Queenstown (2019)

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Queenstown is a beautiful town in Otago in the deep south of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s perfect for a quick weekend getaway for a couple or an extended family vacation. It’s a town full of lush greenery, snow-capped mountains and beautiful glacial lakes the town which can please almost anyone.

I travelled to Queenstown with my girlfriend a few months ago. Here is my write-up of our Queenstown trip with notes and snaps from my Instagram travel diary.

Kamana Lake House

We stayed at this gorgeous new boutique hotel In Fernhill which is perched on a steep hill on the outskirts of town. With its location, the hotel enjoys unobstructed views of the glacial lakes and the Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peaks.

The view from our room is just amazing!

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The hotel has a modern feel with all the amenities one would expect from a luxe hotel.

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The most magical moments are the mornings; the sun shines through the windows and the glacial splendour glimmers through the window.

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This is how I captured the moment in my Instagram Diary:

“She sits on the edge of the bed gazing at the incredible alpine vistas as the light asserts itself over the night. No morning beauty routine is needed; for her skin is like perfect porcelain. She exchanges the warmth of the plush quilts for a steaming cup of freshly brewed English breakfast tea.

She strokes her hair in the same rhythm the morning breeze stroke the trees. She contemplates the day ahead; it’s adventures, it’s passionate moments, the sights, the sounds and the textures she’ll encounter – she truly treasures the gift of life.”

The front yard in your room is the perfect spot to open a bottle of champagne and enjoy the view.

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Alternatively, one of my favourite moments was the apertivo hour at the bar at the restaurant.

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This is how I captured the moment in my Instagram Diary:

“The crispness of the alpine atmosphere chills the senses with a flourishing tingle, the evening breeze gently strokes her angelic hair like a porcelain comb. The pristine glacial lake has drawn her from the warmth of the fireplace to the edge of the balcony.

The flow of the dress graces the classic wooden terrace as she sips sensuously on her cocktail (Martinez in the Mountains). The alluring nectar of butterscotch, gin, vermouth, and bitters tantalise her taste buds as she gazes at the pink candy sky which paints the snow-capped mountains before her.”

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The Boardwalk

This is a new restaurant with a pretty amazing menu of fresh seafood and light snacks for those to enjoy. There are beautiful lounge chairs and tables with a pretty solid view to enjoy the cuisine.  We opt for the NZ King Salmon caviar paired with Veuve Clicquot Brut NV to start.

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The caviar is perfect; it gives a lovely oceanic saline flow which emerges the second you pop the juicy slimy round caviar on your tongue. It pierces the taste buds with a real point of impression. The Veuve proves and equally indulgent partner to this experience with providing the tongue with a mouthwatering acidity of citrus fruits to match.

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We follow-up with the main course: I have the Wagyu Burger served with a pot of fries

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My girlfriend opts for the Cured Salmon:

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The Bunker

We paid a visit to my favourite restaurant in Queenstown; The Bunker. I always make it a point of dining here when I am in Queenstown.

The restaurant is focused on sourcing fresh and wonderful New Zealand produce along with simple culinary applications to ensure the natural flavours of the food shine. The restaurant has a beautiful cabin style feel with a fireplace to deliver some extra warmth and charm.

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Nest Kitchen and Bar

Nest Kitchen and Bar is the restaurant in our hotel with both a breakfast and dinner service. They do have an apertivo hour just before breakfast and of course serve drinks during the day.

Breakfast

It’s the perfect way to start the day at the beautiful restaurant in our hotel.

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This is how I captured the moment in my Instagram Diary:

“The sunlight pierces through the glacial mountains to glisten the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu. Perched next to the window, we sip on our coffees allowing the elixir of caffeine to run through our veins awakening us to the dawn of the day. The fresh fruit alleviates the guilt of last night’s indulgent dinner and so does the yoghurt but it exudes a creamy decadence in the finish. The crumbly cheese scones leave a rich buttery paste on the tongue, while the flaky apple turnovers are eclectic in their own right.

The buckwheat pancakes have a beautiful cakey texture that harmoniously sings with the sweet cinnamon roasted banana, sticky maple syrup, and banana cream accompaniments. The Salmon Dance is equally exquisite; she plays with her poached eggs, eventually piercing them and releasing the gooey rich yolk from its egg white cocoon all over the fresh New Zealand smoked salmon. The morning unwinds at glacial speed; we gaze at each other, the mountains and the sunrise – no words are needed to describe this morning’s bliss.”

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Dinner

The focus is on street food and rustic Mediterranean dishes. We start with the calamari and saffron sliders which are served in between a charcoal bun and the fish tacos which come on an open corn tortilla with avocado,  chipotle and coriander slaw. I have a glass of Pinot Noir and my girlfriend opts for the Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut NV Champagne.

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For the mains we opt for some plates to share; charred banana prawns, romesco sauce and baby potatoes with some rocket and the slow-cooked merino lamb which is served on a bed of lemon couscous, spicy Moroccan tomato sauce and a drizzling of mint and yoghurt. We also have a side of charred Brussel sprouts with shaved almonds, bacon and mustard dressing.

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For dessert, we share the Date pudding with sea salt caramel and the date and orange ice cream.

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We leisurely sip d’Arneberg Shiraz (2016) from McLaren Vale to help us through the main courses and dessert.

Gondola

We also take a trip to the top of the Gondola and enjoy the views and do the Luge.

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Lombardi Restaurant (Hotel St Moritz)

This restaurant has one of the better views of Queenstown. We stopped by for a leisurely lunch while we waited for our room to be ready.

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This is how I captured the moment in my Instagram Diary:

“If you asked me to paint the perfect lunch; I’d paint a mountain, a deep glacial lake in the valley, rolling hills of green grass and dot the canvas with lush green alpine forests. I added a splash of sunlight to radiate on the glacial waters and snow-capped mountains.

I painted a vivacious glass of champagne for you and a velvety red wine for me. A succulent burger for me and a fresh crisp salad for you. Then I realised that the food and views matter not, as any lunch is a postcard lunch when it’s with you.”

Patagonia Ice Cream

If you have a sweet tooth, I’d definitely recommend indulging in the beautiful Ice Cream from Patagonia. There’s nothing quite like it; the calm of the lake, the majesty of the mountains, the chill of the glacial air and the inviting aesthetic of the creamiest ice creams.

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We have a choice of the rich sensuous Patagonia dark chocolate ice cream with macadamia in a white chocolate designer cone with sprinkles and the velvety Patagonia white chocolate ice cream with hazelnut in a chocolate designer cone with almond shavings. It’s a perfect winter’s day.

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The View 

The saddest thing about visiting Queenstown is leaving it, but you do get some amazing views flying out. You are truly lost when you’re where the snow-capped mountains kiss the clouds!

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Video Diary 

I’ve also compiled a little video diary of some of the highlights of the trip. Hope you enjoy it

Background music: You and Me by Lifehouse.