Two years ago we were in Te Aroha, a small town in the Waikato area of NZ’s north island. T5 was parked in the grounds of a private club which offered a secure site and the use of the club premises for a nominal fee. It was our wedding anniversary and I was determined to celebrate (hey, 9 years married to a feisty Kiwi…!). All dressed up, we (or rather I) decided the Club’s pub grub style restaurant was not good enough for such an important event, but where to go? We drove into town …. and there towards the end of the main street was an authentic Italian restaurant. Amazing!
We had the most wonderful meal in an eclectic atmosphere, topped off with an Affogatto served with style in the proper italian manner by the proprietress. A scoop of vanilla icecream, a demitasse of extra strong coffee, and a shot of liqueur. I have never forgotten it, it’s been my benchmark for affogatto ever since.
Fast forward two years, we are in Blenheim and again it is THAT DATE. Blenheim on a Friday is not very scintillating. Where to go? All the Vineyard cafes closed at about 5 pm. The one very good restaurant was booked out, as was No.2. on the ‘best restaurants in Blenheim’ guide. Pub grub did not appeal, no matter how good it is on other occasions. We drove round and round and were almost resigned to going back to T5 for left-over pasta when Dave spotted … an Italian restaurant! Rocco’s was not on the list of Blenheim restaurants which we had checked earlier. Once again we had a scrumptious meal, with a gorgeous Sicilian wine (in Marlborough wine country!), and for dessert I ordered – you guessed it – affogatto. Although very tasty it did not live up to the Te Aroha benchmark. Talking to the proprietor, he promised to make the coffee stronger next time!
It was a lovely anniversary.
(I am posting this immediately, but have two other posts still to do which really precede this one in time….)