11 December 2012

Wanderings: Matakana, Brick Bay, Ascension & the Matakana Village Pub

Post a morning of eating, shopping & a little wine tasting we decided to experience a little art.  Art in the form of the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail.  The modern Glass House on the edge of the water lily fringed lake is the start of the trail which meanders around the vines & through native bush showcasing some of the best of contemporary New Zealand sculptures. 45 or so works can be found around the 2km trail that meanders fairly gently around the grounds returning you to the Glass House & in our case a little glass of rose.  As they say when in Rome....

Next stop a lazy late lunch at The Larder at Ascension Vineyard.  At the larder you can make your own platter & pick from all sorts of salamis, cheeses, olives, pickles & deli treats to pile large wooden boards, however in our very relaxed  state of mind the choice all seemed a little overwhelming, so we opted for the platter for 2.  It also came on a large wooden board, all very rustic.

Much as I like a chilled glass of rose I am a red girl at heart so with lunch I went for The Benediction, Ascension’s premium reserve Merlot (Yes a f****** Merlot! That line from Sideways, an all time favourite movie of mine, cracks me up every time.).  It was treat with the meaty salamis & rustic pate on the platter.  Rich, leathery, full bodied & a little dry a result of time well spent in hand-hewn 70 year old wooden vats.

It was a wonderful array of tasty morsels with a little more thought than your average platter.  I have to say the various pickles really were the shining stars, brightening the flavours of the salamis, cheese & fish terrine.  Another standout was the rare roast beef with a horseradish cream, also perfect with my Merlot. 

After a lazy hour or 2 among the vines it was back to the village & a quick trip to the Matakana Village Pub, it was just too tempting on what was a gloriously sunny day.  One of those days that just feels like summer holidays & you don’t have a care in the world, no appointments to kept, no deadlines to be met, no agenda.  You just go with the flow & the day takes care of itself, slowly & leisurely.

The pub was built in 1903 & is in the heart of Matakana Village.  In previous incarnations it has been a pub, a boarding house & allegedly a house of women of shall we say ill repute?  Today it has been renovated & is back to being a pub.  We managed to secure one of the cushioned booths outside to bask in comfort under the afternoon sunshine before heading back to our little bach for Yahtzee & the Best of the 70s CD* in the evening sun.

*The only CD we had in the car, but perfect for a little disco on the deck!

An idyllic weekend that felt like a real holiday & only an hour away from the big smoke.



  1. Wow, an idyllic weekend indeed! Such lovely sites and food. I'm glad you enjoyed some Merlot, too. I'm a 70s girl, so your music sounds perfect. :)

    1. Thanks Hannah, it was idyllic & 70's music was actually perfect :)

  2. Nice post. Thanks for sharing.


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