Do you know how relaxing and liberating it feels to not have your mobile phone or laptop with you when you go on holidays? No-one able to contact you. No feeling of "I should check my emails". I think this was
the reasons I felt so relaxed on my recent holiday.
The other reason would be the absolute beauty and peace of the South Island of New Zealand.
I've just spent the past two weeks travelling and eating my way around this amazing place and can I just say that I was in utter Heaven with a capital H. The scenery is nothing like we have here in Australia. Over there, I saw snow capped mountain ranges from just about every angle, sheep by the bucket full, lush green fields (and I mean every shade of green), loads more sheep and lakes of the most beautiful colour blue you could ever imagine. When you walked, your feet crunched on hundreds of pine cones falling from the millions of trees that were imported over to NZ from the Northern hemisphere - we could almost be forgiven for thinking we'd woken up in Switzerland each morning with the views that greeted us.
There were a number of highlights for me on this holiday which I want to share with you, but in summary, I just loved it. Every single bit of it.
Walking into this gorgeous home - a refurnished historic convent was my first feeling of relaxation. We'd had so many bumps and hiccups leading up to this holiday that we really didn't think it was going to happen. Miriam and Ken were so welcoming and so full of knowledge that we left the next morning with a plan and a lot more excitement for the trip that lay ahead - we were actually here!
My second highlight was a chance discovery. Ken from St Itas mentioned a restaurant we should try as we were headed South and were seafood lovers. He couldn't remember its name but that it was "Fleur's place". Who the hell was Fleur? We sure didn't know but we loved the sound of fresh fish being cooked straight from fishing boats. So we set off down the coast and found ourselves in a quaint little town called Oamaru, filled with a large number of beautiful historic limestone buildings, and for us, a yummy place for lunch which just happened to be called "
We loved this place - from the building, to the lovely staff and to the delicious food.
As we were taking a look around this restaurant we discovered who Fleur was and most importantly, where her seafood restaurant was. Chatting to the waiter we were dismayed to find out it was a 3 month wait to get into Fleur's Place (funnily enough, this is what the restaurant is actually called), however luck was on our side as sitting at the table next to us was the manager of the restaurant who mentioned he'd get us in if we got there before 7.30pm. Yippee! It was an understatement to say we were excited.
In short, we ended up spending one of the most memorable nights of our holiday eating freshly caught blue cod, green lipped mussels, clams, cockles and loads of other delicious seafood. As well as discovering who Fleur is (in my eyes, a seafood version of our Stephanie Alexander), as she helped serve the dishes and clear tables in her own restaurant located in the most gorgeous sleepy little fishing village called Moeraki.
Loads more to come so stay tuned.......