Hawke’s Bay

Inject-your-own donuts at Mister D in Napier.

Inject-your-own donuts at Mister D in Napier.

Hawke’s Bay is the name of the area surrounding Hawke Bay (brilliant nomenclature, I know). This area includes Napier, Havelock North, Clive, and probably another town or two that I can’t remember at the moment.

Napier’s clame to fame is the town-destroying earthquake of 1931, which turned it into an art-deco town. Since all the new buildings went up during the Art Deco period, it’s a lovely time warp for architects and normals alike. There’s a few vintage shops that can add to the experience, if you’re a 30’s lover. One of my favorite places in Napier was a Wholefood Cafe/Store called Chantelle’s. Recently expanded, it’s now a lovely open-air joint featuring all kinds of yummy (and me-friendly) foods and beverages, and well as the usual coffee options.

We also visited a trendy joint called Mister D. Dani had a gift voucher, and she generously offered to share it with Rob and I. We were told to try the donuts – but ended up getting lunch (and Sangria) first. I had some custom-made gazpacho (nothing veg-friendly on the menu) which turned out pretty well! We eventually ended up taking Hamish back to Mister D – who, once his donut was gone, started injecting extra custard/jelly filling onto his fingers and licking them off as if it was the last time he’d ever taste sugar.

The perfectly planned waterfront pavillion is definitely something not to be missed. Napier’s water is a lovely blue hue, and this pavillion creates a perfect shady spot to enjoy some ice cream (or a non-dairy treat :)).

During our first day in Hawke’s Bay, we left Napier for Clive, the home of Hamish, one of Dani’s old flatmates. Hamish’s family invited us to stay with them for Christmas – surely a strange, but memorable experience ensued.

While staying at the Byrne’s, we made a small trip out to Havelock North one day to see a local band – Kora – perform at a nearby vineyard. It was awesome to be in such a beautiful place for the concert – and the venue was well planned out.

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