Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Not a hell of a lot to be said about this town, I fear. I've visited it already this year and after exploring the delights of Noel Leeming and then wandering around vainly looking for a Cash Converters in my quest to visit all of their stores, I was ready to move on. That's a 30 minute visit. This time, I was there a bit longer. I left Dunedin at 10:00 p.m. with some vague hope of catching the 8:00 ferry, but some distance north of Christchurch worked out that if I continued to drive non-stop I might just make it. Since I couldn't be bothered, I stopped at the next rest area and slept. So it was that I hit Blenheim just on lunch time with about 5 hours to kill.

I can report 3.5 positive things about Blenheim:
  • I was able to rock on into the railway station and buy a ticket on the next ferry, vehicle included, for the super super saver price. Bargain - the one price level at which the interislander beats bluebridge;
  • They have a night club called Goats Don't Shave. While google is not infallible, it seems that this may well be the only club with that name around - inspired, it seems, by a Celtic rock band of the same name. I was not there during opening hours, but its entrance and location above a Hallensteins or some such did not fill me with a belief that this must be the coolest place in the world. It looks, perhaps, cooler than Subway;
  • I was in the mood for something out of my normal dietary range, and not the same blah paninis and nachos that so many cafes serve for lunch. The Living Room seemed to fit the bill, it had a shabby chic thing going for it, the staff seemed friendly and, pursuing my current thing for breads, the open topped smoked chicken and brie sandwich with salad greens had a lot of appeal. The food was all I hoped for and more - good bread, a bucket of fresh salads with lots of onion to sharpen things and several lumps each of the chicken and cheese. Maybe a bit heavy on the mayo - indeed, a lighter dressing would have been a good move. Coffee was great as well. It came as little surprise to find that it was the regional winner in the national cafe competition (won a couple of years ago by Dunedin's Nova and, oddly enough, by a honey cafe west of Auckland this year);
  • The 0.5 place was through no fault of its own - unless locating itself just down the street from the Living Room was a fault. Quite simply, by the time I had eaten, I had no need for food when I got there, although I did discover a need for coffee when I found they served Havana coffee. I think it was called Figaro's.

I guess there was one other place that caught my attention, just because it was a rather unusual combination of second hand book store and distilling equipment. They had lots of nice looking beer making kits too.

So - I have no great ambition to visit Blenheim town again for another 20 years or so (which would have been the last time before this year to do anything there that required any more engagement than going through the KFC drive through.


Blogger Smacked Face said...

Blemheim has a nightclub? That's a step up from last time I was there then...

1:49 AM  

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