February 25, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Started with the scallops served with a sweet corn beurre blanc and a wasabi pea crumble, and the
cornbread bruschetta – onion, tomato and basil, on a rich corn bread.
For mains we tasted the salmon served with a cabbage and carrot slaw and bland corn polenta, and the
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.
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.
The fish of the day was Red Gurnard, a local New Zealand fish, plated with gnocchi and fennel.
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.