Food and drink in Queenstown

Instead of doing multiple posts on all the places we ate at, I thought I would just do one post and lump them all in together. Apologies in advance for my inadequacy when it comes to photographing food!

On our first evening in Queenstown, after taking a trip to Paradise, we chose to go to a place we had spotted while looking for the hotel: Smiths Craft Beer House. We originally went for the beer, but ended up eating some of the most delicious pub food I’ve had in a while! I went for venison pie (mmm, Bambi! Sorry vegetarians!) while Jan chose the vegan burger, which consisted of a kumura (sweet potato) pattie with salad and pesto, served with hand cut fries and the most amazing aioli!

Obviously beer was consumed. I can’t remember the names of all the ones we sampled, but this one was definitely among them:

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Why bother giving your beer a fancy name?

It was actually quite nice, despite the lack of creativity in the name 😉

On the second night, we went to The World Bar, because my sister’s boyfriend had recommended it. Their main claim to fame is that they serve cocktails in teapots. We initially decided to go for something slightly less strong though and chose some interesting sounding ciders from the menu. To eat, I went for “Chicken & Waffles” which, as the name suggests, consisted of southern fried chicken on waffles. It also came with bacon and maple syrup. The combination sounded intriguing, but the chicken was quite fatty and not that nice. Jan had some quinoa wrap thing, which was quite tasty (if incredibly trendy!). Definitely the better choice!

Obviously we had to partake in teapot cocktails, if only so I could take a picture to send to my sister’s boyfriend! Mine was called Bloom and tasted exactly like a strawberry Mini Milk, but with alcohol.

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The teapot came with shot glasses to drink it from, but trying to pour it into them was messy! Much easier to stick a straw in the teapot…

The cocktails are fun, but other that I wouldn’t say The World Bar is an absolute must when you’re in Queenstown. (Sorry A!).

On night three, we went to another beer place on the recommendation of our wine tour guide! We mentioned that we had been to Smith’s, so he suggested we try out Atlas Beer Cafe. According to him, they have the best steak and chips in Queenstown… I can’t comment on that though since Jan and I both chose beef sausage on kumara mash (are you sensing a theme here?). It was absolutely delicious – more than making up for the previous night’s disappointing chicken!

We both chose to drink beer by Altitude here since it’s a local brewing company. Unfortunately neither of the ones we tried was particularly to our taste. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

The next night we went to a fish restaurant where I took no pictures, but was asked for the first time in my life how I wanted my salmon cooked! (They recommended “medium rare”, I went for it and it was delicious!), so to the final night…

Our last night in Queenstown was Good Friday. According to New Zealand law, alcohol is not allowed to be sold on Good Friday… unless you’re having it with a meal! Many places were just closed entirely, some were open for dinner then planned to close afterwards, opening again at midnight (when it wouldn’t be a holiday any more…). Everywhere was absolutely packed! We managed to find some room at a table in  Pub on Wharf though (yes.. that’s its name. Who needs articles?). This time Jan had salmon (because it came with wasabi mash), while I chose pork belly stuffed with apricot, sage and onion and served with mash, veg and apple sauce. It was a good choice! The beer on tap was from Mac’s brewery, and it was all very tasty. Win!

Overall, I can recommend every single place we ate at… except maybe The World Bar. I’ll leave that one for the youngsters and party animals, I think 😉

Foodie penpals February 2016 reveal

You may have noticed that I didn’t do a January reveal (but probably not). The reason for that was my penpal never actually sent me a package! It was okay though – I still had fun putting mine together. And I got an amazing one in February to make up for it! I’m a bit late with this reveal since I was waiting for the package I sent to arrive and then things got busy…

I was paired up with Gale, who is an American living in the UK. I basically told her to surprise me – and she didn’t disappoint. First of all, my item arrived in an absolutely gorgeous box that has now become home to some of my crafting supplies!

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I then opened the lid to find that each item had been individually wrapped in its own piece of tissue paper.

Opening the little packages was so exciting – like Christmas or my birthday!

Here’s what I found inside all the tissue paper:

delicious foods

I also took individual photos of the foods (on the table for a change – such a nice package seemed too good for my usual floor photos 😉 )

Snacks in the form of cashew nuts and flavoured corn nuts. I had never heard of corn nuts before, but now I neeeeeed to get my hands on more! They were delicious. I ate them all by myself! Jan didn’t even get a look in.

Stuff to make chicken taste good. We love both garlic and spicy stuff in this household!

Cous cous and coffee (pictured together because alliteration!). I absolutely love Ainsley’s couscous, and the coffee sounds so interesting.

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Various hot chocolates, including a Galaxy one!! Amazing! I love Galaxy!

And, finally, Gale included a non-food gift, so I have something that I can keep permanently. So thoughtful! Here it is:

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A tea towel decorated with chillis! Love it!

And now, before I publish this overly exclamation marked post, here’s what I sent to my foodie pen pal. She told me she wasn’t keen on chocolate but other than that had no special requirements, which resulted in this:

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Basler Mehlsuppe (flour soup) because it’s traditional for Fasnacht, which it was at the time. Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. A small bar of chocolate. Garlic sausage from Gruyeres, because she told me she loved garlic. Blevita crackers with Gruyere cheese. Jelly bunnies from the Easter selection and a Spitzbube (jammy biscuit). Fairly representative of Switzerland, I think.

I’m not doing foodie pen pals in March because of New Zealand, but I can’t wait to take part again in April.

If you too want to receive delicious foods from around the world each month, sign up for the April foodie pen pals now on the new foodie pen pals pen pals website! Everything you need to know is there.

Foodie penpals: November 2015 reveal

I was supposed to post this on the last day of the month. Oops! Buuut, in my defence, I only received my package on Monday and my Colmar post was already scheduled by that time, then yesterday I had to check in for the reading challenge. Today I have no other posts planned though, so I can reveal what was in my final foodie penpals package of 2015.

This time I was paired up with two people in Germany, sending a package to Sabine and then receiving one from the lovely Jana who blogs here, mostly in German, but she writes foodie reveals in English. Jana sent me some local goodies along with some of her own favourites and, best of all, homemade biscuits! Let’s take a look:

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A box of yummy treats… and for once I took the photos on the table 😉

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First up is tea and biscuits. A tea advent calendar, containing 24 different kinds of tea bags, and home-made cinnamon waffles, which Jana told me she made using a special waffle maker she inherited from her grandfather. What a special treat for me!

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I’ve had Schogetten before, but I had no idea they were from Jana’s area of Germany (the Saarland – specifically, Schogetten are from Saarlouis according to the packet). They look like just chocolate bars, but actually each square of chocolate is separate, for easy portioning. Jana sent me two varieties – Alpine Milk Chocolate and Nougat (with a hazelnut cream filling). Yummy!

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This is a spice mix for “spice cake”. On the back, there’s a recipe for the cake. It looks very Christmassy and I can’t wait to try it!

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I have seen Karlsberg beer in the shops, but never tried it. I’ll probably have this at the weekend.

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A mix for tabbouleh (spell check thinks that’s the English spelling?), complete with all the spices. All I need to do is add some veg. I love tabbouleh and Migros has an Alnatura section, so if this is good I may end up buying some.

And finally…

Saarlodis

I saved the best for last 🙂 This is a jar of mustard. What’s special about it is the little figures – these are the Saarlodris. They’re little cartoon figures that Jana told me are the Saarland version of the Mainzelmännchen – little cartoon mascots of the TV channel ZDF. Jan didn’t know the Saarlodris either, having never lived in that part of Germany (Mainzelmännchen, on the other hand, are broadcast everywhere). Jana wrote that, once the mustard is gone, I should wash out the glass and use it for what, to which Jan said “Yep, that’s what you do with mustard glasses!”. So I guess I learned a new thing about Germany?

This was a wonderful end to this year’s foodie penpal packages, and now I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring!

(For those of you wondering what I sent.. I thought I’d taken a photo but I can’t seem to find it?! So sorry!)

Carol Anne is taking a well-deserved break in December, but you can sign up now to take part in January. Read the rules and sign up here (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.).

Foodie Penpals October 2015 reveal

I can’t believe another round of Foodie Penpals has been and gone already! The next one is the final one for 2015, as Carol Anne is understandably taking a break for December (I’m sure people will have plenty of treats to enjoy then anyway!).

My package actually arrived not long after I got back from my holiday, but in keeping with the rules I waited until closer to the end of the month to write my reveal post. This time I got to send my package to Germany, which was a bit more of a challenge as I wanted to try and find products that aren’t in every single supermarket there (a lot of brands are the same). In return, I got a lovely package from England. Abbie told me it was her first time taking part, but if she hadn’t mentioned that I would never have known. The package she put together was amazing! I had mentioned that we like spicy food, such as Thai, and asked her to put in some healthy snacks (I’m desperately trying to get those pounds that have crept back on since we moved to Switzerland!).

Here’s my box of treats waiting to be unpacked:

Foodie October 2015As you can see, I did take out the postcard so you could see the food.

Now for a closer look:

Foodie October 2015Two more Graze tubs. The one Charlotte sent me last month was delicious, so I was pleased to see these ones in my latest package. These ones have both been devoured already, and they were both very tasty indeed.

Foodie October 2015Energy-giving treats. These were both delicious, but I especially liked the coconut and macadamia energy ball. I ate these for my mid-morning snack on two days so Jan didn’t even get a look in 😉

Foodie October 2015Some sweet treats. All were tasty, but the macaroon was my favourite. It’s a good job she only included one because I’m not sure I could have stopped myself eating two in a row (and then feeling sick!).

Foodie October 2015Thai (sweet) chilli snacks. The crackers have been demolished, and most delicious they were too. The chickpeas are waiting for the next time we sit down to watch a film – they look intriguing so I thought I’d be nice and actually share with Jan 😉

Foodie October 2015Finally, a drink. This is actually still sitting in my fridge untried but I will definitely be drinking it soon. It sounds absolutely delicious (and very healthy). Many thanks Abbie Lee for an amazing box!

Once again, I was sending to a non-blogger so I’ll show you myself what I bought her:

Foodie October 2015Zürcher Geschnetzeltes sauce – you can probably get that in Germany, but oh well, it’s Swiss at least. Branche chocolate bars (these are delicious!). Basler Läckerli – a kind of gingerbread. A hazelnut biscuit called “bird’s nest”. Swiss herb salt (it’s literally salt mixed with various herbs) and a barley soup from Graubünden (anything with “Bündner” in the name comes from the canton of Graubünden/Grisons).

If you want to take part in Foodie Penpals, you can read the rules and sign up here. (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.). Matches go out on the 5th of each month, so if you want to take part in November go and sign up right now! The deadline for sending packages is the 20th of the month. It’s a lot of fun and if you do decide to sign up I promise you won’t regret it!

Foodie Penpals September 2015 Reveal

My foodie penpals package for September is heeere!
I was excited to receive it this month (even more so than usual I mean) because the person sending to me is someone I know pretty well from blogging and even met once – the lovely Charlotte. This month’s parcel was a giant envelope, so on opening it I tipped it all out on the floor:

FoodCheck out those noms! Here’s a more detailed look at what my parcel contained:

Fruit bearsA strawberry bear and a raspberry bear. I’m not 100% sure what these are but I can’t wait to find out!

ChocolateBritish chocolatey goodness ❤

GrazeThis is really cool! Chocolate pieces, raisins, dried cranberries and cherries in a little pack. Immediately after I finished taking the photos I ripped this open and devoured it. It was delicious – and it counts as one of my five a day!

Food mixesThe savoury stuff. A sausage casserole mixture and some Jamie Oliver stuffing mix that sounds amazing!

Skittles“The dark side of Skittles”. I’m very intrigued by these.

Green tea Finally, some fruity green tea that says it’s good for my immune system. Charlotte said she included this so I wouldn’t catch another bad cold – how thoughtful is that?

She also sent me this cute pasta postcard (the rules say you must include something written with the food – it is supposed to be “penpals” after all!).

Pasta postcardI’ve been totally spoiled with this months package. So many treats! Thank you Charlotte 🙂

As for me, I was again sending to somebody without a blog. Alice, from England, told me she’s gluten intolerant, which ruled out a lot of the traditional Swiss things I usually send. This is what I ended up putting together for her:

Swiss parcelAmazingly, I managed to squidge all of that into one rather small box. Check it out:

Food parcel

If you want to take part in Foodie Penpals, you can read the rules and sign up here. (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.). Matches go out on the 5th of each month and the deadline for sending packages is the 20th. It’s a lot of fun and if you do decide to sign up I promise you won’t regret it!

My first Foodie Penpals reveal!

I heard about Foodie Penpals from Meredith, who blogs over at Kaffee und Kuchen, and was immediately interested. I mean, the only thing that could possibly be better than receiving mail that isn’t bills is receiving mail that isn’t bills and consists of yummy food. I went and signed up immediately and then had to wait a whole week for May’s matches to come out. With Foodie Penpals, you receive not one match but two – one person to send some treats to and one who sends you goodies. My package came from Birute in Lithuiana. I wasn’t clever enough to photograph the individual items separately so all you’re getting is this crappy snapshot 😉

Lithuanian foodImmediately after taking that photo, I devoured the little chocolate bar you can see at the front, in between the cheese and the instant mashed potatoes. Most of the rest is gone now as well – the cheese went on a home-made pizza, the sweets gradually disappeared over a few days and a small piece of the dark chocolate went into some vegetarian chilli (dark chocolate in chilli is amazing! Seriously, go try it!). Only the tea bags are still hanging on (that’s the pretty box at the back). They contain a tea with thyme, mallow root and… I don’t remember what else (sorry – too lazy to go and look in the cupboard). I was very impressed with my first foodie package 🙂

My other partner was Emma from England, who blogs at Something New Each Week. Unfortunately I haven’t heard yet whether her package has arrived – I hope it has though because I sent it at the same time as I sent another package to a friend (also in England) and hers arrived over a week ago. Here’s a little sneaky peek of what I sent to Emma anyway:

Swiss foodsFoodie Penpals is taking a break in June because the lovely Carol Anne who runs it is off on holiday, but if you’re interested in taking part in July you can read the rules and sign up here. (This is the European version, for those of you in the US/Canada, the original Foodie Penpals on The Lean Green Bean is here.)