B&B-figs

Breakfast at Mahurangi West Wing

During autumn we have a plethora of figs which grow wild down at one of our local beaches. I found this recipe on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website and was really pleased with it. The vanilla with the figs makes for quite a decadent breakfast. The stewed figs also freeze well which means I can serve these to our guests all year round – well as long as they last without being gobbled up!

Please note the photo is not mine as I am hopeless with a camera, but this “found photo” is a pretty close rendition of how they looked.

I used slightly less honey than the recipe called for as I just found it a wee bit too sweet.

Breakfast Stewed Figs

Stewed Vanilla Infused Figs

B&B-stewed-figsThese figs are great as a special breakfast with yogurt and cereal. Our guests also ate them as dessert!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons honey (I used 1 tbsp but I guess it would depend on the sweetness of the figs)
1 tablespoon water
1 vanilla bean (I used 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
2 strips of lemon zest
250g fresh figs


Method

Rinse the figs and pinch off the stems. Cut them in half.

Split the vanilla bean in half.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water, vanilla bean and lemon zest over a low flame.

Stir to dissolve the honey and turn off the heat.

Add the figs, gently toss them in the honey mixture, and let them rest, covered, for an hour.

Turn the heat to very low and gently simmer the figs for 30 to 40 minutes, turning them carefully so that they don’t fall apart but are just cooked through.

Remove the pan from the heat and let them cool to room temperature.

To serve, divide the figs between two bowls and spoon their pink syrup over them.


Chef: Sara Morley

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uhoi-Village

Auckland Escape? Kia Ora: Puhoi Village

Origin of name: Maori for slow water – a reference to the tidal river that rules the town.

Population: 500.

Town slogan: Puhoi: Historic Village.

Town origins: Settled in the 1860s by hardy pioneers from Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, the intrepid Bohemians were lured with the promise of free land. Hard slog ensued but the hardy souls proved more than up to the challenge.

Look lively: One of Puhoi’s historic bullock teams featured a legendary fellow named Lively. Renowned for his strength, Lively was not always brave and, when pulling carts across the river, if eels rubbed against his legs he would leap into the air. Who wouldn’t?

Set the scene: Puhoi village has served as a location for The Tommyknockers, Sylvia (the Sylvia Ashton Warner biopic), The Brokenwood Mysteries, Sea Urchins and Bridge to Terabithia.

Best website: puhoinz.com

Main employer: Hospitality, tourism and that epic dairy darling The Puhoi Cheese Factory.

Source of pride: The depth of respect for the town’s forebears, origins and heritage is palpable.

Town fiestas: Stop in at the farmers’ market, held on the last Sunday of each month. Or head to town for June 29, when the arrival of the first ships is remembered with a bit of a knees-up.

Here for a short time: Kayak on the river, visit the museum, browse the town and stop for a pint at the pub or a cuppa at Puhoi Cottage Tea Rooms.

Kids love to: Spend the whole day playing by the river, or running around the spacious green grounds of Puhoi Tea Rooms where they’ll find an aviary, a bunny, chickens and a trampoline.

Best park: Puhoi Pioneers Memorial Park has plenty of green space, including sports fields and tennis courts; right by the river there’s even a swing you launch yourself into the river from at high tide.

Best facilities: Over the bridge, you’ll find well-tended bathrooms, a change table and a shower.

Best walk: If you’re after a hefty hike, Puhoi is on the Te Araroa Trail and the Arthur Dunn Bush Track is a 5km beauty. Or simply trot along the loop walk: a 40-minute round trip, it starts with a bit of a climb but you’ll be rewarded with magic views of the countryside and picturesque town.

Best place to pull over: Stop at the Puhoi Pub or The General Store, enjoy a beverage and watch the world go by.

Best swim: Pop along to Wenderholm for beach or estuary dipping, or, when the tide is right, join the local kids who jump off the bridge all summer long.

Best museum: Tended by dedicated volunteers, The Bohemian Museum is a labour of love preserving the pioneer heritage. Learn about the first European settlers who worked hard, prayed hard and kicked up their heels to jaunty folk music. One chap, Benedict Remiger, was just 12 years old when he set off alone, without family or friends, to make Puhoi village his home.

Walk the walk: Take the town’s self-guided heritage walk and admire the darling old buildings. Brochures available at museum.

PuhoiBook it: The tiny Puhoi Library is cute as a button, built in 1913, more than 6000 visitors stop in each year. And there are always books for sale. More than 6000 tourists visit the tiny Puhoi Village Library each year.Library each year.

This bead of light: Visit Inge Chappell at Kleurglass, where she gives lessons and demonstrations in the mesmerising art of bead making. Or visit her gallery in Warkworth to admire the full range of her wares.

Top shop: The General Store is like entering a Tardis, selling more than just regular old groceries, fruit and vegetables, it also stocks a range of delicacies including pastries, cakes, pies, sandwiches, bespoke pasta and coffee. They also serve as the local post office and do oysters and chips for just $10.

Gifts galore: The Trading Post is where you’ll go for Native American crafts, including reindeer pelts. Next door, The French Shed sells French provincial wares. Further along the main drag, poke your nose into The Trove, home to all sorts of arty gems, including a taxidermied winged piglet.

Cream of the coffee: The General Store does a mean brew.

Teatime: The Puhoi Cottage Tearooms offers a menu of more than 30 terrific teas, some of them truly exotic.

Baked: The General Store’s cake and pastry selection is epic, ditto The Puhoi Cottage Tearooms where baked treats are lovingly homemade and include plenty of dairy and gluten-free options. Uncle Larry’s Jamaican-style pies are also tasty.

Holy cheeses: The Puhoi Dairy Company is like a shrine to cheese and it’s also a fabulous eatery – the macaroni cheese is crazily tempting, as are their award-winning ice creams. Plus there’s a playground and plenty of space for letting off cheesy steam.

Best food: The Puhoi Pub provides hearty grub including nachos, burgers, seafood chowder and dandy mussel fritters. The aforementioned Puhoi Cottage Tearooms is also charming for breakfast or lunch; on a rainy day you could make yourself at home there for some time, gazing out at the gardens.

Wet your whistle: Kick back at the Puhoi Pub for as long as you dare and, considering they do accommodation, why not spend the night there too? Comfortable and quirky, the hotel was established in 1879 and is bursting with memorabilia and curiosities, old photos and archaic tools.

Best adventure: Be sure to kayak the river to Wenderholm – or up the other way if you’d rather – Puhoi River Canoes make it all so easy. And, if the tide isn’t in your favour, pop along to Mahurangi Regional Park 15 minutes’ drive away.

Wildlife: Ducks, possums, pukekos, eels and plenty of native birds. The cormorants and herons aren’t bothered by humans and photographers often snap fabulous pictures.

Best kept secret: Ukrainian imports to the area, Alex and Iryna Kirichuk have set up New Zealand’s first organic distillery, where they make medicinal herbal potions for health as well as a range of fine alcohols. Their vodka and gin are both stocked at the pub and are almost guaranteed, within reason, not to give hangovers. And if you don’t believe that, go try for yourself – tasting sessions are unforgettable but be sure to book ahead first. According to Alex Kirichuk, “only dogs eat caviar without vodka”. spirits.net.nz

The verdict: A Bohemian rhapsody.

Looking for a weekend getaway from Auckland. See if we have availability at the time you’d like to escape.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/elisabeth-easther/news/article.cfm?a_id=795&objectid=11624706

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orewa bed and breakfast accommodation

Orewa lies on the Hibiscus Coast

Just north of the base of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and is only 40 kilometres north of central Auckland you’ll find Orewa. Famous for its beautiful beach, 3km of golden sand that all kids enjoy, Orewa is perfect for a day trip or a long weekend escape to a comfortable bed and breakfast away from home.

Orewa is a lot less crowded than many other beach-side places this close to Auckland and the beach is clean with great playgrounds and cafes all in safe walking, or bike riding, distance.

Orewa is a great destination if you like swimming, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and kite surfing. For coastal views, you can’t beat a stroll along the Millennium Walkway. Orewa also has a comprehensive shopping centre and a wide selection of eating places.

A recommended way to pass a very agreeable hour is cycling the Te Ara Tahuna – a 7.5km walkway / cycleway around the Orewa Estuary. The 2.5m-wide path includes 5 bridges and state-of-the-art lighting to create a safe, shared space for pedestrians and cyclists. The route is entirely off-road, although there is a road bridge with footpath on the Hibiscus Coast Highway. There is a short uphill section on the bridge over the Orewa River at the western-most point of the pat and a couple of other gentler slopes, but overall the route is mostly sealed and quite easy to ride.

Orewa has everything you need for a good old-fashioned beach holiday – even if it is just for a weekend. Stay with us at Mahurangi West Wing Bed and Breakfast which is just a quick drive up the road and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and ready to take on your next challenge!

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Bed and Breakfast in Mahurangi for Regatta Anniversary Weekend

The Mahurangi Regatta is held every year on the Saturday of Auckland Anniversary weekend.

The Mahurangi Regatta is part of the world’s largest regatta which is sailed out of Auckland’s Waitematä Harbour on the Monday. Watching the flotilla arrive in the Mahurangi Harbour as a flowing river of red and green navigation lights stretching back to Whangaparäoa Passage on the Friday evening is truly spectacular.

Mahurangi Regatta Anniversary Weekend

Tangutu Point – Mahurangi West Park

We usually  take some chairs, a picnic and a bottle of wine up to Tungutu Point,  which overlooks Sullivan’s Bay and the Regional Park, to watch the boats come in. A really great night!

The harbour brims with yachts on the Saturday and hundreds of smaller boats arrive by road for the afternoon’s racing, which is all within full view of the picnickers in Sullivan Bay. Families come Sullivan’s bay to enjoy the views and the fun shoreside competitions such as the egg and spoon races, swimming races, sand sculptures and tugs of war which are put on by the Mahurangi West Community. The evening sees the prize-giving and dance in the large marquee at Scotts Landing, across the water from us.

As Anniversary Weekend does get very busy at Mahurangi West you need to make sure you book your accommodation at Mahurangi West Wing bed and breakfast well ahead of time!

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matakana winery tour

Wines and Wineries on The Matakana Coast

Matakana is New Zealand’s smallest wine area.The vineyards in the Matakana grow grapes to suit each vineyard’s  “terroir”, a combination of local climate and soil type, and each winery creates distinctively styled wines.

Driving north from Mahurangi West Wing Bed and Breakfast accommodation on your winery tour, you’ll first find yourself at Ransom Wines. With its contemporary  architecture and captivating views this is a fabulous winery to visit and while away some time. Visitors to this small family run winery can enjoy, among other wines at the cellar door, New Zealand’s first Carmenère. You should begin your day with one of fabulous platter for which Ransom’s are famous. This is served with matched wine.

If you are still hungry then lunch at the Mahurangi River Winery and Restaurant might be the next thing on your list. The vineyard lies in a valley between the Mahurangi River and Kawau Bay. The restaurant sits high on a hill and offers lovely views. From there you can choose delicious fresh local food from their a la carte menu. Mahurangi River produces a range of  hand made Chardonnay, Syrah and Bordeaux style red wines.

After lunch you may need a bit of a walk so why not check out the wonderful Brick Bay Sculpture Trail at Brick Bay Wines where you will find an display of around 40 sculpture works along a 2 km track and their outdoor gallery. These sculptures are always changing o there is always something new to see. At The Glass House, their tasting room, you can taste Pinot Gris, vibrant Rosés and intense Bordeaux-style red wine blends.

You may now need a “pick-me-up” coffee so you could finish your tour at Omaha Bay Wines. Omaha Bay is a family owned boutique vineyard and winery, overlooking the Hauraki Gulf to Little Barrier Island. Sit back and enjoy the view!

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golf accommodation

Golf Courses Nearby

A guest recently inquired after golf courses close to our bed and breakfast at Mahurangi West and so I put together this list for him. I had imagined the list would be reasonably brief, but was surprised to realise just how many fantastic golf courses are in this region: the Matakana Coast and beyond to Mangawhai.

Here is the list:

  • Warkworth golf course: 20 minute drive from Mahurangi West
  • Omaha links: a 30 minute drive from Mahurangi West
  • Whangaparaoa golf course – Peninsula Golf Club: 20 minutes drive from Mahurangi West
  • Gulf Harbour golf course: a second golf course set further down Whangaparaoa peninsula and about about a 40 minute drive south from Mahurangi West. You can see the Whangaparaoa peninsula from your deck at the Mahurangi West Wing bed and breakfast.
  • Mangawhai golf course: (my brother likes this one) this is about 50 minutes’ drive from from Mahurangi West and  “the Mangawhai Golf Club has consistently been regarded as one of the top courses in New Zealand”.
  • Huapai: maybe a 25 minute drive from Mahurangi West to the west (my brother has also been known to sneak off to this one)
  • Wellsford: maybe a 30 minute drive north from Mahurangi West
  • Helensville: 30 minutes west from Mahurangi West

As you can see there are loads of places in this area to enjoy a great game of golf and according to a 2013 article I found on the ranking of New Zealand golf courses from New Zealand industry leaders,”Gulf Harbour also moved up from number 13 to number nine. Mangawhai Golf Club and the Carrington Resort in the far north snuck into the “Top 15”.

Sounds like good reason for golfers to be happy to me, and Mahurangi West B&B is close to all these courses: only about a 20-30  minute drive in all directions.

For bed and breakfast inquiries, please go to our reservations page.

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