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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Foodie Tours in Auckland

About eight years ago, I was contacted by  a New York chef and food writer, asking me if I could organise a foodie tour itinerary for her.
She had no interest in wine, but somehow found my website and took a chance.  Sure - I said.

On the day we managed Kapiti Cheeses, Elliott Stables, Sabato Deli, Auckland Fish Market and then out to Kumeu for lunch at a cafe and a visit to BeesOnline honey centre.

Her response was so positive that I thought - what they hey, I'll put the tour on the website and see if anyone else is keen.  Today, the Food & Wine tour of Auckland is one of my most popular full day tour options. I get a lot of uptake from couples where one partner is a wine fan and the other not so keen, but still interested in exploring Auckland's great food.

The itinerary has changed a bit over the years.  Sadly the fine tea shop, liqueur shop and chocolate cake shop have all gone from Elliott Stables; and Kapiti have moved to Shortland Street which is nigh on bloody impossible to park near.

Nowadays, I pick up the guests from their accommodation and we head to Auckland Fish Market for a walk through the whole fish shop (pay by weight - then filleted for you).  There is a huge variety of fresh caught local fish on display and no hint of fishy smell in the pristine shops.  Also it's a good opportunity to point out the fish that they will see on the menu at City restaurants - e.g. Snapper, Terakihi, Hapuka (NZ groper), John Dory, Monkfish as well as Green-lipped mussels, oysters, live crayfish and whitebait.  The deli and fruit and veg section is a good place to spot kiwifruit, kumera, Maori potatoes and our burgeoning seasonal produce.

From the Fish Market, it's off to Sabato Deli for a complimentary coffee, sampling and browsing among their huge array of imported goodies from Spain, Italy and France.  On offer are balsamic vinegars, olive oils, cheeses, olives, chocolates, herbs spices and pasta as well as a kitchen wear section and selected wines.

Then, to Philippe's Chocolates and French pastry shop for samples and exquisite chockie and tiny cakes.
After that,  a 20 minute drive to historic west Auckland's Kumeu wine region from lunch at Soljans Vineyard restaurant and three guided local winery tastings accompanied by a cheese board of fine NZ cheeses.
After a stop at BeesOnline for honey tasting and a photo op at spectacular Muriwai 'black sand' beach, it's back to the city around 3.30 pm, and drop off at the guests' hotel (usually with a pile of purchases) and a goodies bag from Fine Wine Tours - which may include a 200 ml bottle of Lindauer bubbly, kiwifruit, Whittaker's chocolate, an ANZAC biscuit and some Manuka honey soap.


Further info - see here  Fine Wine & Food Tours Auckland

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