Tonight marks Midwinter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. In a more temperate Auckland midwinter passes by without too much fuss; but down south, midwinter is celebrated in style. Down south, there is something invigorating about a true winter’s day… and the weather is always the first topic of conversation.
June also marks 6 months since we left Dunedin for Auckland, so it’s timely that I reflect on the things I miss about Dunedin. Here is a tour of my Dunedin favourites:
|Jack Frost on stilts – a great and warm viewing place is up
in Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant – excellent food
and a wonderful selection of Central Otago wines
(Dunedin’s first wine bar) Photo: Alan Dove Photography – Facebook
| Lighted Lanterns are a feature of the Midwinter Carnival in the Octagon,
St Paul’s Cathedral in the background. Photo: courtesy of Dunedin Tourism
It will be no surprise that my tour of Dunedin city is focused on food. My choices have been influenced by my interest in the Victorian and Edwardian architecture of the city.
|Left Wedgewood tiles adorn the interior of the Railway Station;
centre; First Church and right; Robbie Burns with St Pauls Cathedral in the Octagon.
Photos courtesy of Tourism Dunedin
Scotia Bar and Bistro
|Victorian Terrace Houses built for the country landlords as
town houses. Photo courtesy of Tourism Dunedin
I like the ambience and cosy feel as well as the good food. Enter this Victorian terrace house and you come to a bar with a wall of whisky and a warming fire. You can choose to have a pre-dinner drink beside the warm fire. The food by chef Andy Aitken has a touch of Scotland in the menu choice. You can choose Haggis as an entree, which is surprisingly tasty and I had the best cooked Bluff oysters there. Smaller, cheaper meals are on offer, which are ideal before going just up the road to the The Fortune – Otago and Southlands Professional Theatre.
Taste Nature – Organic shop and kitchen
First it’s got a large range of organically grown fruit and vegies, organic meats and a large selection of flours, grains, oils, dried goods, garden seeds, herbal products and spices. I must say it’s one of the best organic supply shops around.
|Photos from Taste Nature|
Second, the kitchen that used to only do takeaway lunches now has seating so you can choose to have your lunch on site. I love the casual atmosphere here, where you help yourself to a warming soup from a slow cooker for around $6 and another $1 for a thick slice of fresh baked bread, and pay later at the shop counter.
Thirdly, the building has a wonderful history dating back to the 1800’s when Dunedin was a boom town. You can still see along the top of the building Bing Harris. They were importers of the materials that supplied the many clothing manufacturers in the city. The new property developers have used old features really well, preserving the integrity of the old city for modern use.
Hair Raiser Tours & City Walks
Athol left and Andrew right; here they are celebrating the life of
a famous Dunedin walker Joe Scott with a walking race around
the Octagon during the Rugby World Cup 2011.
It is also a fabulous ‘deli’. I have met many small producers at Farmer’s markets and when asked if they have an outlet in Dunedin often the reply would be, “Yes, Everyday Gourmet sells our product”.
|Tempting edibles under those glass domes, and a wall that
runs the entire length of the shop is loaded with gourmet products
from New Zealand and overseas.
Quadrant Gallery in The Quarter, Moray Place
Otago Farmers Market at the Railway Station
The farmers market has been operating for 12 years and is a regular Saturday morning routine for Dunedin foodies. It’s not only fresh produce on sale, its an opportunity to talk to producers directly, try new things and catch up with friends.
|To find the Farmers Market you only have to spot the Railway
Station at the end of Stuart Street – the market is at the north end
of the station (left of picture) Photo: Tourism Dunedin
The highlight of my visit is catching up with Alison Lambert in the mobile kitchen. Alison demonstrates easy ways of cooking with produce on sale at the market. She is inspirational in the way she can produce something delicious out of a caravan with just a gas hob and small oven, sometimes in a southerly gale. This means every recipe she makes is simple and anyone can make her recipes.
|You can watch Alison cook and have tastings every Saturday morning at the
market and if you are quick enough, grab a printed recipe sheet. Its not only the recipes – its all the handy
tips that are so helpful. Photo courtesy of Otago Farmers Market
From Otago Farmers Market Recipes I have chosen one especially for my brother Jamie whom I introduced Cavolo Nero recently. It is also known as Italian Kale or Black Cabbage. Jamie loves silverbeet and grows lots of it, but after tasting Cavolo Nero, the silverbeet may end up in the back row of his garden.
|Like growing cabbage you need to give Cavolo Nero
plenty to eat and it will reward you with greens all winter
Caldo Verde – Portuguese Soup – a recipe from Alison Lambert
You can buy some great sausages at the market to go into this perfect soup for a midwinter’s weekend.
So Dunedin, here’s wishing you a clear fine evening for the Midwinter Carnival – wish I was there.
… oh and I haven’t forgotten the Otago Peninsula. I think that needs a posting all to itself. Next posting I will be mixing it with penguins and seals and having tea at a castle.