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GreenshellTM mussels are synonymous with the Marlborough Sounds, and for good reason. Grown in the pure seawater of the Sounds, among incredible natural beauty, Greenshell mussels are best enjoyed in the place where they are grown and harvested – you can’t get fresher seafood than that.
Here at Marlborough Tour Company, we can’t get enough of these amazing local seafood delights either, and we love to share them with our visitors.
By far the best place to enjoy them is on a Marlborough Tour Company cruise - we have cruises departing daily. We like to enhance the experience by serving them in a location that simply can’t be beaten – right on the water, within sight of a mussel farm. We might be a little bit biased, but, really, there are few things better than sitting on the deck of our luxury vessels eating the freshest of fresh steamed Greenshell mussels, surrounded by incredible Marlborough Sounds views.
Not only that, but our crew are pretty great at steaming Greenshell mussels to absolutely perfection and matching them perfectly with Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
But one thing about Greenshell mussels is that one meal is never enough, so here are a five top Marlborough places to enjoy them after you leave our cruises:
- The Slip Inn Cafe, Havelock. Located over the water in the picturesque Havelock Marina, you may even be able to watch Greenshell Mussels being unloaded as they come in on the boats. Sit on the veranda and enjoy the sea breeze, or stay warm inside while gazing over the water. The Slip Inn is also handily located right next to Marlborough Tour Company’s Greenshell Mussel Tour departure point.
- The Mussel Pot, Havelock. The name says it all really, but if that’s not enough to draw your attention then the parade of giant Greenshell Mussels on the roof will. Open September to April, and with 20 years of experience preparing local mussels, this quirkly little cafe is a must-do for the Greenshell Mussel connoisseur.
- Le Cafe, Picton. Dedicated to using fresh, local seasonal and preferably organic products, a bowl of steamed Greenshell Mussels ticks all the cafe’s boxes. The menu changes depending on availability, so ask if mussels are on the list when you visit.
- On the beach or looking at the water. If you can’t be on one of our boats, because your tour has already finished but you want more Greenshell Mussel goodness in the beautiful outdoors of Marlborough, then the beach may just be the next best thing. Most local supermarkets sell them fresh and you can steam them yourself and pop the pot in the car, or ask one of Havelock or Picton’s cafes for a perfectly prepared Greenshell Mussel takeaway, and hightail it to the nearest beach or lookout point to enjoy them while they’re hot. Try the Picton foreshore, a meander along Havelock’s Motuweka Pathway in the estuary, or take a short drive to one of the many vantage points along Queen Charlotte Drive such as the Picton or Cullen Point Lookout.
- Arbour Restaurant, set among the vines near Renwick. If you haven’t tried chef Bradley Hornby’s Greenshell Mussels, then you are missing out on something incredible. They went out on our Greenshell Mussel Cruise recently:
"We loved our day out with Marlborough Tour Company, in fact straight after our cruise we immediately put a dish on our menu using the wild blueshells, greenshells and the seaweed off the lines. Our favourite way to cook Greenshell mussels is to quickly steam them open, pluck them out of the shell and serve them with local seasonal ingredients. Right now that is yuzu and shallot butter, beach herbs, baby gems and our own native spice blend. We take great care to check through each mussel so that the guest experience with them is perfect. They are such a fabulous local product, so affordable, versatile and easy to prepare at home." Brad & Liz, Arbour