I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend! It’s been a long month, so I was truly looking forward to this one – a four day weekend thanks to annual leave. My fiancé and I were travelling up to Matakana to attend a friend’s wedding, and thought, why not stay longer?
We attended the wedding on Thursday, a beautiful wedding ceremony at The Stables that continued into a wild and wonderful wedding reception on a night full of delicious food, lots of bubbly, music and dancing. A perfect night of celebrating the bride & groom’s love. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Cornwall! ❤
Here’s what we got up to on our mini weekend getaway, post-wedding..
We stayed in the best Airbnb we could’ve possibly asked for. Called an ‘eco modern annex apartment’, the apartment adjoins the contemporary family home of the hosts, located in a blissfully private, secluded area – yet only 5 minutes away from the heart of Matakana. Built on ‘passive house’ principles, the apartment uses solar hot water, filtered rainwater, and double glazing.
My favourite part of staying in this apartment was all the lovely touches that made our stay extra cosy and comfortable. The living/dining area and bedroom both feature dimmable lights, allowing us to create the atmosphere we wanted; the bedroom featured hanging side lamps with a warm golden glow; every personal hygiene and cleaning product was natural, eco-friendly and NZ made; and there was even a speaker cleverly placed high up in the living/dining area for us to plug in our own audio device and play music to our hearts’ content.
Of course, one of the main highlights was the incredible view. I absolutely loved being surrounded by nothing but pure nature and greenery; there were even a few chickens running around. The north-facing deck and floor to ceiling windows allowed for plenty of sunshine, making the apartment warm and relaxing. We spent most of Friday sitting at the (extendable) dining table, reading and writing in this sunshine with a lit candle and freshly brewed tea. Bliss!
Exhausted after a long night of festivities, we started Friday with brunch at Plume – less than 5 minutes from our Airbnb. The cafe feels cosy in an old-fashioned way – like you are enjoying a home-cooked meal in somebody’s home. We sat near a window and enjoyed a hearty meal, starting with coconut hot chocolate and Earl Grey.
My Big Breakfast consisted of scrambled free range eggs from Whangaripo Valley, Matakana Butchery sausage and bacon, tomato, mushroom, and duck fat roasted potatoes; my fiancé’s omelette consisted of eggs, bacon, cheese & capsicum. We shared American style pancakes with creamy mascarpone, berry compote, banana & maple syrup for dessert.
If you’re up in Matakana and looking for an eatery with an easygoing atmosphere and friendly staff, Plume is your place. It’s also across the road from the dairy, postshop, and pharmacy – so very convenient for anything else you may need to grab after!
Matakana Market Kitchen
After a relaxing day of reading and writing in the sun, my fiancé and I went to dine at Matakana Market Kitchen. It’s located in the heart of the village, and is clearly loved by locals and visitors alike.
We started with our favourite sparkling wine: Lothlorien Apple & Feijoa Sparkling Wine. It’s organic and super refreshing, made locally in Ahuroa, New Zealand. We discovered this wine from the Matakana market two years ago and have loved it ever since.
For mains, my fiancé chose the 300g sirloin Hereford Aged Steak served with agria fries and red wine jus, while I chose their Seared Prawns in a parmesan timbale on a Brazilian salad with apricots and nuts, citrus dressing and cream cheese: fresh, juicy prawns with just the right amount of fruitiness and crunch. We enjoyed their Brazilian caramel flan with raspberry for dessert – rich and sweet, though next time we’d also love to try the kaffir lime & coconut panna cotta!
Matakana Village Farmers Market
Our last day in Matakana was on Saturday, the day of the weekly farmers market. We headed straight to a food stall I absolutely love: Bite Me Food Truck by C&C Kitchen. Two years ago, when we first came to the Matakana Village Farmers Market, I tried their shiitake mushroom dumplings.. Which were so delicious and memorable I’ve been looking forward to coming back since.
This time, I tried their chicken & pork dumplings, and got some for my fiancé too. They were phenomenal! Crunchy, tasty, wholesome and flavoursome. If you’re ever up in Matakana, these dumplings are definitely worth a try.
We browsed the stalls and shops and bought a few more things: batch10 pink gin made in Puhoi, jars of honey from Matakana Honey, and award-winning manuka honey dark chocolate from Matakana chocolatiers Honest Chocolat. As you may have guessed, Matakana is a great place to support local businesses and stock up on New Zealand products made with heart. It’s one of the things I love about the community!
We ended our trip with a movie at Matakana Cinemas, the local boutique cinema. Toy Story 4 was more beautiful, touching and emotionally engaging than I expected, and we both absolutely loved it. Worth a watch – it’s sure to give you nostalgia! (If you’re a millennial who was a kid when the first Toy Story released, that is..)
I hope you’ve enjoyed my post and maybe even picked up some good recommendations! Matakana turned out to be the perfect place for a weekend of resting and recharging. At only 45 minutes north of Auckland, it may well work wonders for you too – even as a short and sweet day trip.