Queenstown’s Historic Precinct of Arrowtown a Dining Mecca

Can you remember the cream we once enjoyed on the top of the milk?
Yes? Well if Queenstown is the milk, the historic precinct is the veritable cream!

If we are honest, most of us will admit that we do not like change. You’ll be pleased to know then that there remain corners of New Zealand where you can escape the ‘madding-crowd’. We call these our places. Queenstown’s historic precinct of Arrowtown is such a place - a 'Kiwi-Secret'.

This precinct is one New Zealand’s most charming villages. Authentic and relaxing are adjectives that spring to mind. Established following the discovery of gold 150 years ago, today you’ll discover a sophisticated village reflecting echoes of the past

But wait – that’s just the entrée! Are you passionate about fine wine & food?

This precinct is the new-child in the Queenstown dining scene. The savvy-diner is often one step ahead of the crowd - You can probably pretend to your friends that you discovered it all on your own!

Here, fine dining, alfresco café, brew-pubs and subterranean bars cohabitate happily alongside each other. Your friends may not believe that 'Saffron' was your own discovery ‘tho.

Rated in the ‘Worlds Top 100’ by Conde Nast Traveller, Saffron was a Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Finalist in 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2009. The nearby Amisfield Bistro is another must-do for the serious foodie.

Amisfield Bistro is a finalist in the Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year 2011 awards. Our hot-tip- we suggest you spoil yourself with Amisfield’s famous shared dining experience, ‘Trust the Chef'.

This is a table d’hote menu where you will be served a selection of dishes designed to be shared at the table. All dishes are seasonal and chosen by the chef based on the freshest ingredients available on the day. What a great idea!

You’ll be pleased to discover that the ubiquitous parking-meter has not yet arrived here! What more encouragement do you need to explore? Follow your nose down cobblestone lanes & you’ll discover a veritable feast.

Café-culture is in good health in the historic precinct. Perfect for recharging batteries weary from gallery hopping and window-shopping. Lost Café [formerly Joe’s Garage] a New Zealand cult for serious espresso fiends should be on your hit-list.

Revived, check out the restored Chinese Miner’s Village. Chinese migrants settled here during the late 1800s gold rush. Work up an appetite for dinner by following the short riverside walking trail.

Need a mid-afternoon reward to maintain blood sugar levels? Choices are many but favourites are Patagonia Chocolates, for the natural goodness of chocolate in a classic Patagonian homemade style or Remarkable Sweets.

Remember Bon Bons, Aniseed Wheels, Live Wires, Milk Bottles?  They’re all here, with the largest selection of sweets in New Zealand.

In mid-summer you’ll have to wait a while for the sun to set – More time to play! Days are long with darkness not descending until after 9pm.

You shouldn’t have any problem with all this extra time on your hand. Early evening games we like to play are hide and seek at Dorothy Browns an art-house cinema or find the Blue Door.

What’s behind the Blue Door? Mmmm, we don’t want to spoil the secret but perhaps we could hint that this is a bohemian joint. We suggest a pre-dinner cocktail or adjourning here for a post-prandial pinot – get the idea?

By now you’re probably thinking [or you should be!], why would we want to stay anywhere else…………..and you’d be right.

Three golf course, Japanese hot pools, luxury spas, cycle & walking trails and Coronet Peak Ski Resort all on your doorstep. If you drink Arrowtown dry, this precinct is the gateway to the world famous Central Otago Vineyards, where yes, more fine country dining awaits & the bottles are lined up for sniffing……… and more!

ps……when we say gateway …………….we mean the energetic can bike there or the driven can be exploring our bottled goodness in only 10-minutes.

Now you really must take the weight off your feet and grab some shut-eye!

Dedicated golfers, enjoy Millbrook Golf Resort, although you will need your wheels to drive into Arrowtown proper. The smart-money likes Arrowtown House, a Boutique Hotel just 2-mintes walk from all the precincts attractions.

Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, these guys are the winners of a New Zealand Tourism Award and wait for it ……… a Conde Nast Travel & Leisure “Worlds Best Award” – enough said??

Come discover for yourself fine food, beautiful surroundings and refreshing adventures in Queenstown’s historic precinct – but don’t expect to be sitting around for long!