Gardening Workshop

A rainy September day did not deter the gardening enthusiasts attending our inaugural Gardening Workshop - "Get Ready for Spring". Welcoming our guests with a roaring fire in the Barn, we enjoyed morning tea ( a delicious home-made slice courtesy of our kitchen!) and spent the first part of the session listening to Agrissentials founder, John Morris talk about soil health and nutrition. Explaining the importance of maintaining healthy soil, we looked at what we need to do to achieve this (their Rokdust product is a great start!). With gumboots and umbrellas at the ready, we then braved the elements for an interactive session in the garden with Vital Harvest owner, Nicki Murray-Orr, looking at what we do here in the vege gardens at The Falls Retreat. This interesting and informative session was then topped off with a delicious shared lunch in the Bistro barn, with guests enjoying a selection of our gourmet wood fired pizzas and nutritious salads, using produce out of the kitchen garden. Thanks to Agrissentials, we had 5 bags of Rokdust to giveaway and everyone went home loaded with information on getting their garden started and a strawberry plant as a gift from us. 


We're celebrating!

It's hard to believe but it's been 5 years since the Bistro opened its doors to the public. We started with a few covers and a wood fired oven and can now cater for weddings, parties and of course a romantic dinner for two. We have lots to celebrate - a series of accolades and awards, a flourishing kitchen vege garden, our cosy accommodation and kids playground - all in all creating a unique experience for our guests.

We could not let this opportunity pass without having a celebration! It’s on Weds 28th September from 6.30pm and guests will be treated to a special 3 course menu specially created to celebrate our achievements over the past 5 years ( mainly that we have survived and we are still smiling!).  
Everyone will be greeted with a welcome rink on arrival and seated in our lovely rustic barn with the fire roaring. For entrée it will be the duck dish that earned Aaron his "Apprentice of the Year Award" and beef will be for main course - using meat from the steer we were grazing which focuses on our paddock to plate ethos and Brad's NZ Beef & Lamb accolades from the past 5 years. And of course one of one of Brad’s amazing sweet treats for dessert.

We have even talked the chefs into coming out of the kitchen to talk about their dishes and we think Brad might even share a few insights into his experiences over the past 5 years. A night not to be missed!

Duck Odyssey is a winner!

Last month we added another accolade to our list of achievements with our local lad, Aaron Kingsford named as NZ Apprentice Chef of the Year 2016.

Following a nationwide search for the most talented apprentice chefs, Aaron went head to head against 5 other contestants at the NZ Chefs’ National Salon at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland and came out as the gold medal winner.

As the winner, he will travel to the world-famous Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in 2017, worth around $3000. He also received a prize pack, and became a member of the prestigious NZ Chefs’ Association.

Brad summed up the achievement in saying, “I feel very proud that at a time when our industry is in urgent need of more qualified chefs, we are helping to develop the next generation of culinary stars “in-house”. This will be a fantastic stepping stone for Aaron’s future career and we are all really proud of this achievement.”

Go Aaron!

Luscious lemons

We want you to have the same passion for food and fresh ingredients as we do,  we though the best way to that is to share some of Brad's tips on how to use all those beautiful lemons you might be getting off your tree at the moment.

Lemon Tree - Falls Retreat

Here at Falls Retreat it's all about using what fresh organic ingredients we have around and this week we have so many lemons!

Nothing beats picking this beautiful fruit and turning it into something delicious.

Learn how to make one of Brad's favourite preserved lemons recipe by clicking HERE.

John Key at the Bistro

Just in case you missed the celebrity media frenzy (:-), we were very proud to be chosen to host our Prime Minister, John Key for lunch last month.

He had our delicious 12 hour pork belly, followed by decadent Belgian chocolate brownie and a flat white served by the most junior of waiters ( our son, Jacob, aged 7).