When: 10 July 2007 to 14 July 2007
Who: My husband & I
Why: Our New Zealand winter honeymoon
Accommodation Details: Riverside Retreat is a self-contained circular arch house a little off the beaten (farm)track, though still convenient to Martinborough and all the Wairarapa region’s attractions. The property’s hillside site boasts the most amazing view of the South Wairarapa Valley and Plains, Ruamahunga River and Tararua Ranges. As far as romantic retreats and I go… if it don’t got a view, then it don’t get considered… and let me tell you, the view from Riverside Retreat rates way up there!
The kitchen (where I discovered the mighty Zyliss canopener and the joy of cooking on a gas hob) is fully equipped and stocked with continental breakfast supplies.
The upstairs’ bedroom has an ensuite bathroom (toilet, shower and bath); and I know I’m going on about the view, but the outlook from the shower is nothing short of spectacular. A comfortable bath pillow and scented bath gel were thoughtfully provided.
In the downstairs’ lounge there is a television and audio equipment, as well as an impressively furnished bookshelf. There is also a small upstairs’ living area and a downstairs’ queen bedroom with ensuite.
Things To Do: Well… the focus for us was eating, drinking and being merry; so if you are like-minded, then you’ve come to the right place.
- Dine out – we ate at French Bistro (the finalist in The Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2007) and Peppers Martinborough Restaurant (the food there was divine)
- Visit the local vineyards
- Browse the shops of Martinborough where you can sample and buy local and regional wines
- Go to Featherston, Greytown and Carterton for a spot of boutique and antique shopping, and a look at the local museums
- Go to the Martinborough Fair, which is held on the first Saturday of February and March of each year
- Go to Martinborough Wine and Food Festival (Toast Martinborough) held on the third Sunday of November each year
- Take a drive to Lake Ferry and have lunch at the Lake Ferry Hotel where locally caught whitebait is almost always on the menu.
Gallery: Click on a thumbnail to enlarge picture and view description.
The Verdict: Considering my overpowering need to hold the holiday-planning reins, so to speak, I think my husband did extremely well when he picked Martinborough as our New Zealand honeymoon destination. Likewise, I cannot fault Riverside Retreat as his choice of accommodation. I would love to come back here during summer to experience the food and wine festival atmosphere firsthand.