Now we are at Level One and can confidently talk about post-Covid it’s time to get out and start exploring our beautiful country. I’m down in Arrowtown at the moment and recently posted about some of the great things I’ve done over the past week – ‘Queenstown is waiting for you.’ The response to the post was great so I here is another post about great places to eat and drink in our fabulous neighbourhood, Arrowtown. The hospitality businesses are hurting here, but they’re gradually opening and with Jetstar offering $48 fare from Auckland to Queenstown, I’m confident this place will be back in business in no time.
The golf, hiking and off course the skiing are excellent and with great restaurants and bars it makes for a great holiday
1. The Blue Door
In the heart of Arrowtown down a small lane is the Blue Door. It’s literally just that, a blue door with no signage. If you didn’t know it was there you would never find it. Ducking to get through the small door, the bar is rustic with low ceilings creating an intimate atmosphere. Crammed with old leather chairs and a few wine barrels the locals flock to this hub, especially on Wednesday nights when there’s live music.
On the quieter nights of the week sit in front of the fire and order some food from Fan Tan across the way.
8 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown
Open 4 pm till late
2. Fan Tan Kitchen and Bar
Fan Tan is opposite the Blue Door. It’s a blend of east, west fare. Sitting at the bar we shared prawn dumplings in a sticky laska sauce, followed by a take on Peking Duck. Rather than the skin of the duck, we had duck confit. As it fell from the bone we wrapped it in fine rice pancakes, smeared it with hoisin sauce, adding a few julienne strips of spring onion and cucumber and chowed it down.
For a special occasion book the chef’s bench. There’s room for four people to sit and watch the team at work in the kitchen while being fed by the chef. $75 a head.
Open for lunch and dinner
18 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown
3. La Rumbla
A little further down Buckingham Street is La Rumbla, a tapas and cocktail bar. It’s casual with seating at the bar as well as a variety of tables. The ever-changing menu takes its inspiration from the streets of Catalonia with delicious sharing plates. If the wagyu beef or duck breast are on the menu, give them a go. The food is excellent, but make sure you book to avoid disappointment.
Post-Covid La Rumbla have made a few tweeks to their opening hours and have started serving lunch on Sundays. For $45 a head, food starts being served at 1pm. I was there for the first Sunday. With excellent food and live music, there is no better way to spend a Sunday afternnoon.
54 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown
Open 4pm -10pm (Closed Monday)
4. Wet Jacket Wines
The old Bendemeer woolshed is now Wet Jacket’s cellar door and the Whitestone’s cheese room. It’s tucked behind Amisfield at the entrance to Bendemeer estate. The original woolshed and shearing quarters have been retained with the cellar at the back of the building and the cheese room at the front. The rustic building is inviting with a feeling of yesteryear.
Pop in for a wine tasting or better still sit outside in the garden if it’s warm enough and enjoy one of their fine wines with a nibble of cheese.
1 Bendemeer Lane, Lake Hayes
Open 11am -6pm daily
5. The Chop Shop Food Merchants
The first thing you notice when you walk into Chop Shop is the décor. It’s the most remarkable fit out with everything old; books, fabrics, typewriters, couches, vases. Vintage can really work. The owner said they were on the teensiest budget and everything had to be made, reinvented or recycled.
Moving on from the décor, the food is excellent. The food has an east, west flare and should be shared.
Arrow Lane, Arrowtown
Open from 7am – 4pm daily, later on Fridays for ”post-work drinks”.
6. The Fork and Tap Ale House
The Fork and Tap is a charming, historic pub in Arrowtown with a great selection of craft beers and wine to match the food. It’s casual with some sharing platters and great pub food including fish and chips, pork belly burger and slow-cooked lamb shoulder.
51 Buckingham St, Arrowtown 9302
Open 11am – 11pm daily
7. Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door
Amisfield has taken its food to a new level of presentation. With the 3 or 5 courses ‘Trust the Chef’ menu for lunch and a 7-course menu for dinner you will be delighted not just with the taste sensations, but also the theatre in the presentation. If you are worried about dietary requirements they will work around the most unusual requests.
My all-time favourite dish is this frozen tamarillo. With a bang from the back of a spoon, it shatters with blood-red tamarillo flowing out. The taste is sensational.
The courses can be wine matched with Amisfield wines or purchased separately.
10 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd, Frankton,
Open 12pm-8pm daily
8. Hole in One
The ‘Hole in One’ at Millbrook Resort is a delightful café, come bar. It caters for every minute of the day with great coffee, delicious scrolls, soup for lunch and an après ski wine. in front of the fire. The atmosphere is relaxing and there is no better place to read the newspaper or catch up with friends.
1124 Malaghans Rd, Arrowtown 9371