Sisters’ weekend in Napier, Hawkes Bay

Who would have thought that one of my favourite weekends this whole year in New Zealand would involve delayed flights and 3 days of non-stop rain?

Probably anyone who knows me and Rona, and knows that together we are an unstoppable force of laughter and sisterly love! Kindly driven to the airport by Dave and picked up by Adrien (we’ve got ourselves a couple of keepers there) we had 3 days of pure sista time, and it was just the best.

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Nope, nothing alike… are we even related?

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The weekend was made even better by our incredibly kind and generous AirBnB hosts. They picked us up from Napier airport, greeted us with a delicious brownie, gave us full use of their bikes and hot tub over the weekend, provided amazing breakfasts, and even drove us to and from a local winery so we didn’t have to cycle in the rain. Anyone out there who fancies a weekend in Napier, hit me up for their deets!

We were admittedly disappointed not to see Napier in all its sunny glory, although even with thick clouds above it is a beautiful town. It was rebuilt in an Art Deco style after a devastating earthquake in 1931, and is dotted with those beautiful, Cali-esque, tall, skinny palm trees which, although still gorgeous on a cloudy day, you can just imagine being all kinds of summery and uplifting with a blue sky as a background. Still, any palm tree is a good palm tree in my books and I loved these lanky ones to be found at Clive Square.

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Gorgeous Art Deco buildings

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Art Deco street signs

The weekend’s activities looked a little like this: arrive, have a cup of tea and chill for a couple of hours, cycle to a gastro pub in the rain and enjoy pulled pork sliders for a couple of hours, cycle home and enjoy the hot tub for a couple of hours, eat crisps and fruit for dinner (when the cats are away…) and repeat all steps in different cafe/lunch settings over the next 2 days!

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Hot tubs: the only outdoor activity that’s actually more fun in the rain!

Sunday was our big day out to a local winery on the recommendation of our hosts. We were given a (free!) wine tasting before lunch, where the lovely Daphne gave us 4 wines to taste, introduced us to a room-temperature Chardonnay (who knew?! It was so much nicer than when chilled!) and taught us about matching food to wine, which is her favourite pastime – and I can definitely think of worse hobbies. Rona and I are big fans of wine, but not exactly connoisseurs, so learning that a warm Chardonnay goes best with rich French-style cooking and a crisp Sauvignon pairs perfectly with aromatic Thai or Vietnamese food was really interesting and I will definitely be more willing to try different wines in future rather than always defaulting to my favourite NZ Sav. The food at Church Road was as good as the wine, and we enjoyed a glorious sharing platter and sat around in total bliss for, yep, a couple of hours.

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Somehow always wearing unintentionally matching outfits

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The prettiest platter ever seen!

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The perfect place to spend a rainy Sunday

After lunch we went to visit Rona’s lovely friends from her Sydney days and their adorable little boys, who happen to live round the corner from our AirBnB. After a hilarious couple of hours (kids really do say the funniest things) and several cups of tea we headed back for another chilled evening.

Monday was our third and final day, and of course it was STILL raining. We abandoned the bikes again in favour of a leisurely and damp walk into town to soak in the culture at the Napier museum and Art Deco centre, and more importantly to take a trip to the famous Mister D’s cafe for lunch, which did not disappoint!

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Unnecessarily but very enjoyably injecting our donuts with chocolate… oh the decadence!

It was such a lovely weekend! We laughed, relaxed, drank wine, ate amazing food, and it was so nice to spend such good quality sister time together, as we are slowly counting down the days to the big departure from this corner of the world. Cheesefest warning: I’m so incredibly lucky to call this woman my big sister and best friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without her! Thanks for the Napier lols Rony!

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