Thursday 2 November 2023

Waiheke Walking Festival - Earning nosh

I paid for this outing myself. I know!

Since walking 100km last week wasn't enough, I headed off to Onetangi again this morning on another of the Waiheke Walking Festival's offerings - the much gentler, and gastronomically rewarding, Progressive Lunch.

We set off along the beach again, lamenting the fact that insurance costs have recently been hiked up so far that the classic, fund-raising Onetangi Beach Races won't be taking place this summer, and headed up the hill. It took us no time at all to stroll past sprouting vineyards, and a couple of unexpected turkeys, to the lovely Casita Miro, where I hadn't been for ages. 

Since my last visit, they've got into mosaic work, big-time, and it was fun to see the latest project, the wall alongside the driveway, taking shape. I've done my share of mosaicking, and could admire the skill and detail. 

At the cellar door, we all (50+ of us) streamed in under the high ceiling and sat eagerly waiting for our entrée course, which was a pleasant sliced potato dish and a triumphant goat's cheese croqueta, which was so delicious, I could have eaten six and gone home happy. The rosé was good too.

We carried on, through more rolling vineyards to Te Motu, where we settled in on the long benches at The Shed with its open sides for the main course - beef eye fillet, burnt parsnip, chimichurri and cauli rice. It was a bit of a long wait, but well worth it, and everyone was fully into the mood by now, chattering away happily and clinking glasses (smooth red for me this time). The food was excellent, and we were fully fuelled for the next section, through more vineyards - Stonyridge and Tantalus - and past a beer brewery and a gin distillery. Honestly, Waiheke can supply just about any alcoholic desire.

We had a lovely taste of nature next, trailing through bush, up a hill, through a leafy nikau forest, along a boardwalk, over a bridge, up steps and along some quiet roads past a scattering of very nice houses, and finally down again back to the beach.

The weather had been lovely, but clouded over now as we sat outside at Charlie Farley's, eager for our pudding. Apple and blueberry pie, with icecream, and more rosé, since you ask - all very yummy - plus plenty more chatter. What a lovely way to spend a day, getting just enough exercise to earn all that delicious food, without any of the serious exertion involved in last week's Te Ara Hura expedition. I can't wait for next year's Walking Festival. Great job, guys!

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