Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Lakes District

My most recent trip out of the ol' Ch-Ch was further south to Queenstown, and as has become habit I want to share with you a summary of my foodie discoveries. This part of the world is one of the most beautiful (and many tourists would agree). That's especially true when you're lucky enough to have perfect weather like we did. While still on the cold side, one cannot complain when there is constant sun this time of year.

So the tale begins... first on the list is The Remarkable Sweet Shop. There are stores in Queenstown and Arrowtown with sweets and treats from all over the world. We dived right into their fudge. The favourites were Creme Brulee (a classic), Jelly Tip and Red Velvet. I won't put photos up for risk of drooling onto the keyboard- and also that it went too quickly for any to be taken.

Next recommendation is any fruit stall from the Cromwell region. Maybe it was just the fact that Cromwell has a big statue of fruit which draws you in, but there must be something good about it. Our choice was Jones' Fruit Stall which had a large selection of dried and fresh fruit. Just make sure you get the freshest possible to lower the chance of wastage.

Another important part of one's diet is cheese. Naturally, this was high on the agenda. We visited Gibbston Valley Cheese, which is right next door to Gibbston Valley Winery. All of which are located on the main road to Queenstown. Soon after walking in we were flooded with samples (a good sign!- or maybe a good marketing ploy). In the end, we left with a smoked brie and a Kawarau blue cheese.

While not exactly in the Queenstown area, a must visit for me was the Barker's Store in Geraldine. I have a lot of respect for this company who have become a household name in New Zealand, and who are always developing new products. The store itself has a vast selection of products (all of which you can sample), and you can pick up some bargains like expired stock (only by a month or so) and product trials- e.g. a citrus curd made with lime.

And right next door is a cheese store called Curds and Whey who stock locally made cheeses- delicious! From there we picked up a Geraldine Vintage Cheddar, which includes a silver sticker. It was a great trip with a lot to discover. My goal next time is to hit the back roads and hopefully come across something amazing to share with you all- fingers crossed! But in the meantime and I can put my feet up at home and enjoy a scrummy assortment of cheeses.

(L-R): Smoked Brie, Kawarau Blue, Geraldine Vintage Cheddar

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