Mark Garrison’s must visits, when munching in Marlborough.

A four-day Easter break in Marlborough was a culinary dream. There are wonderful restaurants everywhere, but four remain firmly planted in my mind.

Hans Herzog Winery Cellar Door Bistro (81 Jeffries Rd, Blenheim, 03 572 8770) is a simply elegant place for either lunch or dinner. Dining on the porch in the Mediterranean gardens was a fabulous way to while away an afternoon. The Wakanui beef tartare ($18.00) was among the best I have ever tasted. The chargrilled steak ($28) was perfectly cooked, and the ox cheek special was spot-on. Service, led by the warm and welcoming manager Holger was excellent and the bottle of 2011 Herzog Montepulciano ($74) was one of the best bottles of wine we have had in ages. A beautiful setting, paired with outstanding food and wine, makes this place a winner.


The Slip Inn (Havelock Marina, 03 574 2345) is a heavenly spot for a leisurely lunch. The menu blissfully focuses on seafood and locally sourced mussels figure prominently on the menu. The kilo of mussels ($16.50) was terrific as was the gurnard, the fish of the day ($23.50). The views are stunning as well.


If you find yourself in Marlborough, do yourself a favour and head to any or all of these places. You will have a fantastic time.

 Article | Mark Garrison