Thursday, September 19, 2013


Wairarapa landscape
I had never visited the Wairarapa, the region on the south eastern corner of New Zealand's North Island, but I knew it produced world famous wines.

I was not surprised to find a verdant landscape fringed with blue ranges but I was very surprised to find the Wairarapa dotted with quaint towns with French connections.
Carterton Building

Carterton Town Hall, and old building with modern addition

Everywhere there are French cafes, French bistros and French themed shops. I ate the best pastry I have ever tasted at the Mirabelle cafe in Carterton. The owner (very obviously French) assured me it had been made in his own kitchen and I am sure he was right. He had the most delicious prune and custard tart in his vitrine but unfortunately when we went back the next day (a Sunday) the shop was closed. The fabric shop with its lush and sumptuous French-made fabrics was very difficult to leave. The materials were so exquisite, each one lovlier than the next - linen, silk, cotton. 


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