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Napier & Hawkes Bay: 5 Winery Lunch stops not to be missed!
Posted by Bella Vista on
This was certainly a hard task to undertake...Seek out some fabulous spots for lunching in Napier and the Hawke’s Bay Region. We certainly didn’t need to be asked twice!
Before the boss could blink; bags were packed, wine maps were downloaded and we were heading to one of the most beautiful places on earth – The Bay.
Being the oldest and second largest wine region in New Zealand you know you’re in for a quality wine experience when visiting Hawke’s Bay. For lovers of Merlot Cabernet blends, Syrah and Chardonnay, you’ll struggle to find many better, and those more partial to the other varietals there is certainly an abundance on offer. But alas, this task was to share some of our top lunch spots - so it’s not all swirl and spit I promise!
Whilst we were spoilt for choice, with 72 wineries in the region, as the title states we identified five that really stood out to us. We were looking for: beautiful presentation, quality local and fresh produce & foods, gorgeous taste combinations, and fabulous locations. Here’s what we came up with:
We had to start with the winner of the Hospitality Awards Hawke's Bay 2016 Outstanding Winery Restaurant, Mission Estate. Located in the Taradale hills, the views over Napier city and beyond will blow your mind. The building, its location and the overall feel are pretty hard to beat and so was the food.
Eating lunch on the outdoor dining terrace was one of the highlights of our trip with the waiting staff all trained to provide the best wine match option for each dish on the menu, it really is a winery sent from heaven.
Needing to be wowed? Then Elephant Hill is just the winery to do it. With a setting amongst the vines on the Te Awanga coast, the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Kidnapper Cliffs will quite simply take your breath away. Think fine dining with a truly inspired menu, Elephant Hill will not disappoint if you are looking for something really special.
Lunch was casual, relaxed and eaten out on the courtyard under a canopy of grapes. The menu, as promised was light, fresh and delicious, using locally sourced food and produce. Black Barn stole our hearts, so much so we really didn’t want to leave. There’s something here for everyone including those stopping for coffee or nibbling from the small bites menu.
With a nod towards Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours, lunch at Te Awa is all about the experience. Sharing dishes (allowing you just the right amount of many delicious options) is the perfect way to enjoy a long Sunday lunch with friends and family, with small plates, large plates, garden plates and charcuterie boards on offer. Te Awa was a memorable occasion and seated outdoors it is a great option if dining with kids.
The fact each dish from entrée through to dessert came with a suggested wine match, we knew we’d found the right place. Making the most of their kitchen garden and potager, the food was fresh, honest and tasted divine. I can confidently suggest the fish was the best I’ve ever eaten.
The ideal spot for accommodation while checking out the Hawke’s Bay wineries is in Napier. With the restaurants, cafes, shopping, and art deco right on your doorstep. It makes it all so easy.
Bella Vista Motel Napier is a great Napier accommodation option, conveniently located on Hastings Street, which runs parallel to Marine Parade. They have plenty of safe parking, so you can leave your car and cycle or wine taxi around the vineyards. It’s time to get out there and experience all that the Hawke’s Bay wineries have to offer – we did and we loved it! Thanks Bella Vista Napier for hosting us.