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Where to stay and what to eat in Marlborough

The view from Bell Tower.

If you want to support quake-affected Marlborough, Lauraine Jacobs has a few ideas.

The Kaikoura earthquake dramatically rattled the Marlborough region, but resilient locals and the hospitality industry have pulled together to minimise the effects. They are determined to make the best of the situation and attract tourists who can enjoy the fine food and wine of the area.

The region has a wealth of food and wine experiences, safe and easy bike trails, the Queen Charlotte Track for the adventurous hiker and a network of boat trips to the Marlborough Sounds that make it a great place for holidays and getaway weekends.

Here are a few suggestions for accommodation and eating in the region.

Laurella cottage.

Stay

Laurella Cottage, Rapaura

Stunning renovated 1850s cottage in the centre of the beautiful Upton Oaks garden.

laurella.co.nz

Bell Tower on Dog Point, Hawkesbury

Understated luxury, kept a little below the radar but perfect for couples or a group of up to eight who can eat in with fine local catering. Fine views overlooking the Wairau Valley and a brisk walk to the owners’ winery, Dog Point.

thebelltower.co.nz

Fossickers Hut, Wakamarina

Very cool pioneer-style accommodation.

canopycamping.co.nz/listings/fossickers-hut-marlborough

Hotel D’Urville, Blenheim

This boutique hotel has quirky but comfortable rooms in the centre of town and a newly refurbished bistro.

durville.com

Raetihi Lodge, Kenepuru Sound

Reached by boat, this elegant lodge with a fully catered dining room is a great hideaway.

raetihilodge.co.nz

Arbour restaurant.

Eat

Arbour, Fairhall

A menu sourced from local, seasonal fare is created daily by rising star chef Bradley Hornby and is matched by superb service and a fine local wine list at this rural restaurant. Bookings advised.

arbour.co.nz

Scotch Wine Bar, Blenheim

Tasty small-plate dining in the centre of Blenheim, with an extensive and eclectic by-the-half-glass list.

scotchbar.co.nz

Vines Village Cafe, Rapaura

Boutique shopping, large sprawling outdoors, simple, tasty dishes, good beer selection, Whitehaven wines on site. Also home to Alex Fulton Design.

vinesvillagecafe.co.nz

Marlborough clams and scampi.

Rock Ferry, Rapaura

Garden vineyard restaurant located in the middle of Rock Ferry Vineyard.

rockferry.co.nz

Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen, Rapaura

Platters and garden-fresh lunches at this popular casual cafe.

saintclair.co.nz

Marlborough Farmers’ Market

A visit to the Marlborough Farmers’ Market, open Saturday mornings at Blenheim’s A&P Showgrounds, is recommended.

marlboroughfarmersmarket.co.nz

For more information on what to do and where to go, see marlboroughnz.com

This article was first published in the June 24, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.