Category Archives: Marlborough

Part of the Family - Guest Blog

Posted by Website Admin on November 03, 2017

Susan Boehnstedt from Critics Choice Vacations recently visited New Zealand and Australia, and stayed with us during her travels. Here is an excerpt from her travel blog...

We flew to Blenheim where we once again rented a self-drive car and stayed at the charming Marlborough Lodge for 2 nights. This is a smaller boutique property in the heart of the Marlborough wine producing country. Fields are rich with vines and the landscape more of rolling fields and hills than cliffs and bays. We were met upon arrival by a lovely glass of local Sauvignon Blanc and our uber gracious host and GM, Mr. Peter White who was a wealth of knowledge about the area as well as the history of the property itself, which was once a convent.

This boutique and charming property is eclectic, historical, modern and relaxed all in one location. Lush gardens and ponds surround the property and are free to be explored on foot or by bike. A lavender path lines the entrance of the Marlborough Lodge where you are met by staff at the stain glassed entry doors as you are welcomed in. Given that the property is small, you really have a chance to mix and mingle with the other guests on site which was a real treat. Rooms were large and well-appointed with lovely fabrics, soft colors, dynamic smelling roses and flowers from their garden and interesting and diverse artwork dons all of the walls of the lodge.  Dinner is more relaxed and family style without missing any touches of elegance. Bravo to Peter, Ben, Jessica and Marie for making our stay so memorable and making us feel like part of the family

While in the area we opted to take in the famous local museum called Omaka Aviation Heritage Center a great collection of WWI and WWII history and artifacts with a very experiential component to the Museum. If in the Marlborough area, it should not be missed.  A few highlights from our brief visit there.

While in the Marlborough region, on our final day we enjoyed a beautiful and educational Marlborough Tour Company Greenshell Mussel Cruise tour on Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound and learned all about the farming and harvesting of the famous NZ green mussels. We of course were able to enjoy them fresh out of the water, steamed and with a lovely glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc.  The photos below highlight a few of the images we captured during our cruise and the waters are indeed as teal green as you see below. I must say this was one of the highlights of our trip, very relaxing and so different for an AZ girl. If you are in the area, don't miss this!

Read Susan's full blog

 

 

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Experiencing Marlborough

Posted by Website Admin on October 16, 2017

At The Marlborough Lodge you don’t even have to leave the grounds to start your world class Marlborough wine experience.

Our private wine tasting sessions are held right here at the lodge; we have a variety of wineries on our doorstep, and our own vineyard on site.

Although we do not make our own wine at the lodge, we are in the envious position of having very close relationships with many winemakers. To customise your own exclusive wine tasting experience here at the lodge, we will bring in a winemaker/sommelier so you can sample their wine, along with several others from the area, while being guided through each for a thorough understanding of the complexity, diversity and characteristics of what you are tasting.

If you want to get into wine country and stretch your legs at the same time, we recommend a truly local Marlborough experience with a guided cycle tour. Karen of Explore Marlborough will take you on a small, personal tour off the beaten track seeking out some of Marlborough’s hidden wine gems.

If after all that wine you’d like to tempt your tastebuds with local fare, visit Hedgerows for exquisitely red, juicy hydroponically grown strawberries and real fruit ice cream, best enjoyed in situ with views into the glasshouses where the strawberries grow.

Hedgerows strawberries

And what goes well with strawberries (besides champagne – find that at the No 1 Family Estate cellar door nearby)? Chocolate. At the Makana Chocolate Factory, not far from our front door at the lodge, you can see delicious treats being made right before your eyes, not to mention sample them before you decide which you’d like to take home.

If a cruise on the stunning Marlborough Sounds takes your fancy, then joining the Pelorus Mail Boat from Havelock or the Beachcomber Mail Boat Cruise from Picton  will provide you with the most authentic experience of daily Sounds life in either Pelorus Sound or Queen Charlotte Sound.

A luxury cruising option is a half day Marlborough Sounds cruise on a launch or yacht complete with a delicious chef-prepared lunch featuring local produce and wine.

MV Tarquin

To truly get away from it all, a unique day out is our D’Urville Island Sightseeing, Fishing and Lunch heli tour, which takes you to remote places few have experienced. Enjoy a fantastic day out flying over the spectacular Marlborough Sounds’ outer reaches to a remote rocky outcrop where you will land and get the chance to throw in a fishing line. This secluded spot will guarantee to have you winding in your blue cod catch within minutes of casting off. The views from here are fantastic too; see out to the far reaches of Golden Bay and, to the north, see the volcanic peaks of the central North Island.

Lunch at a "bach" in a pristine bay on an island in the Marlborough Sounds

Then it’s time to fly to D’Urville Island where you will land in a remote, pristine bay. Your freshly caught lunch will be cooked and served on the deck of the private “bach” (New Zealand beach house). This is the perfect spot to stop and take in the beautiful scenery of this unique area. It is then a quick 20 minute flight back over the Marlborough Sounds and the lodge, arriving back mid afternoon.

Back at the lodge, round off your day with some astronomy featuring our neighbour and world-renowned backyard astronomer Bill Allen. Bill will come to the lodge and share his knowledge of the stars. The Marlborough sky is clear and has very little light pollution, making it the perfect place to view the stars and planets, and with Bill on hand and the use of a telescope you can see and understand the Southern Hemisphere a little better. For keen astronomers, private tours with Bill can be arranged at his property where he has his own observatory.

Marlborough features much to see, do, experience and taste. Just ask, and we’ll point you in the right direction and make any bookings required. 

More Locals to Meet

Posted by Sharon Hill on October 09, 2017

The Harvest Restaurant team believe that knowing the story behind each and every ingredient they use at The Marlborough Lodge is critical so that they can confidently combine these to create dishes that showcase the fantastic local produce.

Our team has a philosophy of simple, fresh, local and seasonal cuisine, and use what is fresh in our gardens along with creating great relationships with our suppliers, so they can confidently tell you where and how the products in our dishes were grown.

Those supplier relationships now also work in the reverse where our producers understand what we are creating and are calling the team when they believe they have that one off item that would be perfect for us or simply letting us know when the first of the season is on its way. This means our menu is ever-changing; although there will always be some Harvest classic favourites on the menu. 

As you would imagine our producers are critical to us to allow us to create our menus and, in recognition of their efforts and our ongoing relationship with them, we thought it timely to provide you with a little background on some of these fantastic producers. This is the third in the series, following our earlier Meet the Locals and Meet More Locals blogs.

ViaVio

Producing Italian-style cheese from locally-sourced, natural New Zealand ingredients was the dream of two Romans with a deep passion for food and wine.

Flavio and Flavia searched the country for the best location for their dream, and settled on Nelson for its source of high quality milk. 

Now paired up with Italian Master of Cheese Matteo, ViaVio  produces scamorza, caciocavallo, stracchino, ricotta, mozzarella, fonta, burrata and more - beautiful artisan cheeses which we at The Marlborough Lodge love pairing up with the most superb match of Marlborough wine.

Photo: www.bite.co.nz

NuggetyCreek Farm

Our free-range pork is sourced from just a few kilometres away, where pastures surround the crystal-clear Wakamarina River that flows from the spectacular Mt Richmond Forest Park.

NuggetyCreek Farm, owned by Melvyn and Denyse Goodall, breeds Wessex Saddleback pigs that live a completely free-range existence, constrained only by the property’s boundary fences. The Goodalls follow organic practices and aim to give their pigs a pleasurable, stress-free life because “happy pigs provide very tasty meat”.

The meat is butchered in Blenheim before arriving in our kitchen: It really doesn’t get fresher than that.

Photo: NuggetyCreek Farm

 

Old Road Estate

Old Road Estate’s fig and feijoa orchards are located so close to The Marlborough Lodge that the term “freshly picked” is true in every sense.

Personally delivered to our kitchen by the very people who grow and handpick them, these figs and feijoas truly are an autumn delight that grows bountifully in Marlborough’s perfectly suited climate.

Old Road Estate[SH3]  has been operating for 20 years now from its humble beginnings of just two Brown Turkey Fig Trees, which were sourced from the Middle East, to 270 fig trees and many more feijoa plants today. Our personal supplier Emily ensures The Marlborough Lodge always receives the highest quality fruit from her family’s orchard, and our chefs delight in creating something truly special for our guests.

Photo: Old Road Estate

Kinzett Tomatoes

Based just around the corner from The Marlborough Lodge are the locally-owned and operated Kinzett greenhouses where we source our tomatoes year-round.

Paul and Kaye Kinzett are continuing a long family tradition of growing tomatoes, initially outdoors over a century ago and then in glasshouses from 1970.

Kinzett’s tomatoes are grown hydroponically within the 2ha glasshouses for optimum flavour and being so close the source, The Marlborough Lodge’s chefs know these tomatoes are the freshest they can possibly be.

Photo: www.yara.co.nz

 

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Marlborough Experiences

Posted by Website Admin on October 02, 2017

Here at The Marlborough Lodge we enjoy a beautiful balance of upmost seclusion and privacy within our sprawling grounds, with being surprisingly close to a number of fabulous wineries, restaurants and other destinations.

In fact, we are so well located on Marlborough’s Golden Mile of wine that you do not even need to drive to some of them. Simply take a relaxing walk past the vineyards, or even enjoy a short bike ride over the sweeping flat Wairau Plain.

The obvious places to go are, of course, some of the region’s top wineries. Grab a complimentary lodge bike and pedal at your leisure to Hunter’s - don’t miss Clarry Neame’s art studio - St Clair, Allan Scott, Cloudy Bay, No.1 Family Estate, Georges Michel and Rock Ferry Wines to name just a few.  If a tour is more your thing then ask us about our private wine tasting tour, exclusive to lodge guests.

Most of these wineries also have fabulous restaurants - the hardest part will be choosing which one to stop at for lunch. Branch out and quench your thirst with a visit to the local beer cellar door, Moa Brewery. Also worth a mention is the Vines Village, where a lakeside lunch or coffee goes hand in hand with Whitehaven’s cellar door, boutique shops and giant chess.

Photo: Vines Village

If you’d like to experience Marlborough from the air, then our Marlborough Sounds Highlights heli tour might be just the ticket. With pick up from the Lodge helipad, take a tour by air of the Marlborough Sounds with a landing and bush walk at Dillon Bell Point. This fantastic tour provides you with a bird’s eye view of the area's magnificent waterways and then lands you on the water’s edge where you can take a short walk into the pristine bush, or add a picnic style lunch.

Marlborough Sounds, by helicopter

Marlborough has strong sheep farming roots, as seen in our Farm Experience tour. Paul and Muff Newton at Kaituna Ridges will demonstrate sheep herding where their skilled heading and eye dogs will show off their skills in bringing a mob of sheep in - all controlled by Muff or Paul’s whistle. A wool shearing demonstration is followed by a traditional farm morning tea with freshly baked scones and a good cuppa, while Paul and Muff chat about their daily life on the farm in their fun and typically understated rural New Zealand way.

Marlborough has many rivers that are ideal for fly fishing. Experience fishing the Pelorus, a serene and beautiful river holding large numbers of both rainbow and brown trout. It offers different types of water for all angling skill levels and many open stretches with good access.

Upper reaches of the river are only accessible by helicopter and the middle and lower reaches by vehicle. Helicopter, transport, private guides and all fishing equipment can be arranged.

If staying close to The Marlborough Lodge appeals, then you may like to consider our Garden to Plate experience: the chef’s vegetable garden tour and cooking demonstration. Shadow one of our chefs as they select the freshest produce from the lodge vegetable garden and then demonstrate how best to prepare a dish. With first-hand knowledge of the vegetables gathered and the skills learned from our experienced chef team, your next dinner is sure to be a hit.

If all these fantastic Marlborough experiences have left you in need of rest and relaxation, you might like to indulge in a massage treatment. In the privacy of your own room, our experienced massage therapist will use a combination of massage techniques to increase circulation, relieve muscle tension and promote a state of deep relaxation.

There is a lot you can see, do, experience and taste in Marlborough and even within just five to 10 minutes of the Lodge. Just ask, and we’ll point you in the right direction and make any bookings required. 

 

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Art at the Lodge

Posted by Website Admin on September 25, 2017

From local produce to local wine and now local art, enriching our guests’ luxury experience by celebrating the best of Marlborough, and New Zealand, in the most authentic way is a core feature of what we offer guests at The Marlborough Lodge.

The artworks that we choose to display throughout the lodge have a big part to play in this experience. Each exquisite piece has been carefully hand-picked to convey the story and history of our country, with the intention that our guests may learn more about this very special part of the world and reflect our inherent and unique creativity.

In our Great Room, enjoy Sofia Minson’s ‘Ranginui’ - the form of this portrait was inspired by  hundreds of black and white 19th and 20th century photographs of Maori and historical portraits by C.F. Goldie and Gottfried Lindauer. Sofia describes him as a Rangatira (Maori chief), and a positive symbol of the wisdom and evolution of the culture. He embraces past, present and future and is an exceptional element of her recent Sacred Mirrors series of works.

Beside Ranginui sits Nelson’s Sally Burton’s stunning depiction of the Wairau Bar on Marlborough’s east coast, representing the earliest Maori settlement in our region, overlaid with moa eggs in the shape of a welcome leis. 

 This truly is a story of Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Sofia Minson’s ‘Ranginui’ & Sally Burton’s work based on the Wairau Bar

Or, take a seat by renowned New Zealand contemporary artist Karl Maughan’s fabulous garden scene with the Richmond Ranges depicted in the background.

Karl Maughan’s work is among the most readily identifiable in contemporary New Zealand art. He is recognised for his hyper-real paintings of lush gardens and native fauna - flower gardens, vegetable gardens, manicured bushes and out-of-control wildernesses - Maughan finds inspiration in them all.

He loves the narratives that viewers create for themselves as they enter his paintings. Viewers can fantasise walking along the garden paths, among the super bright flowers and sunlight dappled bushes. 

Come and imagine your own journey into Karl Maughan's garden whilst savouring delicious food and wine in our dining room.


Karl Maughan

Then move through to our casual dining area and meet our "Million Dollar Duck" by New Zealand artist Joanna Braithwaite. The tightrope between reality and the surreal is explored through Joanna's love of animals and her fascination with the human qualities of their personalities.

Joanna states that animals have been terrific subjects to paint, not only because she loves painting them – the colours, the textures, their characteristics – but also people’s relationship with animals, the balance of power, and people’s ability to compartmentalise these relationships with animals, fascinates her.

We love how he lords over the dining room and seeing people’s reaction to this painting.

Joanna Braithwaite

You will also find one of New Zealand's best known landscape photographers, Craig Potton featured on our walls:

Jetty Lake Mapourika – Craig Potton

Then there is this quintessential Kelvin McMillan Kiwi landscape. Although unusually for him this is an oil painting, it certainly showcases yet another area of New Zealand. Kelvin is more well-known for his watercolours and we have several of these in other areas of the lodge.

Kelvin McMillan

South Island artist Mark Rodgers’ realism style is shown here to great effect with this Central Otago landscape which he has become renowned for.

Mark Rodgers

 And Queenstown-based artist Graeme Brinsley's Milford Sound is also on display.

Graeme Brinsley

This is just a sample of the Marlborough Lodge’s large and eclectic art collection. So when you’re visiting, be sure to take the time to wander around the lodge’s many rooms and take in some of the very talented New Zealand artworks on show - of course with a glass of sauvignon blanc in hand. 

 

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Meet More Locals

Posted by Website Admin on September 18, 2017

The story behind each and every ingredient used by the Harvest Restaurant team at The Marlborough Lodge is critical to them so that they can confidently combine these to create dishes that showcase the fantastic local produce.

With a philosophy of simple, fresh, local and seasonal, our team uses what is fresh in our gardens along with creating great relationships with our suppliers, so they can confidently tell you where and how the products in our dishes were grown.

Those relationships now also work in the reverse where our suppliers understand what we are creating and are calling the team when they believe they have that one off item that would be perfect for us or simply letting us know when the first of the season is on its way. This means our menu is ever-changing; although there will always be some Harvest classic favourites on the menu. 

As you would imagine our producers are critical to us to allow us to create our menus and, in recognition of their efforts and our ongoing relationship with them, we thought it timely to provide you with a little background on some of these fantastic producers. This is the second in the series, following our earlier Meet the Locals blog.

Kaikoura Cheese

Beneath Kaikoura’s majestic snow-capped mountain range and next to the wild Pacific Ocean, a herd of goats and a flock of Jersey cows are the beginnings of some of New Zealand’s most celebrated artisan cheeses.

Daniel and Sarah Jenkins of Kaikoura Cheese have overcome incredible odds to create their award-winning range of handcrafted cheeses which attracted the attention of respected cheese connoisseurs less than two years after their first flock of just three goats was used to turn out their first cheese attempt.

A business born from a desire to leave earthquake-ravaged Christchurch would itself become a story of survival and pure community spirit when Kaikoura itself was hit, and isolated, by a massive earthquake in 2016. Yet, through sheer ingenuity and persistence, the Jenkins’ have continued to create their sought-after cheeses; With demand high for this limited product, the Marlborough Lodge is proud to be on Kaikoura Cheese’s list of customers in order to serve this finest of cheese to our guests and tell its inspiring story.

Photo: Kaikoura Cheese

Pinoli

Here in Marlborough we are lucky enough to have the only commercial producer of pine nuts in the southern hemisphere: Pinoli.

So it stands to reason that this niche local product, which is in high demand overseas and in the culinary world in general, features on our menu at The Marlborough Lodge. 

Established nearly 20 years ago in the Wairau Valley near Blenheim by Andy and Barbara Wiltshire, the first of Pinoli’s Mediterranean stone pine nuts took 12 years to emerge on the local market. Pinoli now has six plantations, totalling 40,000 mature pines, scattered across Marlborough and one further south.

Premium Game

From the purest New Zealand back country comes some of the most incredible wild venison, pork and thar you’ll ever taste - and The Marlborough Lodge chefs have access to some of the best.

Premium Game has a team of registered hunters who roam Marlborough’s most isolated and untouched high country to supply certified wild meat which, due to stringent regulations, has all locations strictly plotted and recorded. All meat is processed in Premium Game’s Blenheim factory. 

These wild animals have spent their lives eating native herbs and grasses and, being in top physical condition, result in lean meat with unique gamey flavours that is loved by chefs and foodies the world over.

Photo: Premium Game

Thymebank

Based on beautiful Hammerichs Road in the heart of wine country and mere minutes away from The Marlborough Lodge is Thymebank, owned by the Roberts family.

Here, they grow hydroponic lettuces, herbs and other greens such as watercress that are sent to restaurants and retail outlets around the top of the South Island and the bottom of the North Island - although the largest share remains right here in Marlborough.

Photo: Thymebank

Yellow Brick Road

Sourcing our food from sustainable suppliers without compromising on freshness, quality and flavour is very important to us at Harvest restaurant, and one of the best examples of this is Yellow Brick Road which supplies us with fresh fish.

This company, with its roots in Nelson and run by renowned Wellington chef and restaurateur Martin Bosley, was established in 2006 to reward those who fish and farm responsibly by distributing the resulting sustainably-produced product to New Zealand’s leading restaurants.

Even better, all fish sourced through Yellow Brick Road that is caught in Marlborough’s own Cloudy Bay has been certified by European agency Friend of the Sea - the only such certification in the country. 

Photo: Yellow Brick Road

Keep an eye out for the next installment of our local produce supplier blog…

 

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Spring is (nearly) Sprung

Posted by Website Admin on August 29, 2017

Marlborough has four very distinct seasons, each with its own climate – though sunshine is the common, very welcome factor throughout the year.

This year spring has arrived in Marlborough a little earlier than September. Cherry blossoms, frolicking lambs, snow-capped mountains against a blue sky, warm afternoons on a lawn or veranda sipping the latest vintage Sauvignon Blanc - this is how Marlborough does spring, and it does it very well indeed.

Not only the cherries, but also the almond, apricot and many other fruit trees - in Marlborough’s orchards and parks alike - are brimming with colour. Visit us in late spring, and you might just be able to sample, or even pick, some of these naturally delicious treats straight from the tree.

Here at the Lodge one of our favourite spring vistas is from Spring Creek, which runs through the estate, looking south west where the Lodge is framed by fields of daffodils.

Perhaps less visible, but certainly very important, are the tiny, delicate green buds forming and sprouting on the grape vines that mark the most tender beginnings of what will, in just a few months, be Marlborough’s next vintage.

This is called “bud burst”, the end of the vines’ dormant winter stage, and the first variety to do so is Chardonnay, then Pinot Noir, with Sauvignon Blanc following two to three weeks later.

Photo: www.vicaragelane.co.nz

It’s essential for our viticulturists to protect these precious beginnings of their future crop and many spend long nights on frost watch: The impressive outline of hovering helicopters and spinning frost fans against the sunrise, working hard to keep the frost of vines by creating an inversion layer, is a familiar Marlborough spring scene.

What follows is flowering, then fruit set, ripening (veraison) and - the grand finale to the cycle that Marlborough is so finely tuned to - harvest.

From The Marlborough Lodge, the growing process is something you can observe first-hand. From within our expansive grounds are not only parklike gardens, but also some of the vineyards that create our world-class wines and all around, and accessible to you, are the local wineries, and winemakers, who make the magic happen.

To dive into Marlborough wine, simply book a wine tour, or drive, bike or walk to the nearest winery from the lodge, to find out all the interesting behind-the-scenes goings-on about our large and vibrant wine industry, from the people who make it happen.

And when you’ve had your fill of wine for the day (is there such a thing?), you could do something completely different and head north to Picton for an afternoon in the warm sunshine by the sea, or perhaps get out on the water for a seafood cruise - you’ll quickly be convinced it’s already summer.

See our Spring into Spring package and join us to enjoy this beautiful season.

 

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A world away, yet oh so close

Posted by Website Admin on June 01, 2017

In times gone by, New Zealand was part of the exotic and intriguing 'South Pacific' region, a long journey into the unknown by only the most intrepid of travellers. These days, thankfully, New Zealand is an easy to get to and much-visited destination for many travellers, and on many a bucket list of those yet to experience the delights of 'down under'.

Marlborough, at the top of New Zealand's South Island, still has a touch of that remote and untouched paradise about it. Luckily for travellers, however, Marlborough is right in the centre of New Zealand and easily accessible from just about anywhere.

In terms of flying there are plenty of options, with Blenheim Airport just 10 minutes drive from the Lodge:

  • Air New Zealand flies direct to Blenheim from main cities Auckland (1hr 25 mins) and Wellington (25 mins)
  • Sounds Air flies from Wellington (25 mins), Kaikoura (30 mins), Christchurch (50 mins) and Napier (60 mins)
  • Helicopter transfers from Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington, or another location, direct to the Lodge are also possible.

Other transfer options include ferry and car:

  • From Wellington, take a 3 hour ferry ride on foot or with your vehicle. Cruise across the Cook Strait and through the stunning Marlborough Sounds onboard Interislander or Blue Bridge ferry services; It’s then a short 20 minute drive from Picton to the Lodge.
  • From Christchurch, it’s approximately a six hour drive through the beautiful Arthurs Pass and past Saint Arnaud alpine villages nestled on the shores of Lake Rotoiti.
  • From Nelson, it’s just 80 minutes drive to Blenheim, passing through the ancient beech forests at Pelorus River – where The Hobbit was filmed – and past Havelock, the Greenshell mussel capital of the world.

Once you’re here in Marlborough and enveloped in all the brilliant scenery – not to mention world-class wine and delectable local produce – it takes no imagination at all to feel you’re a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Marlborough has just been included in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 10 World Wine Destinations 2017, amongst numerous other accolades, and you’re never stuck for ideas of what to do during your stay here. Simply enjoy the peace and tranquillity, take a wine tour or a seafood cruise to celebrate the region’s icons, enjoy the delicious cuisine offered at many eateries around the region including breakfast and dinner at the Lodge, get active with hiking or biking the many trails, or go on the hunt with fishing and hunting trips.

Whether you're here for a holiday, a special celebration or for a mini break from the Lions Tour, ensure take your camera, because every minute – from sunrise to sunset – is a great photo op in Marlborough.

You can relax and enjoy the region’s splendour for as long as you’re able knowing that, while it might be hard to tear yourself away at the end of your stay, the logistics of leaving Marlborough and heading to your next port of call are as easy as when you arrived. 

Check out our Packages page to see what we have coming up at the Lodge to tempt you to Marlborough.

 

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Local Secrets

Posted by Website Admin on May 25, 2017

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…

 

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Lunch, Marlborough Style

Posted by Website Admin on October 07, 2016

While staying at Marlborough Lodge, there is every reason to enjoy the best of Marlborough’s world-class food and wine scene by taking a long, very long, lunch.

The lodge is perfectly located in the heart of Marlborough’s famed “golden mile” of wineries, and there are no shortage of choices for a sumptuous cafe, cellar door or restaurant lunch. Or, you can choose to seek lunch further afield to combine the outing with a drive through stunning Marlborough scenery or a cruise in the stunning Marlborough Sounds.

Golden Mile lunch

The closest all-year winery lunch options to The Marlborough Lodge are Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen, Rock Ferry Wines Cafe, Wairau River Wines and Twelve Trees Restaurant at Allan Scott Wines – all within easy biking distance, some even a short walk.

Within minutes of leaving your Marlborough Lodge suite you can be seated at your sunny courtyard table, crisp sauvignon blanc in hand, in summer, or fireside with a glass of red in winter.

Also nearby is Vines Village Cafe which offers a more casual lunch experience, perfect for families, with sweeping views overlooking a private pond to the northern ranges, and a shopping village to explore following lunch.

Menus in all these establishments focus on fresh and local ingredients and flavours, so you can expect a great Marlborough taste experience every time.

    

Urban lunch

Blenheim is a short, easy drive from The Marlborough Lodge.

On the banks of the Taylor River you’ll find Raupo, which offers a French-infused menu combined with Kiwi favourites. For a more casual bite to eat and a great coffee, Watery Mouth Cafe overlooking central Seymour Square offers a selection of lunch options with a view, or try 23 Grove Rd Coffee House on the main highway opposite the train station (there’s parking round the back).

For a gourmet twist on the classic Kiwi pie, head for The Burleigh delicatessen on New Renwick Road. Don’t let the small, unassuming shop front put you off - within its walls are incredible award-winning pork belly, steak and blue cheese and jerk chicken pies, and pork shoulder sausage rolls, along with delicious coffee.

Scenic lunch

Head west from The Marlborough Lodge where vineyards turn into lush green valleys, and you’ll eventually find yourself in Havelock; head east, and it’s Picton. Either destination marks one end of the celebrated, scenic Queen Charlotte Drive - make a day of it, and do lunch on the way!

In Havelock, enjoy fresh Greenshell mussels at the Slip Inn overlooking the marina, with the knowledge that this seafood was grown in the very water you are looking at.

In Picton, Le Cafe on the waterfront is as popular with visitors as it is locals for its good coffee and fresh food. Across the intersection is Cafe Cortado, where seafood and pizza feature high on the menu while set slightly back from waterfront crowds you’ll find Gusto renowned for its coffee.

There’s no shortage in Marlborough to treat yourself to a delicious lunch in a beautiful place - the most difficult part is choosing where to go.

Luxury cruise lunch

For a deliciously decadent dining experience, you could head out on our private launch MV Tarquin from Picton for an onboard chef-prepared gourmet lunch paired with Marlborough wine. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while you dine alfresco on the deck or inside the cabin, where the stunning views are just as good.

While staying at Marlborough Lodge, there is every reason to enjoy the best of Marlborough’s world-class food and wine scene by taking a long, very long, lunch.

The lodge is perfectly located in the heart of Marlborough’s famed “golden mile” of wineries, and there are no shortage of choices for a sumptuous cafe, cellar door or restaurant lunch. Or, you can choose to seek lunch further afield to combine the outing with a drive through stunning Marlborough scenery.

  

Picnic lunch

Have the kitchen whip you up a delicious picnic lunch and let your exploring take you where you wish - be it the beach, riverside, to the hills, among the vineyards, in a park or in the forest.

Just ask one of our staff for ideas, directions and transport if required. 

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What our customers say

Extremely pleasant stay, regret we cannot stay longer, will recommend in all aspects to our travel agency.

Bingel

Fabulous!

Molly

She said 'yes'! Thank you so much for making this weekend so special.

Andrew & Katie - NZ

What a wonderful way to spend a few days away from a usually busy life in a special place. One special Christmas.

Phil