A weekend in Martinborough: wine, food and sunshine

We are just home from a lovely relaxing weekend over the Rimutaka Hills in Martinborough, where, as regular readers will know, we often go over for a day trip.  This time, however, we made a weekend of it.

Where we stayed: Margrain Vineyard

On one of our recent trips, we did a wine tasting at this vineyard, and noticed they also have some accommodation, Margrain Vineyard Villas.  The buildings looked quite intriguing from a distance, and we decided it might be fun to stay here for a couple of nights.

Villa no 2

The accommodation was great for a weekend, with a decent sized room, bathroom and good sized balcony (perfect for a summer evening with some local wine).  Breakfast was toast and tea, but there was a nearby cafe where you could easily get a cooked start to the day (including the delightful “big Scottish breakfast”, including square sausage, black pudding, and potato scones along side the eggs, bacon and toast – we stuck with just toast!).

The bed, with cushions thrown on the floor


One of the windows, high up the wall


More windows – gave the room a lot of natural light

What we did: tasted wine, visited new places, and relaxed

We drove over on Saturday morning, and had lunch at The Village Cafe, before checking in.  Naturally, staying in Martinbourgh, we did some wine tasting and purchasing, and I’ll do a separate post on this.  We ate a fantastic dinner at Cafe Medici, on Saturday night, with Karl opting for the Wellington on a Plate burger, “lightly smoked Piriona Station lamb patty with whipped Kingsmeade goat’s cheese and Pinot Noir jelly in a Clareville Bakery pretzel bun, with polenta chips” which was apparently fantastic (I can vouch for the polenta chips being good at least!) and served with Garage Project Hapi Daze beer.  I had a wonderful lamb dish, which was so tender and full of flavour. However, I didn’t write down exactly what the sauce was made of, hoping to find it on their website later, but I can say it got 10/10 for flavour. The photos I took don’t do the food justice, so I’m not going to publish them, but I can highly recommend Cafe Medici as a place to go.

IMG_5358Lunch: Caeser salad in front, smoked salmon sandwich in the background

The balcony
The view from the balcony with cows in the distance

On Sunday, we visited Stonehenge Aotearoa and then browsed the shops and had lunch in Greytown, both of which I’ll cover in another post.  We were blessed with some fantastic weather, with Sunday in particular being warm and sunny, and no need for coats during the day.

Sunday morning

IMG_5375The cows came to visit on Sunday

It was so peaceful on Sunday morning, that the only sounds were birds singing and cows eating and moving about the paddock behind the villa.

Verdict on the weekend:

Wonderful and relaxing.  We tasted some wine, ate some good food, enjoyed some early spring sunshine and saw some new places.  There was no WiFi where we stayed, but we didn’t miss it. Also, being winter still, a few vineyards were also shut.  One thing to note – not all places are open on Sunday evening for dinner, and so you need to book if you have somewhere specific in mind.  We had dinner at the Martinborough Hotel on Sunday, which does decent pub food (I had some nice salmon).  Final verdict: highly recommended as a weekend escape.


Sunday night


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