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!


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


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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bed and breakfast tray
Breakfast in your room or on the deck: we bring it to you.

Breakfast Cuisine:

  • Range of teas
  • Espresso coffee
  • Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice or fruit smoothies
  • Selection of preserved and fresh fruit
  • Muesli and other cereals
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs from our own chickens
  • Preserves, honey and spreads
  • Bread or toast
  • Pastries, croissants, waffles, potato rostis or muffins

Come, enjoy and unwind. B&Bs are where you go to stay so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast, without having to move. After all, breakfast is half of the name!

What some of our guests have said about our breakfasts.

Excellent breakfast and well stocked fridge. Amazing location on the edge of Mahurangi National Park.

The view is stunning. There is a feeling of being “away from it all” but without feeling isolated. Comfortable facilities. Lots of extra touches. Great breakfast – with so many options. Delightful alpacas and cat. Very considerate hosts.

We liked everything – it fitted our needs of a family of three (mum, dad and 8 years old son) very well. Beautiful views, comfortable, and some nice home made compotes (stewed fruits) that we all enjoyed. The extra draw card of this place is the countryside and animals – our son loved it!

Stunning views all around enhanced by the cheeky alpacas popping up for a photo opportunity. Thoughtful extras like dressing gowns,coffee machine,fruit bowl,fridge stocked with essentials.

Lovely breakfast. Perfect accommodation

A fabulous little getaway. Genuine lovely hosts, immaculately clean, great attention to detail and beautiful fresh pastries for breakfast every morning. Can’t fault it.

That view! The owners were great and we were made to feel very welcome. Breakfast was awesome too.

We were looking for a nice quiet place to stay for the last few days on our trip here. Couldn’t have chosen better. The room (suite really) was self-contained, newly and tastefully furnished, and with beatiful sea views in either direction across the peninsular on which the house sits, on the edge of a national park. Breakfast was sumptuous, with local fresh fruit and pastries. The hosts were friendly and helpful. And the alpacas grazing in the field…

 Great place to stay, great location, food was good and fantastic juice in the morning with really fresh pastrys yummy.

Tout. Les propriétaires chaleureux et disponibles. Le petit déjeuner incroyable avec les fruits frais, les croissants ou pâtisseries. Les conseils pour visiter la region

El desayuno riquisimo !!! La vista del dormitorio espectacular!! Raquel la dueña super atenta, siempre dispuesta a darnos consejos !!!

We only have one room for guests at our B&B, so as our only guests, you’ll enjoy all the peace and quiet Mahurangi West has to offer. The only things watching you as you eat your breakfast on your deck will be the alpacas!



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matakana farmers market

Matakana: Looking for Places To Eat?

The pretty township of Matakana is heaven for foodies, discovers Catherine Smith – NZ Herald

I owe Matakana an apology. I’d previously dismissed it as Remuera-in-the-country and I’d driven on through to the Tawharanui Peninsula.

How wrong I was. A winter weekend in the pretty riverside town convinced me that this place could well be the future of gastro-tourism for New Zealand. At every stop along the way we were indulged with good food and wine and lengthy tales of the good life.

matakana farmers marketThe first stop on a Saturday morning, naturally, was the Matakana Markets, and setting the foodie tone was the town’s unofficial food ambassador, Lauraine Jacobs, signing her new book The New Zealand Vegetable Cookbook.

Market manager Michael Kessell had piqued our interest in the newest stall holder – Jamaican Me Hungry. Laughing Larry Clarke, from Jamaica to Matakana by way of New York, plied us with steaming cups of his spicy Jamaican porridge. Smooth and creamy cornmeal in coconut cream and cinnamon makes this dish beat dour Scottish rolled oats any day. He also makes a spicy jerk chicken and delicious curry pasties

We grabbed a top-up from Matakana Coffee and beetled down to Silvana Silvestro’s Gourmet Italian Food to pick up cannoli to go with it.

Artisan cheeses are my weakness, so it is thrilling to see the growing range of buffalo cheeses from Whangaripo Buffalo, Annie and Phil Wills’ new venture. The couple added 17 cows and two buffalo bulls to their horse stud three years ago and with the help of award winning cheesemaker Sue Arthur of Putaruru’s Over the Moon Dairy, now produce a pungent blue, a creamy pecorino-style cheese and soft bries, as well as a tangy yoghurt.

An armful of fresh breads, some chocolates and really, we should have stopped eating then and there. But we’d never been to the famous Leigh Sawmill Cafe, so headed over the hill for a late lunch. We were longing to buy fresh seafood – that will definitely be a summer expedition – but settled for the clean refreshing Blade pilsner, brewed right next door in Bavarian style using malt and hops. Perfect with the thin crust pizza and salad made from ingredients from local farms.

It was fitting that all we had left to do was while away the rainy afternoon in front of a cosy gas fire in the Riverside Matakana villas. We expected the river setting, we didn’t expect that the clusters of cottages would be so smart and flexible (walls slide about to create one or two bedrooms plus a study) nor the landscaping so impressive.

Drinks at The Vintry in the cinema complex introduced us to Lighthouse Gin – the local connection to this flavoursome Greytown spirit is apparently maker James. Botanical flavours such as navel orange and Yen Ben lemon were interesting variations on the expected juniper.

A break in the weather on Sunday morning led us to morning tea with Lynn and the apron-clad women at Brookview Tea House. Steeped in nostalgia, it has unmatched red china, a log fire, pretty napkins and an enviable vege garden and potting shop next door.

The final stop on the way out of town was lunch at Heron’s Flight Vineyard. Here too there is change afoot, as long-time owners David Hoskins and Mary Evans have formed a new affiliation with Clyde and Farida Cooper of nearby Runner Duck Estate. The Coopers sold their business in India to settle here, Farida is overhauling the kitchen and menu, adding nights of Parsi food (her home culture, with influences of Persia and beyond), while the new Italian chef will produce food to complement Heron’s Flight Italian-style wines.

Matakana has reinforced that we can find our local food heroes and great places to eat in our own backyard.

Contact details for places to eat and drink;
Riverside Matakana: 170 Green Rd, Matakana, ph (09) 423 0353.
Heron’s Flight Vineyard: 49 Sharp Rd, ph (09) 422 7915.
Leigh Sawmill Cafe: ph (09) 422 6019.

Matakana Farmers’ Markets: every Saturday, 8am to 1pm.
Silvana’s Gourmet Italian Food: ph 021 668 263.
The Vintry: Matakana Cinemas, 2 Matakana Road ph (09) 423 0251.

– NZ Herald

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