We have just had the perfect kind of Sunday - a stay at home sort of day, which has given us the chance for a little emotional and physical recharge.
Courteney and Laura are down in Queenstown for a couple of days at a wedding, and Hannah is also away for the weekend - somewhere high in the alpine range in the Arthurs Pass region with the other members of her team for Godzone next year, doing a little training. As you do...
Hopefully the weather in both locales has been a little dryer than what we've got to experience in the BOP and which has made picking a time in the day to head out on the bike an exercise in indecision!
We pick Hannah up from the airport later tonight, and figured that prior to that we'd go to the movies - seen rave reviews of 'Widow's', and before that would head to the Iki bar at the new Clarence Hotel for a little look see. Have been hearing much chat as you always do when somewhere new opens, and have been itching to find an opportunity to go ourselves.
There are now only three full trading weeks till Christmas, and for us, those are the biggest weeks of the year. That means that any down time over the next little while is a rare commodity and is possibly why today has felt extra sweet. Going in to tomorrow there will be much to get our heads around and to organise, because there is much to be ready for, and the devil is always in the detail!
We will stay open for dinner on Sunday 23rd December, closing Monday 24th through to Friday, and reopening for dinner on Saturday 29th, open dinner Sunday 30th and dinner Monday 31st. Closed the next two days, and then reopened lunch and dinner on Thursday 3rd, and as normal thereafter.
New Years Eve will be celebrated as always with a special menu, that will include a complimentary glass of bubbles, and which will cost $110.00 per head for the food. Bookings are necessary, and you can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring the restaurant on 07 57 66889.
And a word about vouchers - we sell truckloads at this time of year, but increasingly we're dealing with people who want them emailed and as yet we are not able to comply with that request. Until our needed website upgrade next year we continue to offer vouchers the oldfashioned way. You can either pop into the restaurant and pick them up yourself, or order them via the website and I will send them out via NZPost. Regretfully NZPost is a shadow of it's formal self, and I'm only too well aware that service can take a matter of days, a passage of time that some people find vexatious if they have left their gift buying to the last minute.
And another thing - closed on the 24th, really does mean closed on the 24th. No amount of pounding on the restaurant door is going to magically yield someone able to sell you a voucher - but we'd love to be able to do that for you on a day preceding that....
There seems to be lots of change afoot in the local hospitality scene at the moment, with openings either having just happened or being iminent. Many of these are by local experienced people who we know and admire very much so we're looking forward to seeing what they have created. Downtown Tauranga has been severly hampered by all the major building sites creating such an impediment to the flow of traffic. It has to be affecting the day to day cashflow of businesses in the area - that kind of disruption acts as a major disencentive to people, so to see some positivety and brightness emerging from behind the scaffolding is hopefully a portend of more to come for the city.
The Clarence Hotel is surely going to prove that even here in the Bay of Plenty where I'm convinced we almost lead NZ in the amount of brand new housing created over the last few years, whole new suburbs have been popping up like mushrooms, we do also have at least one major historic building that has been lovingly restored and repurposed to the local community's delight. We're hearing lots of good comments and are looking forward to seeing it all for ourselves.
Hamish and Catharine are due to open soon on The Strand, and Sandy must be opening in the very near future out in Te Puna, so looking forward to having some free time in January when we can enjoy someone else's enthusiasm and ideas. It all makes me genuinely hopeful for the future of the city - serious owner/operators who care passionately about what they do and who are helping make the city a more vibrant and dynamic place.
Time now to head out the door - leaving Benson home all alone. A state that makes him very miserable. We've never had a dog previously that craves company quite like this one. I may occasionally relish an empty, quiet house, but he gets more morose the fewer people around..
We wish you a very happy Christmas season and much joy in 2019.
And we look forward to catching up soon.