Last weekend, for the first time in nearly two years, our children were all together in our old family home. They are city dwellers. Currently, that means living in Wellington and Bangkok – although change is afoot, one way or another. So, what better to do than get out and about in rural Hawkes Bay? But where to go? Why, Tiko – of course!
Tikokino is about forty-five minutes south of Napier – along State Highway 50.
It’s a pleasant drive, especially during autumn when the poplars are golden and the air is washed clean by rain.
The roads are empty, even by Hawkes Bay standards, and definitely by Wellington measures. And as for Bangkok – we all know you’d never see this, no matter what the time of the day.
Tikokino was a busy saw milling town during the 1800s and early 1900s. Forestry, along with sheep farming, is still important to the region. The Tiko Pub, or more properly The Sawyers Arms, (named for the sawyers who were a large proportion of its patrons in the early days) is still a popular resting place for travellers and locals alike. In the bar there are some fascinating old photos. One in particular stood out. It was of a man lying at full length inside the wedge cut into the trunk of an enormous tree. I was tempted to take a photo of that photo. Because it really is a case of seeing is believing. Apart from the fact that trees that size aren’t felled these days (the few that exist are protected), I’m sure OSH laws would prevent anybody putting themselves in that position.
This is our sort of country pub. Although I haven’t written about it before we have visited several times over the years.
Last weekend, the welcome was friendly, the service very good and the environment comfortable. It was warm enough to eat outside. It’s a family friendly place – although our children are much too grown-up for the playground!
It’s a laid back kind of a place – the cat is well-fed and content, its coat slinky – always good signs. The tea drinkers and the knitters in our group were all impressed by this tea cosy! Full marks to the Tiko Pub for attention to detail. In this coffee crazed era tea drinkers are often left out. The cosy made all the difference.
The food was very good.
I was sitting next to the owner of that chicken schnitzel – it’s probably exaggerating to say she was moaning with pleasure at each bite – after all it wasn’t chocolate. She didn’t scoff the lot, not quite. But she was very happy because there was enough for a doggy bag! She didn’t plan on giving it to her dog. No sirree! She ate her left overs for her supper.
The beef schnitzel was pretty good, too. It defeated our Bangkok dwelling, red meat deprived, beef loving visitor. He actually complained there was too much schnitzel!
The lamb burgers were delicious. Although, one of our group, he’s a Wellington Foodie, which really does explain everything, thought his was a bit heavy on the coriander.
Top marks went to the Lime Coconut Chicken. And here, I must quote him: “Yum, very tasty, yum, turmeric, yum”.
How did we rate our likely return?
Keen as (You bet!)
Does travelling down to Tiko once a year make us regulars? No?
What about the fact that it was The Tiko Pub we chose for our Wellingtonian and our Bangkokians?
Could be talked in to it
Not if I’m paying
So no doubt about it, we enjoyed our visit, we’ll be back again, although it might be a year or so away. And just so you know, we were all very restrained. No-one ordered dessert. It seems that those of us who dined at Mangatera have well and truly learned our lesson!
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa