Stay and play at one of Queenstown's more unique approaches of accommodation and dining.
That first moment when you land on the tarmac and start to see your surroundings is always an exciting moment when visiting somewhere new. Touching down in Queenstown is without a doubt up there as one of my favourites. A run-way adorned with snowy mountains and a crispness that touches your cheeks as soon as you step outside of the toasty arrivals terminal. I knew I was going to like it here.
Less than a 10minute drive and perched just on the outskirts of the main street of Queenstown, is our first stay for the night, Sherwood. More like an experience than just a place to rest one's head, the slightly retro and alternative approach to accommodation offers a change from the chains and hey anywhere that offers a tee-pee as accommodation wins brownie points with me!
There is a real sense of community with Sherwood regularly hosting local musicians, markets and events on the lush grounds. Guests can also enjoy the onsite yoga classes, BMX tracks and can be arranged through the front reception. Being surrounded by such breath-taking natural beauty, Sherwood also takes the opportunity to embrace these elements with over three acres of crisp alpine hillside to meander through.
Being our first night in New Zealand and arriving into town in the early evening it was nice to be able to stay somewhere that wasn’t a mammoth drive away and that also offered a place to dine less than a 50m stroll from our room.
Even if you’re not staying at Sherwood, make a reservation at their restaurant to encounter refined and contemporary local inspired dishes. Dimly lit, decorated with fur skins and alpine accents, this is the kind of place you want to unwind and take your time.
Presenting one of the most creative wine list in the form of a 'wine map', sippers are taken on a flavour journey by dividing the wines into different taste sections like delicate, introverted, sparkling, extravagant and my personal favourite, rich. It's great for those of us who like to learn through visuals and a little bit more about the local wines along the way.
New Zealand may be world famous for their work in the cellar, but their creations in the craft beer market are up there with some of the finest brews. Be sure to try local Queenstown boutique brewers Altitude Brewers, who produce a diverse selection from pale ales to darker stouts. When it comes to suppliers, Sherwood's philosophy to support local producers is something which influences not only the bar menu but also in the kitchen.
Now to the food. I have to admit to being a little bewildered as to what exactly 'New Zealand' food is, but after tucking into this menu, I think I walked away with a much better understanding. This is a selection of dishes that play with seasonal produce not only locally sourced but also from the garden bed that grows of variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs on site.
Starting with the small plate of green-lipped mussels, a meaty, sweet delicacy of the sea that was mingled with herby tones and flavours on the accompanying seaweed broth.
Venison is something which we don't get a lot of the menu's back home in oz, so when I saw the venison tartare I knew instantly what the next small dish would be. Not too gamey in flavour, the meat was served with a pairing of horseradish, currants, a traditional egg yolk and crispy bread with a hint of rosemary. One very clever take on a classic.
Lamb rump as the main was tender, pink and served with garden greens, simple and fresh. The beef ribeye was high-quality and served with black garlic, parsnips and a native bush pepper called horopito.
Bellies full and ready to retire for the night, the rooms are well insulated and warm, ready for sleepy travellers to put up their feet and relax. The thick woollen blankets provided by South Island Flocks are perfect for those slightly chilly evenings.
To find out more about Sherwood to stay and play visit their website for more details and plan your next escape.
554 Frankton Road