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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


What's travel without food? And what better way to savour it than by following local tips. Our best meal quite the best views having survived the treacherous drive was at Admirals Arms in Coromandel.

Even if it's only for a meal here, the drive from Thames makes a trip to this historic 1872 property well worth it. Brian, our wonderful host at 'The Little Farm' showed us where it stood from his home. With the view of the coastline, it looked spectacular.

"Leave early," he told us, "if it isn't too cold, you can even sit outside and take in the sunset."

We took his word for that. Arrived just as the restaurant was set to open its doors for dinner. The special was being written and we were the first in. It was the warmest of welcomes. Soon the place was filling up with several regulars and some visitors like us. Almost everyone seemed to know everyone. The familiarity of a small town rubbing us right. I realised we were heading to the end of our Kiwi adventure and I hadn't gone through a cheese spread. Yes, its supposed to end the meal but I decided to start things with it. Ummmmm, it was perfect, exactly like the food which arrived well in time. Fresh salad, melt in your mouth meats, crunchy nuggets - none of us was complaining. All of it was easy on the wallet too. Closing at a tad over $100 with wine thrown in, we sure had reason to smile after bidding our wonderful hostess adieu.

It was a similar story in Rotorua which packed amazing sights, sounds and food. Our hosts at Westminster Lodge gave us the perfect start by setting us in the direction of the Fat Dog Cafe on Day One. If this isn't temptation enough.....

then this might work....

Or for the strict foodie at heart, only the menu longlist will do. I tucked into the most delectable lamb korma, awesome wine followed by just a bite of their sinful dessert. Trust them when they say it's "enough for two hounds." Breakfast at Fat Dog can take you through the day, dinner is enough to get you skipping breakfast the next morning.

Didn't make it to the other highly recommended place - Pig & Whistle. We got a little side-tracked by a couple of other local recommendations. But once you've gone through Fat Dog, it's a tough match.

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