Before we begin, I’m just going to issue a teeny weeny Health Warning. You might want to cover your ears for a second or two Lovely Blog Reader in preparation for some serious Taupo trumpet blowing!
Do you know something? Here in The Events Capital of New Zealand we are fortunate enough to have such a plethora of high quality and deliciously diverse dining options to choose from, quite frankly it’s a wonder that anyone here in Taupo actually does any cooking or dining in their own home at all (although of course, they absolutely do and a sneaky little read of my previous blogpost Come Dine (In) With Us, will offer you a few tasty morsels of insider knowledge as to where the town’s Culinary Cool Cats go to purchase the freshest fare when entertaining or just hanging out at Family HQ)
We believe passionately in ‘Our Place’, we love entertaining and are most definitely the hosts with the most, so I guess in a way, when you’re dining out, it feels a bit like you’re amongst friends. That’ll be the intimate, small town vibe we’ve got going on. You’ll find something to please all tastes and budgets allowing tourists and locals alike to either seek out hidden gems dotted here there and everywhere, or head straight to the main hive of activity (especially on the weekend) our very own, beloved Tuwharetoa Street.
One of the Newest Kids on This Block is the fresh and inviting Vine Eatery the shiny partner to the iconic wine merchant Scenic Cellars. The Hubster and I had heard various excited whispers about it, so when the aforementioned ‘Partner in Marital Mayhem’ presented me with two tickets to what turned out to be a completely megarific show at the Great Lake Centre then it was a case of Bingy Bong! I feel a Date Night beckoning......more on the show later...
We decide to go for the Friday night Peroni and Paella experience which appeals and intrigues in equal measure. The Vine promotes a laid back serving style which incorporates a tapas inspired twist on the conventional dining experience. Food is served as and when it is ready, resulting in a steady stream of surprises, not too big and not too small. The result is a breath of fresh air from the generic starter-main course-dessert dining scenario and we both comment on how informal and unpretentious it feels.
Much thought has gone into making this the place to see and be seen in and visually, it is a feast in itself. Huge self opening glass doors lead you into the central hub of things and the gargantuan sparkly, twinkly chandeliers are the perfect draw for a self-confessed magpie with a love of all things shiny. Huge windows facing onto the street are perfect for watching the world go by and provide the essential indoor-outdoor flow to connect those dining inside with those patrons partaking in early evening drinks on balmy summer evenings.
As the Front of House staff played out the ‘service dance’ between tables in an effortlessly relaxed yet professional manner our conversation turned to reminiscing about the time we first met....he was the chef, I was the waitress, we owned the Sunday night graveyard shift in a quirky Italian Ristorante.....cue soft focus.......tinkly music.....sigh.....Ahem....
The rest is history, and certainly not for this blogpost, but I think it is safe to say that there is something pretty exciting and innovative about The Vine Eatery. I like their concept and they execute it well. The meal was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us and our experience was intimate yet the place was bouncing.
Then onto the Great Lake Centre for a stunning show by the ‘Beatles On Tour’. The Great Lake Centre may not be the biggest venue I’ve ever been to but it’s perfectly formed for shows such as these where several hundred locals are stood on their feet singing and dancing to the music
So just what other treats does Tuwharetoa Street have to offer? Stick around and I’ll let you know!