Waiohine Gorge's awesome suspension bridge (taken on the trusty iPhone)
This is more a personal article than a photography article.
I wanted to say a massive thanks to all the lovely people who have welcomed us so warmly to New Zealand so far! It's been just wonderful and we can't wait to see more of you now we live in the delightful Wairarapa region.
Sorry for the lack of photos and their poor quality, but we've been a tad busy! More to come soon.
Our first (and second!) port of call was a delicious lunch at Everest Bistro. We enjoyed seafood chowder, maple bacon burger, fish and chips, quiche and NZ beers. Everest Bistro also do wedding catering hurray! The friendly owners say this on their website which resonated with me: "Everest, the tallest mountain in the world; so why do we call ourselves Everest? We believe cooking is like climbing; every stage of achievement like a camp on the way up to the top. We want to be the best at what we do, and one day we will reach the summit of Everest."
Jude from Hey Jude Boutique is so bubbly and passionate about sourcing quality and unique new and pre-loved clothing from around the world. She has a particular penchant for footwear (me too!). Clothes in her beautifully styled store are grouped according to size and colour making it a pleasure to browse and try on.
Whilst I chatted with Jude, Ben chatted to Lincoln at Messines Bookshop who specialises in military history. It turns out Featherston is historically significant and played a vital role during World War 1 training troops. It was fascinating to discover that thousands of soldiers marched over the massive Remutaka Range to port and off to sea. The epic march was part training and part necessity.
Featherston is made for the two of us!
This delightful wine town features Martinborough Wine Merchants in the main street. We spent ages chatting about wine, wine label design and how awesome the region is. We'll be back to hire bikes to treadle around to all the local vineyard cellar doors. Martinborough Wine Merchants also supplies Wairarapa wine and beverages for your wedding how divine!
Ben had the "best burger ever" at Union Square, The Martinborough Hotel. The sidewalk chalkboard promised a venison burger with avocado and bacon. I fancied a salad which also was pretty epic: sliced smoked pork with potatoes, capers and all sorts of goodies. Wellington Parrot Dog beer topped off a fantastic late lunch.
The White Swan Country Hotel in Greytown was a luxury haven on grey day. The staff were so friendly and welcoming. They helped us choose a beer from the many on tap and wine from the extensive list of local and further afield drops. They even let us re-locate to the comfy couch to share dessert and a coffee doing some laptop work afterwards!
The rest of Greytown's gorgeousness remains to be discovered at a leisurely later date. Think antique shops, boutique recycled designer fashion stores, bakeries and yummy cafes 'till the cows come home.
We'd driven past the bright turquoise chair in a field that marks the entrance to Floxy's up-cycled furniture, a number of times before visiting. What a beautiful place, so bright and creative! Solid furniture is up-cycled with house made chalk paint to a very high standard. Added bits and pieces for the home are made by various family members from timber pallets, to suit all budgets. The brightly coloured NZ clothing range was an added surprise, we’ll be back for sure!
Callum in Perry's Mart has an eye for great antique, retro and modern furniture and home wears. We spent ages in there and eventually bought an amazing dining table set by local NZ furniture designer Watkins Ltd (it was meant to be!).
We were so lucky to meet the super generous, patient and understanding Jo and Blair (also a photographer!) hosts of their gorgeous Masterton Air BnB. We were a bit uncertain about booking our first Air BnB sharing someone’s house. Jo welcomed us into her stylish and spotless place so warmly, we felt at home instantly. Jo and Blair made excellent suggestions about local attractions, where to buy groceries and even helped buying white goods as we were moving to NZ! Their cat and dogs were very friendly which we really enjoyed.
Another lovely couple were Rachel and Adam who we bought our sofa bed from. So keen to chat and hear about our story.
A massive thank you to everyone who we've met so far, this place is incredible!
Lots of love, Sarah x