Occasional trips off the beaten track in Hawkes Bay take us (four regulars, others by invitation) away from the high profile cafes and wineries familiar to most tourists and foodies to places known only to those with the inside know how. Often our small but fussy group visits hotels hidden near the end of winding roads in the bay hinterland, sometimes hotels on the outskirts of the local towns. For these to qualify they must be of historical interest, we like the atmosphere that usually goes along with being old, and friendly rather than trendy. They are the sort of place where ‘old soaks’, ‘salt of the earth’ types, and a bikie or two can be found; the sort of place our parents used to visit during summer holidays, a decade or four ago, while we played in the paddocks nearby or squabbled over our Fanta and chippies in the car.
Our list, we are pleased to announce, is comfortingly long but we have left it too late to enjoy a visit to the once bustling hotels of Wimbledon, Te Pohue and Wanstead. At the current frequency of visits, one every couple of months or so, it will be three years before we have to begin all over again.
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa