Monday, 25 November 1996


On foot to do tourist stuff in Napier - seeing the kiwis, otters and dolphins at the wildlife centre, and paddling in the Pacific, visiting the Clive Square gardens with the enormous palm trees, and the Mission Estate vinery. Shop for dinner.

New Zealand catering has up till recently been mired in the 1950s, but in recent years, the PacRim style of cooking has taken off [though with some quaint hangovers yet - their idea of refried beans is something that looks more like our baked beans in tomato sauce]. Our hosts, being of an older generation, hadn't really caught up with the change, so we were grateful for the chance to take over one self-cater evening and pass up the weaker parts of traditional New Zealand style. OTOH, I did find that the access to older sheep meat (hogget - last year's lambs - and mutton have much more flavour than bland lamb) was one of the better features of the traditional style.

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