So someone felt sorry for us being on our own for Christmas and hubby's colleague from work invited us to Waiheke Island for a day out! I love these days because again you get to go and do things that you probably would not do as just a tourist! Ferries at this time of year are pretty busy but thankfully they hold a lot more people than it looks. We were a bit worried at first as we were standing in a pretty long queue but it moved very quickly. Everyone was racing to sit upstairs or by a window and we were not so fussed and got ourselves a seat in the lower deck. The weather looked iffy in Auckland but I think that sun always seems to shine on Waiheke. What a difference being in Waiheke in the height of summer...people people everywhere!!!
Our first stop was to Awaroa Organic Farm to see Waiheke blue lavender. A short bush walk away and you arrive in what is like an oasis of lavender in the bush. The wind was blowing strong so we could smell the lavender from the distance and it was divine. On arrival all you see
is a sea of purple, it is really breathtakingly beautiful. On display was Alembics, Portuguese hand crafted copper stills, turning flowers and water into something beautiful, it's alchemy. They were also actually turning wine and fruit into alcohol. I loved when the guy explained that he just went for a walk around the garden and picked some flowers, fruits or herbs to add to the distilled alcohol to create these amazing flavours! Having that all on your doorstep is pretty cool. As part of the entry fee you get a free bottle of Rose Geranium water, I know not lavender right but it smelled rather beautiful. I have been using it around the home and it is great stuff. ALEMBICS
Our next stop was lunch at Casita Miro, a small restaurant on a boutique vineyard. The couple who run the restaurant is friends with hubby's colleague at work so our table was all set up and prepared for our arrival. You definitely have to book ahead here to avoid disappointment. It had recently reopened just on Christmas Eve as they have built a new building to house the restaurant in and it all looked relaxed and welcoming in
a traditional Spanish themed environment with a modern flair. The space is open as you are mostly surrounded by glass windows and we had a lovely view onto the vineyard below. Our hosts were bubbly and full of energy and I think part of that was because they were still getting into the swing of the new place and rushing about making sure that everyone was served. It's Spanish theme continues to the menu as they serve tapas. When it came to ordering we just basically ordered half the menu between 5 of us. We accompanied our tasty meal with a bottle of their wine which went down very smoothly so much so we ordered a second bottle! We did the whole hog and finished everything off with the most beautiful desserts, I had the soft mouth watering chocolate gateaux while hubby quickly devoured his honey roasted figs. We were both full to the brim so managed to do a short walk to the pier before heading back on the ferry home. Casita Miro
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