Monthly Archives: March 2017

Five Days of Fun and Friendships

Posted by Elle Armon-Jones on March 28, 2017

Recipe for a great five days. 

10 Australians

1 American

1 Kiwi

1 Minibus

A handful of the following:

Coffee Roaster, organic honey, curd nerd, wine maker, brewer, veggie gardener, oyster shucker and his mrs, food writer and know it all, chef, baker, some wild food, Olive Oil without Popeye,

Generous amounts of :

Good humour, fresh food, great views and sparkling harbour waters. 


Using the Kiwi, marinate the Australians and American for 6 months in using a premade mix. 

Day one

Begin by soaking in caffeine for an hour. Drain and mix with cheese and a light feed. Leave for a couple of hours. Feed again with cheese, beer, lamb and feijoas. Rest overnight. 

Day Two

Sweeten with honey and add a fresh vegetable salsa. Mix wines and soak for an hour. Finish the process for the day adding a little beer and hazelnuts 

Day Three

Forage and find wild berries and leaves. Place mix in a water bath in the fresh air.  Add an ugly carrot and cover for the day. 

Day Four

Long process day. Wake early. Discard the minibus and split into two groups. Mix for one hour. Add foodwriter to the mix and leave with other ingredients in the open air. With care add the oyster shucker and his Mrs. Spread liberally with fresh air and fresh lemon. Light feeding and mix for an hour. Rest on the beach. Feed in a metal container.

Day Five

Separate Kiwi from the rest of the group. Separately leave in a water bath for an hour. Drown in olive oil and wine. Wrap in Pasta and serve.


The end result should look like this. 


Stay With Us

Posted by Elle Armon-Jones on March 08, 2017

We're a little bit biased but we're right, Auckland has many many hidden gems and we've been lucky enough to take over one of them! The Vineyard Cottages were built in the early 2000's by Bill and Eileen Spence on the back of their vineyard Matua Estate. The Spence brothers were famous for introducing Sauvignon Blanc to New Zealand which is now over 75% of the wine produced in New Zealand

We packed our lives into a truck,  threw the cat in a cage and dogs in the front seat of the car and moved to the rolling hills of the Waikoukou Valley and North West Auckland. There are seven cottages each individually decorated to match the variety of wine they are named after. The pinnacle of the property is the little event centre which can host up to 35 people for events and weddings. A veranda wraps around the lodge perfect for BBQ's and long lunches. 

It was love at first sight and over the last three months we've travelled around the area and met some of the nicest people in the region, all very passionate about the local area and showing it off. The Kumeu wine region has a number of boutique vineyards producing world class wines. The glorious black sand Muriwai Beach is 15kms away from the cottages and home to an enormous gannet colony. We've walked the dogs for miles along the black sands as the waves have crashed around us and sand has sparkled below our feet. 

The area is very famous for it's produce too and having said goodbye to our old faithful vegetable garden, we've thoroughly enjoyed the farm stands and local veggie shops where produce is coming straight from their land and onto the shelves.

Later this month we have our first five day food and wine tour of the Auckland Region and will be adding more dates for later this year and 2018!!!! To sign up for the five day tours, please email us at [email protected] so we can add you to the list!

We've had such an amazing variety of guests coming to stay with us in the last three months and some wonderful nights sharing travel and food stories. From local wedding guests to international tourists, conference groups and honeymooners, this is the perfect spot to kick back and relax!