Queenstown is amazing for eating out and I also love all the produce that is made and sold here. Keeping it local and real is something I strive to keep doing in this world and you can get both when you discover your Staycation Dinner and Shopping at Graze at Lake Hayes Estate. A mere hop, skip and a car ride out to Lake Hayes Estate from the town centre, sees everything you could ever need in one place. Want a gorgeous dinner out with your beau then Graze has a beautiful menu for you to choose from. Want homemade pickle for your burger, they have that too in their shop. Meandering on your steed on the amazing trails in the area and discover you need a bite to eat and a drink to quench your thirst they are right there next to the track. What more you could want?
I visited for dinner and a meander around the lovely corner shop. The dinner menu is great if you want a lovely ‘small bite’ or larger main. Of course you’ll do what I did and started with a small dish and then just had to try something else which turned into dessert, main, small bite, coffee. All washed down with a little tipple. Maybe find a friend to stay with on Lake Hayes Estate so you can stay there all night. Because you will. Trust me.
We tried the Matakana blue cheese with rhubarb relish and oatcakes. I absolutely love blue cheese and this was strong and firm. Mixing really well with the tangy rhubarb and crumbly oatcake biscuits. We also had some calamari with kaffir lime dipping sauce which is such a good mixture of flavours. A good tangy Lake Hayes Pinot Gris to match my pan-fried chicken breast celeriac, sautéed kale and jus. A deliciously comforting dish while the wind was whipping around outside in the hills. Have you seen the view?
We couldn’t leave without tasting the desserts. I always opt for sharing a dessert and then you can pretend you didn’t order it (but then take control of the other spoon.) We had chocolate and buttermilk delice with poached pear and hazelnut praline. I know. You’re running over there now. Light, simple and so tasty with the pear balancing out the richness of the chocolate. Yumbo. A new word I’m using for all things delicious.
All this wrapped up in the knowledge that in their heart of hearts this gorgeous pair (owners Jana and Hamish) want to create something from scratch. Made right there. Made by hand. Beer is brewed on site (yes there’s also a pub) and local wines and drinks. They really really work hard to try and listen to what people want, from locals who live right there to people passing by on bikes (think smoothies and superfoods) to people coming in for their holidays (ice creams, wine and delicious mains). Everything is covered. And I for one am making this place a part of my holiday in my own town.