This restaurant in the little town of Moeraki – near the Moeraki Boulders – has won so many awards that you will never be alone there. When we finally made it there were dozens of domestic and international visitors enjoying coffees, cakes, and meals. As it was a lovely day most guests were sitting at one of the many tables in the sun, and on the deck of the first floor overlooking the sea.
Everything is lovely about this restaurant. The food, the service, the light-blue building, and the spectacular location.
Fleur’s Place sits right on the water’s edge, at the old Moeraki jetty. The site is a former whaling station. The restaurant is built from collectables and demolition materials from all over New Zealand, and especially the outbuildings look a bit like that ;-) The interior is mostly made of reddish (rimu?) timber and gives a wonderfully warm feeling.
The speciality is fish fresh from the sea, purchased from the fishing boats that land next to the restaurant. The seafood platters are legendary. They also offer out of the ordinary food like muttonbird. (I would not eat it because I prefer them flying…) If you step inside the restaurant already the smell makes you want to order half of the dishes listed in the extensive menu ;-)
We had coffees and homemade cakes – just divine.
Open daily 9am (winter/earlier in summer) until midnight.
Photo 2 shows the other side of the building, including the sun deck on the first floor.
If you are looking for breakfast or a quick snack this is a great place to go and get your food. You have to find a place to eat it somewhere else as it is just a small shop but the selection of breads, rolls and cakes is fabulous, and the service super friendly. We especially liked the lady who every time we went there around Christmas time wore earrings and other sparkling items which made her look like a decorated Christmas tree ;-)
We chose the takeaway option of this restaurant several times when we stayed at an apartment nearly next door, and we were delighted with the nice flavours every time. For takeaway food it is rather expensive but well worth the money.
Even if you do not intend to take a meal - take a break at the Cardrona Hotel! It is so unique that you should at least have a drink at one of the rustic tables or at the bar. Although it has been refurbished some years ago it has kept its charm of a time long gone-by. And it is much bigger than it looks from the outside.
The darkish inside of the hotel is a haven for antiques, history, artefacts and memorabilia lovers. There are many unique bar signs on the walls, even some pistols from the days when conflicts were solved without strangely acting district councils (I refer to the bra fence..., read more about this on the Cardrona tip in the Things to Do section). The ceiling is covered in bank-notes from all over the world.
The hotel dates back to 1863, a time when settlers flooded the valley in the search for gold. Ít is far from imagination that this tiny village should once have been the centre of the butchery trade in Central Otago, such a big place that they had four hotels and more than a dozen stores. The Cardrona Hotel, its Annexe and the adjoining General Store are the only remaining buildings from the times of the gold rush. On the hotel website you can read funny stories about one of the owners who did not serve women.
When the weather is fine you can also sit in the very nice courtyard garden but the interior is nearly too interesting do move ahead.
The food is great, all prepared with fresh produce, and it comes in hearty portions. All mains cost around NZ$20, so not as crazy prices as in many other spots, and also cheaper burgers and salads are available, as well as an extensive menu for kids, all dishes clearly under NZ$10. It is real value for money.
Surrounded by five ski stations the hotel is very busy in winter. It offers accommodation in 16 ensuite rooms.
..there is no need to starve in Otago, in places like Alexandra, Cromwell or Gore, an other Fruitbowl for Kiwi's. Cherries at Christmas, Apples and Pears, all the Berries you can think of at a price you can afford...don't forget the veggies, for that capmpside dinner...
along the roadside you find farmers stalls, fresh and yummy, take your pick
Lamington's or Custard Squares..could have put under local custom, you'll can buy them everywhere, the Dairy or Bakery as well as in the supermarkets..freshly done,
Lamington's come in two flavours...Chocolateee or Raspberry, I like Chocolateeee :-)
Favorite Dish: Lamington and Custard Square ..have a look at the webpage provided, you'll find the recipe
The queues and the delicious smell of fresh baking tell you the Arrowtown Bakery is just the place to stop to pick up a quick snack or a light lunch - just don't leave it too late on a busy day, they can be hard pressed to keep up with the demand for their excellent pies and pastries - especially the real specialities such as their venison pie, though the traditional steak and onion is pretty good too.
A big gooey vanilla slice goes down well with a coffee. Scones served with jam and thick cream make the perfect afternoon tea.
Lunch or dinner - stay in Arrowtown and you can enjoy both at Saffron - reputedly one of the best restaurants (some would say THE best) in the region, if not the country. We were staying in Wanaka and didn't fancy the night drive so opted for lunch - and very good it was too. It was a beautiful autumn day so we sat outside to eat and watch the world go by ( and Arrowtown on Easter Sunday is a busy place!). Inside is very stylish, dark woods and rich colours and a big fireplace that would chase away the chill of a winter's evening perfectly. Maybe we'll have to spend a night or two in Arrowtown next time we come to New Zealand.
Favorite Dish: I love whitebait, but can't stand whitebait patties - New Zealanders' favourite way of serving it - so was delighted to find crispy fried whitebait on the menu - and I wasn't disappointed.
MrL was equally pleased with his corned beef and mustard sauce - real hometown country flavours. A glass of Peregrine Pinot Gris for me and Pinot Noir for him, and a cheese platter to share made for a perfect Sunday lunch.
Mt Difficulty Winery is sent on the hillface looking over some beautiful vistas, typical of Central Otago.
The restaurant is really nice, small, but lovely inside with amazing views. Summertime you can sit outside on the balcony, which is really nice. But obviously way down here in the South, the weather is often not so good. But inside is warm and cosy with a nice fireplace and plenty of large window doors so you can still catch the view.
The decor and artwork around is worth taking in and you can buy really lovely Mt Difficulty wine glasses with the logo emblazened.
Favorite Dish: Lunch menu is great and not expensive. All with Mt Difficulty wine, which happens to be very nice! There are a group of vineyards who contribute to the winery.
The Ploughmans Lunches here are so very scrumptious, I really do highly recommend them.
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