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I needed an event that would appeal to her and that her granddaughters aged eleven and thirteen would enjoy. Walter Peak Evening Dining with Real Journeys, complete with vintage steamship trip across the lake and farm excursion sounded as if it would tick all boxes.
It was an absolutely stunning Queenstown evening. Beautiful light, caught the tops of the mountains as the TSS Earnslaw steamed across the icy blue Lake Wakatipu.
The girls took my mum by the hand to watch the steam engines cranking up and the stokers shovel coal into the fireboxes. It was like watching a scene from a very old movie. A pianist played music that captured the mood of the evening perfectly, as I chose a good Central Otago wine from the bar to enjoy. The nibbles that came out part way through the cruise were a pleasant surprise and made the cruise feel very special.
My mum was very taken with the beautiful gardens on the other side so we took our time to walk through to the Colonel’s Homestead, which holds the restaurant. All three took a big breath when they saw the beautifully laid out tables, the chandeliers and the gilt-framed paintings, “this is posh” the youngest said.
Pleasant waiting staff talked us through what would happen in the evening, and my party were excited about what was ahead. They all enjoyed the food they picked from the buffet, although the chef seemed to take it personally when my mum declined the huge helping of meat she was offered. The lamb shanks were particularly good. My kids embarrassed me at the dessert table returning to it several times, each time with something different. I was more interested in the cheese selection, which was impressive, fruit paste and all.
The farm show was good too, with humour to suit everyone. It was good to see my mum smiling, and although the rural demonstrator suggested the girls could play with a puppy instead of watching the show, they kept an eye on both.
The beautiful night was just drawing to a close as we boarded the lovely old steamer to come home – it all seemed perfectly choreographed. Three generations went home happy.
This article was written by Tsehai Tiffin - Marketing Communications Manager, Real Journeys.