Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Weekend away and a recipe!

Lemon Crumble Slice

Hi again, hope you are all well and getting through winter without too much trouble!

Paul and I decided to have a wee break from the winter in Auckland and spend a weekend on the Coromandel Penninsula - about an hour and a half from central Auckland. We picked our B&B and set off for the lovely drive from here to Thames.

When you arrive at Haven Homestay - after all the introductions, tour and settling in your room - I always invite guests to have a cuppa with us, to get to know who we will be sharing our home with us and to ascertain what the guests might want to do whilst they are staying in Auckland. This is a simple thing to do, but I feel so important to make our guests feel at home.

So, back to my story - The un-named B&B we stayed at was a lovely period property, clean and comfortable, no complaints there - but - the welcome "sign" wasn't a happening thing - and it made SUCH a difference to us as guests. We didn't know the area - where the best place was to eat - which bush walk was worth doing - you get what I'm saying!

So I am glad that we went out and stayed at another B&B, if only to know that what we do here at Haven Homestay helps in some small way and that people feel at home and comfortable staying in our home!

Well my latest instagram of the slice pictured above was popular - many requests for the recipe! This recipe came to me from my lovely friend Jane - a farmers wife in Gisborne. Its as popular down on the farm as it is here at Haven Homestay.

Isn't it funny that with all the fancy iced cakes you see theses days a plain old slice still catches the eye! So here goes.............



Put the first three ingredients in the food processor and wizz together - then add beaten eggs and wizz again - press two thirds of the crumble mixture into a lined swiss roll tin - spread with a jar of lemon curd - sprinkle the rest of the mixture over the top of the curd - bake at 180 degs for 30 minutes - Jane mentions that you can really use any preserves but as many of us know lemon always hits the spot!!

So, if you were to stay at a B&B would you want to have a welcoming cuppa with home baking or be left alone to get on with it?...............................

Till next time, when I will tell you about what we found to do on our short stay on the Coromandel Penninsula... bye!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another lovely sunny day in Auckland!

Shelley Beach

Hello again family and friends! Last weekend was Queens Birthday weekend and the weather was glorious once more so we packed our trusty picnic bag and set off north west of Auckland to the Kaipara Harbour.

The drive through lovely farmland and forest areas was lovely and we got to Shelly Beach in 45 minutes or so.

The public domain at Shelley beach was surprisingly very busy, with lots of boat trailers and people getting their boats in and out of the water. It was quite entertaining listening to the chaps talking about their luck that day. The cafe was also quite popular and I noticed that they served fresh fish and chips - might have to forget the picnic next time!!!

After a walk down the long wharf, chatting with the kids fishing there, we had a short walk to the end of the beach - we didn't get very far as the tide was high. Its a lovely spot though for a relaxing day in the sun with plenty of people watching on offer. There is a small area for overnight parking of campervans and seemed to be a popular thing to do as it was full of visitors.

When travelling to Shelley Beach there are many different activities for young and old to do - we passed Woodhill State Forest and noticed signs for mountain biking trails and Tree Adventures, you can find info here www.treeadventures.co.nz. There are also mineral springs at Parakai  www.parakaisprings.co.nz This pool has hydroslides pools for families as well as quieter ones inside for those that just wish to relax. We also noticed the airfield which seems to be a popular spot for skydiving   groups www.parakaiairfield.co.nz and if we'd been adventurous it would have been the perfect day for it - lovely and clear!

And on the way home you can always stop at the many vineyards out in West Auckland and have a tasting session or two. One of our favourites is Westbrook Winery
www.westbrook.co.nz. We have spent many happy times here and it is a lovely place to end another busy day out in Auckland - all not far from Havenhomestay.

Westbrook Winery

And now I must go and plan our next "day out" ...till next time......


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mothers Day Picnic, a lovely sunny day out and about!

Tawharanui Regional Park

Hi again dear readers....

Auckland has been blessed this Autumn with the most stunning weather - long sunny days - without the searing heat of the summer sun. This Mothers Day we set off on a drive up to our favourite spot in the region - Tawharanui Penninsula. Just a short hours drive up state highway 1, Tawharanui is a favourite with many Auckland families in the summer months. On a sunny Autumn day it is the perfect spot for a walk and a picnic.

Tawharanui is a regional park and park rangers and volunteers have managed to free the area of pests and predators - consequently there is now an abundance of birdlife and kiwis.There are many lovely walking tracks long and short. We sat and had our picnic under the shade of the trees before setting off for a short walk to the rocky area  in the photograph.


There are many other things to do on a day out to Tawharanui - lots of interesting cafes and crafty places to visit nearby - well worth the drive for a relaxing day out from Haven Homestay! We LOVE it!!!!

Till next time .............