Eskdale is quickly becoming a hub of picture perfect accommodation, award winning wineries and chilled out summer concerts. Vicky Roebuck went exploring and discovered that there is a heck of a lot to see and do in this part of the Bay.
With the new year has come the launch of several new tourism businesses in Hawke’s Bay and two that I absolutely have to share with you are “The Country Apartment” and “Kiwiesque”-two picture perfect accommodation properties. Coincidentally they are both in Eskdale which gave me a good excuse to explore.
But first, let’s talk about them. Kiwiesque is next door to Linden Estate on the Napier/Taupo Road and is nothing short of spectacular with an outlook of vines and rural pastures. Modelled on a traditional woolshed, the guest wing has four self contained double ensuite bedrooms, each with their own balcony or patio (From $295 per night). Designed to the highest spec it also includes a fab lounge, open fireplace and huge outdoor dining area. If you fancy getting a bunch of friends together or are maybe planning a corporate retreat you can hire the whole house which sleeps up to 18 people. There are mountain bikes and kayaks available for guests to enjoy the Eskdale Mountain Bike Park and Mohaka River which are just a stone’s throw away. Hosts Baden and Justine also make their own wine and will happily treat you to a bottle of their “Farting Kiwi” Syrah. www.kiwiesque.co.nz
On a much smaller scale is The Country Apartment on Avery Road (about an 8 min drive from the airport). This is modern self-contained accommodation in a country setting and it’s a great spot to just get away from it all. (From $200 per night) Breakfast is home grown free range eggs and homemade muesli and jams. City slickers can make friends with their collection of farm animals including Olive and Marley, the super friendly donkeys and then get back to basics with the free wifi, Sky TV and all the other gadgets you’d expect from a city hotel. Owners Lizzie and Jonathan, recently relocated from Auckland, love Hawke’s Bay life and are keen to share their little piece of paradise with visitors and locals who want a break from the norm. They’ll even be your designated drivers so you can go out and enjoy a drink without having to drive home. Find out more about them at www.thecountryapartment.co.nz
And while we are talking about Esk Valley accommodation, let’s not forget Esk Valley Lodge.
Esk Valley Lodge is an established Bed and Breakfast situated in 18 acres of beautiful gardens and vineyards, making peace and privacy a key feature, yet only 15 minutes from Art Deco Napier. Each of the three rooms are named after the type of grape grown in the onsite vineyard, stay in the Sauvignon Suite for your own private lounge and sun drenched deck, or try out the equally delightful Semillon or Riesling Rooms. Breakfasts are cooked daily to your specifications and feature food plucked fresh from the gardens or sourced from local providers. Find out more at http://www.eskvalleylodge.co.nz
My Eskdale exploration led me to top eating and drinking spot-Valley D’Vine Restaurant and Bar, located on the Linden Estate and iunder the same roof as their cellar door (and right next door to Kiwiesque). Chef Greg Miller has been cooking for over 16 years and is getting rave reviews for his menu. Open Wed-Sun for lunch and Thurs-Sat for dinner, Valley D’Vine is also a great wedding and event venue. Saturday 2nd Feb will be “Valley Vibes” a first ever outdoor concert for Linden Estate. Featuring chart topper Tiki Taane and a whole host of other talented bands and DJs this will be a super chilled out day starting at 3pm. General Admission tickets are $50 and are available from eventfinda.co.nz. My tip is to make a day of it and stop off for a tasting at Esk Valley Wines and taste why they have a record 17 Air NZ Wine Awards Trophies before heading to the newly opened Zeelandt Brewing Co on Shaw Road, Eskdale. I’m not a big beer drinker but happily sipped on their Pale Ale with its nice citrusy hop flavour and refreshing finish matching nicely with the Hawke’s Bay sunshine.