Monday, August 15, 2011

Greytown In A Bottle And On A Plate

This weekend Mr. Baker and I made the trip over the hill to the Wairarapa in order to partake of two of his favorite things: pies and pinot noir.  Wellington On A Plate were so accomodating to incorporate these two things into one great tasting event in such a lovely location for me, just so I could gift J with tickets and a weekend away for his birthday!  Or maybe I just got lucky....

We shacked up in style with a cozy little cottage, complete with woodburner and spa tub.  That's a huge improvement for us, Lords of the Oil Heater that we are!  Some wine, bread, smoked salmon (more luxury!), sausage and a selection of cheeses was our dinner on Friday night in front of the fire.  
Let me tell ya, this former Girl Scout rocked that fire!  I was using all my fire-building knowledge I learned when I was 13, making an upright A-frame with small bits and newspaper underneath to take it from little wee flames to rip-roaring bonfire.  What's that you say - I smell like woodsmoke?  That's just my fire-building badge of honor, sir/ma'am!  It's a lovely fragrance!  Eau de campfire!  It'll be all the rage next season!

I love Greytown.  It has some great lovely wee shops, and I can always find lots of stuff I want, but can't have yet because old Mr. BankAccount and his strict ways.  Also the things I so covet really belong in a nice house, not our leaky make-do flat.  Not that I don't love our flat, but I dream of the great farmhouse kitchen that I will build one day, and all the storage space it will have, and the shelves that will display my beautiful thingses.  Like these!

Me likey!

I want to make these pitchers, in this cerulean glaze.  Coz I lurves them.  I might sneak back here to buy one.
Both found at Mondo on Main Street.  Shopping and not buying is thirsty work, therefore a stop at the White Swan was in the cards.  Jonno never passes up the opportunity to check out a new watering hole!
Some refreshment before the main event!

Now for the Pies and Pinot, to be served at the lovely Wairarapa Wine Cellar.  Inside, it looks like a library of wine, my kind of decorating scheme!  How can you not buy a bottle when greeted with this lovely sight?

We were presented with five courses of pies, each paired with a different Pinot Noir, specially picked by some muckity-muck to do with some big hospitality organization.  He wore a big green collar thing with a gold chain and heaps of pins on it and pretty much looked like the Mayor of Pies and Pinot.  Sadly, I did not get a photo of my new hero.  I cry. 

The pinots, I don't really remember - let's just say the pourers were quite generous with their quantities and since we were all standing up at barrel tables, I felt tipsy pretty quickly.  And five rounds is quite ambitious.  Oh!  They greeted us with a glass of bubbly too, that was a nice way to come in from the cold and rain. 

The pies, they were a mixed bag.  We had coq au vin, rabbit, pork, angus beef, venison, lamb, and chocolate peach - all from different bakers.  They served each round with cards detailing the pie and the wine, some with actual recipes so that we could recreate them at home if we were so inclined.  I don't think I'm quite that adventurous - my favorite pie was the rabbit, which I'd never had before, and I don't really see myself rolling up to the butcher to buy me some bunny for dins.  Nah, don't think so.  I'll just eat the finished product, thankyouverymuch.

5x large portions of pinot makes for 1 tipsy pie-taster!
The only thing to do after many pies and pinots is to stumble back to the spa!!!  Then sleep it off in front of our crackling fire.  Ah, luxury. 

On our way out of town we detoured down south to Lake Ferry, mostly because I wanted to have lunch at the Lake Ferry Hotel, which I'd read about on the Crate Outdoors.  I was a bit underwhelmed - we were the only people there for lunch until about1:30 except for two suspect-looking chaps with many many tattoos, and the food definitely left us wanting.  The view out the window was lovely though, I could have sat there all day with a glass of wine and a book in front of their fire, if I didn't feel like I was being watched by some interesting folks. 

view at Lake Ferry during a brief spell of sunshine!
After lunch, it was a little more exploration of the South Wairarapa, then back over the hill.  We walked in our door ten minutes before the threatening southerlies arrived and the sky opened up with freezing rain (in our neighborhood) and snow (just about everywhere else in New Zealand).  I lit a candle, cranked the oil heater, and we cuddled down under some blankies, and it was almost like we were still in our cozy Greytown cottage. 

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