Saturday, April 14, 2012


Prior to our recent holiday in New Zealand being turned into a camping trip I had booked three nights at the Hillsfield House Bed and Breakfast in Renwick.  It was the only non-camping stay of the trip.  In all honesty, I chose it because it's situated right in the middle of a ton of wineries and they let you use their bikes for free.  I can't speak highly enough of this B&B.  The rooms are amazing and disconnected from the main house, the breakfast is great, the grounds are lovely, and the owners are incredibly nice.  If you find yourself in the Marlborough area, book it.  

Given that all I really wanted to do in Marlborough was relax and explore the local wineries, the location was absolutely perfect.  With the bikes provided we were able to visit seven wineries and one brewery in the same day.  We could have made it to another couple vineyards, but we had to go back to Hillsfield House after lunch to empty our backpacks of our purchases in order to make room for more.  

Just before we went to drop off the bottles we begin to see people who had biked in from hotels and inns near Blenheim.  I'm very happy we didn't do that.  It took them most of the morning just to get out to Renwick and they looked exhausted.  I can't imagine having much fun knowing you have to bike all the way back to Blenheim at the end of the day.

The one downside of the location is that there are limited dining options in Renwick.  There are a few wineries with restaurants attached, but most of them are only open for lunch.  There is a pub up the street from the B&B with pretty good food and we ate there two nights in a row.  On the third night Jo, the owner of Hillsfield House, gave us a ride to the bistro attached to the Hans Herzog winery.  The bistro was nice, but seemed a bit overpriced for the food.  I think had we stayed longer we would have run out of places to eat.    

The morning haul