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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Rawson


Given our interest in settling in Havelock North, friend Ginny has driven me all over to give me a good view of what is on offer here and how we might live. Steve has been out cycling to get a lay of the land too and Dave was clever, taking Steve to the local Rose and Crown to entice him to Havelock North with the many beers and local brews that are available.

One particularly beautiful drive is around the Tukituki river area where life style blocks have taken shape. A tuscan-style home has been built on one and the long driveway has been planted with many cypress trees drawing you into the Italianate garden. Other homes have been designed to blend seamlessly with the landscape so as not to disturb the land or one’s view.

Part of the road looks across to the rear of Craggy Range Vineyard and their elegant guest cottages. Friends have stayed there and certainly vouch for the comfort and food on offer.

Friday night’s special treat for the four of us was at the little French restaurant, Poivre et Sel in Napier where we chose the two-course menu matched with wines. Delicious. Our apéro drink was a glass of bubbles at the gorgeous art deco pub a few doors up, The Masonic Hotel. Napier is the art-deco capital of New Zealand. Every year there’s an Art Deco week full of wonderful events including vintage car drives, with live music just about on every corner and everyone gets into the spirit of it, wearing full costumes of the era. Napier and the surrounding towns get booked up from one year to the next, it is so popular.

Fine dining at a French restaurant to fish & chips on the beach gives a great balance to any weekend. The weather forecast last night was perfect for our foray out to Haumoana beach where the best fish & chips can be found. They were superb! Perfectly crumbed gurnard fish and dry, chunky chips, washed down with a glass of Rose and beers for the boys tasted so good. Our music was the sea rolling in and out and the screeching of the gulls as they waited for the leftovers - there were very few!

Ginny and left the boys watching football while she and I ducked off to the Hastings Farmers Markets - held every Sunday morning. Coffee first then a wander past every stall to see what you might need. The smell of the breakfast bacon sandwich is tantalizing with many people unable to resist.

I waited beside the pond which Ginny got our coffees. I couldn't believe my eyes watching the eels popping up and being hand fed. The ducks didn't get a look-in. The eels were rather creepy, to be honest.

Off to Tauranga tomorrow for a few days to catch up with others.

The eel feeding at Hastings Farmers Market
Fish & Chips on the beach at Haumoana
Great view from the beach

Lunch time

Alfresco lunch at Gin and Dave's - could be in France!

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