Kerikeri wine and food – punching well above its weight!
Aucklanders already seem to know about one of Kerikeri’s key delights – it’s a haven for epicureans!
For a small regional town, Kerikeri punches well over its weight with offerings of fine restaurants featuring our local organic produce, as well as a great selection of boutique wineries. International guests are often overwhelmed with choice, and have to make some tough decisions on where to spend their evening dining (and maybe a few lunches).
The ‘Plough and Feather‘ is nestled amongst the historic buildings in the Stone Store basin. Why not combine a tour of the store and mission house, and a stroll to Rainbow Falls with a delightful lunch on the veranda, overlooking the calming waters of Kerikeri Inlet?
Further up the hill, Ming and Diane from ‘Maha‘ offer fresh modern, asian-influenced cuisine using seasonal, local ingredients in a style that only only be described as ‘delightfuly ecelctic’. It’s certainly a favourite amongst our guests with sophisticated palettes. ‘Maha‘ has won recognisation as one of Northland’s premium dining experiences.
In late 2021 Ake Ake Vineyard was taken over by the Sovrano team (famous for their limoncello liquor) and reopend as ‘Sovrano Estate’ vineyard and restaurant. The menu is decidedly and proudly Italian accompanied by complimentry wines from both the past Ake Ake vintages as well as their newer styles. One of our personal favourites wines is their Chambourcin, a red varietal that grows perfectly in our sub-tropical climate. Highly recommended to match with rich tomato sauces and slow cooked dishes.
Among our ethnic options, Kerikeri boasts Japanese, Thai, Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants; and at a standard you’d expect to find in a cosmopolitan city.
Finally, the ‘French chateaux’ inspired Marsden Estate winery (designed by the same architect as Moon Gate Villa) overlooks a water lily pond you could well imagine Monet himself inspired to paint beside. A personal favourite of ours; enjoying lunching al fresco with a glass or two of their Pinot Gris or Chardonay on a sunny day is as an absolute delight.
To sample more of local cheeses, wines and fresh produce, make sure you plan to spend your Saturday or Sunday morning at the Old Packhouse Markets. Leave you car behind, because the markets are an easy 5 minutes stroll from our front Moon Gate Villa entrance. If you are an overseas visitor and you’d like to rub shoulders with the locals foraging for their weekly fruit and veg shop, this is the place to do it. You’ll also find a cosy cafe inside with fresh baking and great coffee. And on Friday nights, you can enjoy a glass or two of wine whilst sampling street food, and listening to local musicians.
So there you have it; and we haven’t even talked about the small cafes that dot our main little shopping village! If good food and wine is on your selection criteria for where to stay in the Bay of Islands, then Kerikeri is the place for you!