Just Real Food, Invercargill, New Zealand

This simple name tells exactly what you will receive from this Invercargill cafe/takeaway. Cakes, slices, pastries etc are all baked and prepared on the premises.

If you’re a local, you may have grabbed a bite to eat from here, if you haven’t then you’re missing out. This is where you will find fresh, real food.

We dropped by for a quick breakfast snack one December Invercargill morning, whilst travelling throughout the South Island. I chose a cheese roll which was deliciously cheesy, soft and very fresh. Hubby chose a wrap, jam packed with scrambled egg, hash brown, bacon, cheese and extras.

The cakes and slices beckoned from the confines of their window, however we just couldn’t fit them in on this occasion. The same applied to these very inviting pastries below.

Milkshakes, cold drinks and barista style coffees are also available. There are a couple of tables outside if you feel those paper bags filled with goodies, will not make it further than the shop exit.

We couldn’t pack this little shop up and bring it back with us, however check it out if you’re traversing Dee Street in Invercargill, you won’t be disappointed. Home cooked style, fresh, served with local friendly service, real food like this, cannot be passed by.

The Manhatten, Roxburgh, New Zealand

A short 30 minute drive from Alexandra in Central Otago lies the town of Roxburgh. Near the heart of the township, is where you will find The Manhatten Cafe. A casual, relaxed yet trendy and very roomy cafe. Plenty of seating areas throughout the length of restaurant, give you a choice of watching the world pass by out the front, sheltering from the weather inside, or enjoying the expansive rear deck area, scattered with tables and seating.

Bagels, pizzas, sides, amongst other meals, entice you from the two page menu. Barista coffees or a wide variety of wines, beers and spirits are available to dampen the thirst. Friendly, efficient service is most definitely a part of the overall dining experience. Drop in for a coffee, or take the time to wile away an hour or two over a meal or drink.

Our drinks were served upon ordering at the bar, with the meals arriving in a very reasonable time. The bagel below was a large meal on its own, plus this was partnered with a tantalisingly, fresh coleslaw.

Hubby chose a pizza, which arrived on a large board, packed with his choice of toppings, chicken & Brie with a plum sauce. He did declare this to be one of the best pizzas he had eaten.

My choice was the garlic prawn skewers, resting upon a bed of coleslaw.

The prawns themselves were delicious, with just the right amount of garlic for my taste. Finely chopped vegetables and sauce made for an extremely tasty coleslaw mix, pairing very well with the prawns. Another menu option here was chilli prawns, however on this occasion, I chose the garlic version….which I would probably do again!😄

We highly recommend taking the time go stop at this hidden gem, on your way through Roxburgh. Whether for a quick coffee or lingering lunch, you will not be disappointed 👍😄.

Lone Star, Invercargill, New Zealand

Near the central heart of Invercargill, sits Lone Star. Warning, if you are not hungry, don’t venture in. Based on an outback, western style, this restaurant is about giving you the hearty country experience.

Service here is exactly what you expect from this style, friendly, sufficient and surprisingly quick. Drinks were ordered and arrived within a few minutes, prior to ordering the meals. In the meantime you soak up the atmosphere, roughly rendered ceilings, walls, hewn wooden beams, and rocket sauce on the tables.

One starts to become a little apprehensive as you watch the other meals going out to the tables. I’m talking way past large, they are extreme! Hubby’s choice was the Kiwi Joker pictured below. A massive piece of steak resting upon a bed of buffalo chips, coleslaw, mushrooms and topped with a couple of fried eggs. Note buffalo chips to me, resemble roast potatoes, they are not small. The steak was so deliciously tender, it really did almost melt in the mouth. Even hubby could not extend the area of his stomach enough to cope with the full serving of this meal, although this was not due to the lack of trying 😄. The photo does not do the size of this meal justice!

I myself opted for the Rock the Boat fresh fish meal. This was beautifully fresh fish, resting atop mashed potatoes and an extremely delicious coleslaw. Once again, this was a melt in the mouth meal. Luckily, I did choose the smaller version, which was more than enough to try and finish. There was no way I could would have made much of a hole in the large version of the meal. Our helpful waitstaff did point out that the size of the meals had been reduced as they used to be even bigger….wow! We were left wondering what they used to be like!

We enjoyed our evening meal here, very nice thank you Lone Star!

Buster Crabb, Invercargill, New Zealand

Right now you’re feeling like you’ve just stepped back in time, or into the scene of an old movie. Snappy suits, hats or spats on the shoes would not be out of place here. With a couple of separate dining rooms, shrouded in heavy curtains, you have the opportunity to request a private dining room for a group booking.

There is little, if anything to fault about the decor and setup of this restaurant. Signed photos and other interesting paraphernalia adorn the walls and areas within the restaurant. Plenty of parking in the area behind the restaurant, with an extensive menu and drinks list, this is a place to cater to most tastes.

Menus are presented in an aged newspaper format adding to the early 1900’s atmosphere. Meals presented were large. Luckily, on this occasion I had opted for an entree meal with a side of beans as my main. Pork & Duck Terrine. This in itself was more than ample on this occasion. The terrine paired beautifully with the sliced apple and cranberry sauce on the side.

Seafood chowder, I’m told was fabulously creamy and full of seafood including mussels, smoked fish, salmon and prawns. Hubby has been on a quest to find the best seafood chowder and this one did not disappoint.

Whilst you’re visiting Invercargill, take the time to visit this interesting restaurant. Once you have finished checking out the decor, sit back, order from the menu and resist the urge to tilt a bowler hat to the side or light up a cigar. Enjoy!

Lands End, Bluff, New Zealand

Located at the end of the South Island, New Zealand, you will find the Lands End Bed & Breakfast which contains Bistro 46. Overlooking the start of the anchor chain, as well as the famous sign which points out the distances to other cities in the world, the warmth of this fabulously friendly cafe, will draw you inside.

The only land lying between you and the huge ice continent of Antarctica, is the tiny Stewart Island. Also known as the anchor to the South Island, in the native Maori folklore.

Most likely you may find the weather a little cooler than you are used to, depending on where you have travelled from. For us, coming from a humid 38 degrees in Brisbane, we did find it somewhat cold – in December! However, the inviting exterior of Lands End, drew us in for breakfast. Aaah the warmth!

From the time we walked across the Carpark, to the time we reluctantly left, the service was outstanding. Genuine, down to earth friendly service. Food is fresh, so fresh it gives the impression of having been collected once you ordered. Hubby had spotted the whitebait on the lunch menu and enquired if there was any chance he could have whitebait for breakfast, no salad. The friendly staff did not consider this an inconvenience at all. Fries were offered and accepted.

Not only was hubby revealing in his whitebait, the caramel latte he ordered was the best he had ever had. Hands down this caramel latte has topped the list on his private quest to find the best caramel latte. Here it was, at Lands End.

With the location at the end of the road, you cannot drive by or miss Lands End. Take the time to enjoy a coffee, if you’re not after a meal, it will be worth it plus gives your more time to take in the surroundings.

Moeraki Boulders Cafe, North Otago, New Zealand

Drive down the East Coast of the South Island, in New Zealand, and you will pass the Moeraki Boulders. Rather than pass them by after you’ve cruised through Hampden, follow the signs to stop off and absorb the natural beauty of these uniquely formed round boulders.

There’s a cafe,gift shop, plus a walkway down to view these world famous boulders. Meander down the wooden walkway for a short distance, and you will find yourself at the beach, which is scattered with boulders.. Some are huge, others mere dots by comparison. You may feel like you’ve landed in the middle of a Jurassic Park video, surrounded by dinosaur eggs.

This is an ideal place to break the road trip, with excellent facilities available. Staff were friendly, prices inside the cafe seemed reasonable and the food was delicious. If you’re looking for a drink, snack or a meal, then you’ve come to the right place. Outside is a generous balcony, for those who seeking a sea breeze. Inside, is a large seating area, with normal facilities and large windows overlooking the beach. We chose the inside as we weren’t prepared to brave the sea breeze on this chilly December day. I mean the below photo gives an indication of the temperature ….


Order and pay at the counter, with table service then delivering the meals and drinks. I suggest the seafood. It does not come much fresher than this. The seafood platter was not only deliciously fresh, it was packed with a variety of seafood, perched atop fries and a salad. Well presented, and very reasonably priced at $39 NZD.


Take the time to relax and chill over some divine food, while you take a break from your road trip. You definitely won’t regret it.

Gold Class – Event Cinemas

Have you ever wondered what Gold Class movies are about, perhaps considered the experience, but just weren’t sure if it was worth while? Here’s a little insight on what happens.

After receiving gift vouchers last Christmas for Gold Class, we waited for a good movie to check out. Anytime there was a good movie, we were committed elsewhere, however, finally within a few days of the vouchers expiring, we booked into Gold Class at Chermside.

It’s probably been about 18 months since we last attended Gold Class. Very refreshing to see new seats installed in the theatre which attributed to lingering smell of new leather. Seats are huge, allowing you to recline back with your feet up, or curl up if you so wish. There’s a generous wooden table between each pair of seats, with plenty of room between rows and other patrons. This isn’t anything like the normal cinema where everyone sits right next to each, with barely enough elbow room. Yes you do pay more for Gold Class, however, if you’re after a relaxing experience with drinks and food delivered to your seat, then this is the place to be.

Upon entry into the Gold a Class lounge, you show your entry tickets at the bar to receive menus. Now you need to decide what you would like delivered through the movie. There are now two deliveries made throughout the movie. These can be food, drinks or both. You may decide to have an entree or a main, perhaps a platter or dessert. Be warned though, you are eating in the dark, leave the white clothes at home!

We have usually found most dishes to be a reasonably sized serving. Yes desserts we ordered for instance were expensive, however they are for two and take some getting through. If you’re not wanting to spend this much on food, then perhaps eat before you go and simply enjoy a couple of relaxing drinks or coffees throughout your movie.

We started with a Catching Fire cocktail and a Whiskey Sour. Highly recommended, both of them! A couple of deliveries throughout the movie were did arrive as ordered, drinks and dessert. Only when the banana sundae arrived, did I remember why I don’t order those runny chocolate dishes in Gold Class. They are so what challenging to eat in the dark! Oops, too late…..!

Gold class is most likely going to be somewhere you go to treat yourself it a regular experience. Therefore, sit back, relax and enjoy. You deserve this 👍.