Part of the joy of visiting a new place is discovering those wonderful “local secrets”, and here at Marlborough Lodge we’re all too happy to share those Marlborough secrets with our guests so they can enjoy them for themselves.
Every town has its share of locals’ favourite hangouts, and in Blenheim, Ritual Cafe is one example.
This central Blenheim cafe has an eclectic style, a food cabinet to die for and of course fantastic coffee. You can either chat to the locals, or unwind with an adult colouring in book in the retro booths if you so prefer.
The Marlborough Farmers’ Market deserves a mention.
This chilled out Sunday morning event at Blenheim’s A&P Park is as much a chance for the region’s producers to sell their wares as it is for locals to meet up and have a coffee, a freshly prepared, locally-sourced hot breakfast and a good chat.
And you haven't really experienced Marlborough without a gourmet pie from The Burleigh accompanied by delicious coffee.
Another hidden source of amazing Marlborough produce is the home - literally - of honey producers J Bush & Sons, who have made local honey for 100 years. Only the locals know that you can fill your own containers straight from their vats, once you locate their wonderfully original pack-house at the end of an overgrown driveway. Expect to find friendly beekeepers full of knowledge who are always keen to share information as they pour golden honey from the tap for you.
Come summer, Hedgerows Hydroponic Strawberries is a must-go, where you will have no trouble spotting the huge, luscious red berries growing within the glasshouses before you even park the car. Hedgerows’ stall, open all summer, is small and friendly and the strawberries picked daily - plus they sell real fruit ice cream too.
And what goes better with strawberries than bubbles? Luckily, Marlborough Lodge is smack bang in the middle of the region’s wine country, so there’s plenty of options to pair your punnet of fresh red goodness with.
One of those options is just a short drive or bike ride from Marlborough Lodge: Methode traditionelle Champagne makers, No1 Family Estate, where the Le Brun family have an impressive 12 generations of Champagne making behind them.
But back to the fruit which in Marlborough grows aplenty, and not just the grapes. Best of all, in many cases you can pick your own, from cherries to raspberries or blackberries - just ask Marlborough Lodge’s staff to point you in the direction of the nearest orchard.
There are many more local secrets than can ever be mentioned here, but we can’t give all of them away now can we, you'll have to come and discover a few of your own to share with us…