Take a car or taxi to The Sherwood , six minutes out of town, a converted motel/hotel that has an exceptional restaurant attached. Dark walls, plenty of greenery and gorgeous views across Lake Wakatipu.
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The hotel committed to sustainability through renewable energy, waste management and thinking local, and this philosophy applies to the restaurant too – the greens are fresh from the organic garden, the sourdough is baked on-site, wild mushrooms, rosemary and fruits are gathered, and everything they can’t source themselves comes from a local producer. And it’s all divine to eat too. The menu changes with the season, but those twice-cooked potato chips seem to be a constant. Get them.
At Eichardt’s Bar , grab a table near the fireplace and overlooking the street. The bar is open all day, but if you want to try the cocktail menu (and you really should), head over in the afternoon. Here they serve a range of classics and more modern concoctions, and they take the business of cocktail-making very seriously indeed.
Order a Treacle Cherry Smoke if you enjoy the peatiness of Islay whiskies, or a Lychee and Rose Petal Martini for more delicate flavours. Or try the Award Winner – with gin, rhubarb, egg white, lemon and two types of bitters – which won actual awards in Queenstown’s cocktail competition this year.
Alongside these, grab a couple of small plates from the tapas menu – the fried banana blossoms (which in texture are a bit like artichoke) in particular are excellent. There was snow on the ground in Queenstown this week, so step inside and warm up.
Just minutes away, and next door to the legendary Fergberger, Ferg’s Bar is just a few months old. It doesn’t look like it’s owned by a burger joint – the interior is dark and cosy. There’s shist rock and engraved woods, and some very pretty cocktails – pavlova martini, anyone?
This is still New Zealand’s No. 1 party town though, so expect to be dancing to Diana Ross on a Sunday night.
Live in style at The Spire – where on arrival the fireplace will be blazing and classical music gently playing in your suite. The rooms are all bold red accents and sexy leather armchairs, with stone-clad fireplaces, large bathrooms (including a very deep bath, big enough for two) and generous balconies (do wrap up, this is Queenstown after all).
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