie with the dessert course of a lovely 3 course meal, with matched wines, and in a bed all while flying to Auckland - DREAMY!

Cycling tour of Art Deco city Napier, North Island

The view from Temata Peak, which we visited to soak up the view and have a glass of local sparkling wine with Gourmet Odyssey

Clams at Ponsonby Road Bistro, Auckland

Flank steak taco at Depot, Auckland, New Zealand

Wonderful desserts incl superb tapioca and coconut dessert at Peter Gordon's Dine

Wonderful tour at Waimarama in Hawke's Bay including their Food of the Chiefs

Wonderful tour at Waimarama in Hawke's Bay including their Food of the Chiefs - these are NZ's famous and delicious whitebait fritters

Cream of Paua (Abalone) soup at The Foodstore, Auckland

The view from my room at River Run Lodge, Wanaka

A visit to and tasting at Rippon Biodynamic Vineyard on Lake Wanaka

I travelled to New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand Tourist Board

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Niamh

Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.
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