A tribute to NZ’s South Island, pre-earthquake 2016

Time pushes on, never stopping, ticking away.  There are moments in time you wish you could capture, hold forever and never let go.  Memories of these moments live on, many times backed by our photos. When things change, we wish we could restore time to certain moments.

In the short three months since we visited the Marlborough region, taking the time to complete the drive to Kaikoura, so much of this area is now destroyed, moved metres not inches and unrecognisable as the beautiful rugged coastline it was.  Heartbreaking in itself.This drive has a constantly changing canvas.  From rolling hills topped with wind farm turbines, over bridges nestled between the ocean, railway tracks, farmland and hills.  Passing a coastline which became increasingly rugged.  Sandy smooth gravel stretching for miles before  morphing  to rough, sharp edged rocks.  A few twists and turns requiring low speed only as both grass covered hillsides and rocky outcrops line the highway opposite the ocean.  Here there is nowhere to go except follow the winding road.   There’s a moment I call the wow moment.  You round a sweeping bend, released from the ocean and rocks for a while, to a straight road where snow topped mountains rise majestically in the distance.It’s breathtaking.  Photos cannot do justice to the sheer magnificent beauty of this scene. Undeniably one of the biggest Wow moments on any drive.  

Having left the ocean for a while, you follow the easy road into Kaikoura.  A township which has retained the old, sprinkled with a smattering of the new.  A foreshore with amazing vistas out to endless ocean, and back up the coast where you recently passed through.The memories and photos we have will remain with us into the future.   Our heartfelt thoughts are with everyone this has affected, and still does.  Those who have had their lives and livelihoods destroyed in a mere few minutes, those who will be affected by the devestation for years to come, and those who have done even the smallest thing to assist these friendly people and their beautiful area.

We hope the mainstay of tourism does not suffer long term and tourists continue to visit.   In an area which has so much natural beauty to offer, it’s important tourists continue to support.   Let’s hope these seals return to restablish their colony in the area.

Kia Kaha.

Aarth Cafe & Indian Restaurant 

A quick note to share yet another wonderful experience at Aarth Cafe & Indian Restaurant.Dinner started with a crunch!  Absolutely delightfully salty and crunchy, enough to dampen the hunger within until the main course arrives. 

Service here is always fantastic, friendly and just nice to be greeted like you are special.yNow I’m not big on hot food, only because it doesn’t agree with me.  However, thus mild tandoori chicken was superb!   Paired with a side of cachumber salad, it was a filling, tasty meal.Hubby chose a hot curry,why, because he could.  And he loves his hot food!  The only reason Hubby didn’t finish it all was he simply could not fit it in.   Wrapping his curry and rice in the Naan bread at times, he savoured every morsel.They really never disappoint here.  There’s not many places you can enjoy a fulfilling meal for two, with drinks and a glass of wine for $60.   Very good value for money, especially when everything is fresh.

New menu coming next Friday.  Will be back to try the new breakfast, lunch & dinner menus.  Nice to be able to enjoy a wine or beer with your meal too.

Choose your mood!   

Bistro G – Geebung RSL

Its been a while since we have visited the RSL club.   The club itself has undergone a revamp, with a new memorial area outside the main door, and changes within the club building.

At this time of year, the beautiful Jacarandas bloom above the carpark, adding that breath of fresh colour to the greenery.

As with any club, there is a two tier pricing system for mostly drinks and food.   Members or Non-Members prices.    Memberships for this club are kept affordable at $7 per year. This entitles you to discounts, birthday vouchers, members only draws and club reward points.   

As members, our glass of chardonnay and schooner of beer totalled $9.50.  Hardly likely to enjoy those prices at venues outside  of clubs.    

We started our meal at Bistro G with the soft, generously sized slices of garlic bread pictured above.   Not something we do often now, however it is nice to start with a garlic bread on occasions.

Meals were delivered without much of a wait, with staff efficiently clearing tables and delivering the next course to patrons.

For my main, today I chose the 200gram rump with salad and chips.   The salad bar is gone now, where you used to take your bowl and help yourself to whatever salads you desired.  Salad is a side served with your meal.

This rump was surprisingly tender, draped in the mushroom sauce I ordered, with freshly cooked chips, adding a little crunch to the meal.  For myself, this meal was large enough, and left me feeling satisfied.  Those preferring larger meals would probably find the meal a little small.   As a $14.50 meal though, it wasn’t bad at all.

Hubbys choice was the Fetticune Carbonara.  A creamy, garlic sauce tossed though the pasta with the $3 add on of chicken & bacon bringing the total meal value to $16.50.   Im told this meal was fresh and well enjoyed.  Although Hubby could have eaten more, one could tell by the way he wiped the plate clean.

Non-members prices are a couple of dollars more per meal.  It certainly doesn’t take long for a member to recoup their $7 membership fee.   Even as non-regulars, one visit a year and membership would pay for itself.

Staff were pleasant, efficient, with one staff member enlightening me as to why it was for quiet on Saturday lunch time.  Apparently the $10 meals had been phased out and a week later drink prices rose.  Since then, patronage had dropped.   

With any luck this does not have a long term impact on the club, or they return $10 meals to the menu.   Most of the local pubs run a $10 lunch menu, which do not not need to be a member for. These days, the competition is more likely to dictate your prices, as people seek out value for their $$.  In saying that we still found prices to be reasonable and would return to enjoy another meal.

You can finish your meal with some very reasonably priced tempting desserts at Bistro G, or head across to Zacs coffee shop, just opposite the Bistro, for decadent iced chocolate or coffee.

Saturday lunch stil has the Goose Club running their raffles.   Make sure you support these friendly chaps, purchasing tickets from them as you come in the main door, or when they do the rounds of the tables.   We were lucky enough to win a meat tray, size has decreased immensely to what meat trays used to be, however, there is something feel good about leaving a venue with a meat tray.   It does make you feel like your visit was worth it!

Drop in if you’re looking for a fresh enjoyable meal at a reasonable price.   Standard menus are usually topped up with daily specials, you never know what might be offer.