I haven't forgotten that I was going to write more about our trip around the North Island.
However, the task ahead looks daunting since today's post is just about one dinner!!! I kid ye not ! Hmmm.
At this rate, I'll have enough blog fodder for the rest of the year....
Whilst we were in Napier, we went out for a fabulous dinner with K's parents, to celebrate K getting more letters after his name. The culmination of years of study and...more study!
If you ever go to Napier, we highly recommend a restaurant called
"The Old Church"
It is situated in amongst a beautiful vineyard, and used to be a Monastery and a church.
Now however, it has been totally refurbished and no expense has been spared to create tasteful ambience, whilst keeping many of the original features such as the original pews, stained glass windows, and "Confessional booth" etc.
Words which spring to mind when I think about the decor, are -
mediaeval, gothic, elegant, classical
I'm not sure if those words have ever been put together before, but that is my best attempt when trying to describe the setting!
In any case, it was a totally stunning setting....made all the more beautiful by the perfect Hawkes Bay weather.
One could choose to eat inside the church itself... beautifully laid out with plush chairs of varying shapes and sizes, and humoungus goblets!
Or you could eat in the sunny and airy atrium overlooking the vineyards...
Or you could eat outside in the gardens, surrounded by vines, and entertained with light jazz
(and the occasional baa of the local grazing sheep!)
One could even request a table upstairs in the choir stalls if one so desired!
Not only was the setting perfect, and the service, outstanding, but the food was also amazing.
Do you want to know what I had?
I'll tell you.
Ratatouille stuffed with roast tomato, butternut squash veloute, with a green bean bundle, Maytopia mushrooms in NZ Olive Oil, and topped with a Parmesan cracker.
A smooth, rich caress of the tastebuds - velvet mixed with the most wonderful tang.
I loved the serving touches. I've already mentioned the enormous drinking vessels.
The boys loved the elegant dish their side of fries was served in.
And later on, they were even more thrilled by their chocolate fondue dessert which came beautifully presented with the most delicious tidbits to satisfy the both of them together.
I believe we accused our little one of 'drinking' the remains of his chocolate fondue sauce after all the tasty bits and pieces had been demolished!
He was in seventh heaven!
And just so you don't think that I was the only one who supped well, here is another dinner to drool over -
Vanilla lavender honey glazed duck breast with Hawkes Bay potato cake, orange jelly, baby carrots, steamed bok choy, and braising jus.
And we discovered a great wine - a 2006 Trinity Hill Voigneur.
Untrained as my winebuds are, it tasted like something between a Chardonnay and a Riesling. I could be very wrong of course. But it went very well with our evening!
Can you tell that I really enjoyed my meal?!