Thursday 18 June 2020

Wairarapa ~ Greytown Aventures

Want to know a little secret? If you asked me when we moved to Wairarapa if I thought we’d still be here now, my answer would have been, hell no! I was pretty much dragged kicking and screaming but calmed myself by thinking this was going to be just a pit stop for us, and a move to boost Jake's career. If you ask me now, I don't know if this will be our “forever home” but I can't imagine us living anywhere else…We have fallen in love with the Wairarapa, especially Greytown!

Greytown is a little hidden secret and it is one of New Zealand's prettiest towns right up there with Arrowtown and Martinborough! It's very picturesque with its Victorian buildings and tree lined streets. If you find yourself in this pretty town, and you're looking for a great little spot where you can drink wine, eat delicious food, and indulge in some people watching, I know just the spot!

Follow me to Pinocchio’s Restaurant and Bar…This is Greytown’s newest restaurant situated right on the main street, with an outdoor courtyard that would be well utilised over the summer months.

Pinocchio has actually been a staple of the Wairarapa food culture for the past six years. However, it used to be situated in Martinborough and at times hard to reserve a table due to its popularity. Now they have opened in Greytown at a newer and much larger location. They are now open for lunches from Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Friday and Saturday. We couldn’t resist and decided to pop in for lunch on our latest family day out.

As soon as we entered the door we were greeted by Elly. She was so friendly and looked after us, taking our coats and showing us to our table. Pinocchio is a family owned and operated restaurant established by husband & wife, Paul & Elly Ansell.

The menu had us salivating in minutes so we ordered up a storm! There’s nothing better than finding a great new restaurant spot that you just can’t wait to tell your friends (in my case, you!) about.

The restaurant itself has a cosy, relaxed feel to it. They are also very family friendly providing a highchair for Arlo including a colouring book and pencils along with the children's menu. 

We weren’t disappointed as each course arrived! To start, we had freshly shucked Pacific oysters served natural with shallot & chardonnay vinaigrette, along with lemon and chargrilled tiger prawns and aioli. Beautiful fresh seafood…was delicious! Arlo had the Mac & Cheese which was brought out with our starters and he loved it.

For our mains I got their signature dish, confit duck leg, parsnip purée, kumara gratin, cherry, orange jus and cress. The duck just fell apart under my fork, was cooked to perfection and the flavours went together perfectly. Jake had the six hour braised beef cheek, with remoulade slaw, parsnip puree, baby beets and hazelnuts. They were both so good we had to stop ourselves from licking the plates! 

Of course when Elly came back and asked us if we would like dessert, we couldn't say no! I had the white chocolate parfait with salted caramel, berry cream, raspberry coulis and biscuit crumb. Jake had their house made chocolate truffle with hazelnut crumb, raspberry dust and caramel. Arlo happily sat and ate his ice cream which comes as part of the children's menu. 

We couldn't fault any of the dishes, every course was exceptional! Thank you Paul and Elly for a wonderful experience. You guys make the dream duo! We can't wait to visit this place again and again. We will be taking all our friends and family to what has become one of our favourite restaurants in the Wairarapa! 

Feeling full and satisfied we headed down the road to Cobblestones Museum. This is a great way to spend the afternoon, allowing you to step back in time in this beautiful historical village. 

This museum is bigger than it first appears from the street. We were quite surprised how big it actually was, and how much history there is to learn and see. Whilst the front part of the museum is accessed through a modern building, it opens up to a small historic village at the back, which includes a fire station, an old school and even a hospital!

Arlo really enjoyed his adventure through these buildings and they also made great backdrops for gorgeous photos. Cobblestones Museum also has fun workbooks for children to fill in and also a gift store which sells vintage articles, educational toys, New Zealand souvenirs, and crafts made by local artists. 

Don’t forget to stop into Schoc Chocolates. This is a unique artisan chocolate studio located in a super cute colonial cottage. The smell as you walk into the shop is amazing! This is where you can pick up a cup of hot chocolate. Perfect for keeping you warm on a winter's day here in the Wairarapa! They also have a large selection of chocolates to choose from and you can try most if not all the different flavours they make (I would recommend trying a few, especially the more quirky combos like lavender, and of course, lime & chilli). Trust me you won’t be able to leave the store without buying a few blocks to enjoy! If you like chocolate, this is the place for you and if you know Arlo….he loves his chocolate!

Our meal at Pinocchio was gifted for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.

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