Sleeping and Dining in Marlborough, NZ

February 25, 2014

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Vintners Hotel centrally located within a short drive of many of the more popular Marlborough wineries, offers contemporary upscale suites, some with views of the vineyards that border the property.

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The new facilities are crisp and clean and include a living area as well as a kitchenette. Plenty of easy parking and a good wifi connection. Laundry facilities are available on the property.

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A breakfast buffet, not included in the price, is served in the hotel restaurant. Aside from the usual cold breakfast offerings the selection includes a house-made smoked salmon and Doris plums.

Dinner, however, was a disappointment. The tantalizing limited menu promised much, but the dishes fell short.

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Started with the scallops served with a sweet corn beurre blanc and a wasabi pea crumble, and the

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cornbread bruschetta – onion, tomato and basil, on a rich corn bread.

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For mains we tasted the salmon served with a cabbage and carrot slaw and bland corn polenta, and the

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Sichuan lamb. The overcooked lamb tasted of cumin rather than Sichuan pepper. A skimpy portion of lamb compared to the quantity of potatoes served with it.

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For dessert a dark chocolate and raspberry coulis meringue.

Nearby the Hans Herzog Bistro offers outstanding food and service in a more casual setting than its formal big brother next door. The bistro dining room, really a series of connecting rooms in a vintage house, has a warm and convivial ambiance.

We started with the bread salad described on the menu as a traditional panzanella. Although a tasty combination of mixed of greens, summer tomato, basil and two kinds of cheese, it bore little resemblance to any traditional bread salad I’ve ever seen – lots of greens and very little bread.

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The fish of the day was Red Gurnard, a local New Zealand fish, plated with gnocchi and fennel.

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The lamb cassoulet was a summer version of the traditionally hearty winter dish. The lighter adaptation included green beans, peas and potatoes in addition to the traditional cannellini white beans. Great on a cool late-summer evening.

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