Friday, August 2, 2013

Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel - Okoroire

We had seen the signs to this hotel earlier so detoured past on our way home from Raglan. What a wonderful setting! So quiet, so peaceful, just the occasional thwack from a club hitting a ball on the golf course across the road (and the odd passing car).
The food was good, just typical "pub meals". The chicken burger was a little disappointing in that it was a reconstituted pattie rather a piece of chicken.
The helping of potato wedges was very generous, we could happily have shared the bowl.
A walk to the bottom of the property took us to the natural hot pools that were the reason the hotel was built here in the 1880s. The train took travellers as far as Tirau (then called Oxford) and the coach route then conveyed them past the hotel on their way to Rotorua. Many stopped here to 'take the waters'. The pools empty straight into the Waihou River that has a spectacular waterfall/rapids/gorge that you can see from another path back to the hotel.
Visit date: 30 July 2013

Harbour View Hotel - Raglan

Heaps of character in this tastefully restored old pub.
The antipasto platter to share was almost a meal in itself. Our only complaint with it was that the bread was too toasted and thus was pretty useless with the dipping oils.
The chicken salad was beautifully presented. The lamb shank (not pictured) was simple and just as one would expect, with green beans that were cooked to perfection - just slightly al dente.
The Chocolate and Grand Marnier Tart was an indulgence that our waistlines said we should have avoided so we compromised and shared it.
The restaurant has been well restored although "Rimu" stained finger-jointed pine used for the external doors was quite out of period and the gas fire reasonably ineffective even though we were almost sitting in it.
Period detail upstairs.
The rooms are very basic with bathrooms along the corridor, but I guess that is true to the period - and is reflected in the price ($NZ80 per night) Visit date: 29 July 2013

Brian Boru - Thames

We decided to celebrate the anniversary of our return to NZ with a visit to Thames as the Thames is the defining feature of London where we had spent the previous decade. There are a number of historic hotels in Thames, along with a significant collection of other old buildings from the gold-mining era and after a pleasant morning exploring the streets we decided on the Brew Cafe in the Brian Boru Hotel for our lunch. The Roast Vegetable salad was very enjoyable. The decor reflected the name - brewing bits and bobs and the table markers were very funky. My only complaint was that they had every flavour of Kopparberg Cider, except Pear - my favourite. As this outing occurred well before any thoughts of blogging surfaced, there is not a lot that can be added from memory. Visit date: 16 July 2013

Nottingham Castle Hotel - Morrinsville

Having visited the real Nottingham and seen the Castle we felt duty-bound to call in here while in Morrinsville. After being away from NZ for eleven years and being used to English Pubs, we were a little taken aback at the contrast. This is a typical NZ boozer with pokies, races on the widescreen and zero ambience. The food was dodgy looking pies in a warmer - to be avoided at all costs. We sampled a couple of ciders in the "beer garden" (Ha!) and left. Visit date: 6 January 2013