This week's tablehopper: kiwi kisses and kedgeree dreams.


The stunning view at Brancott Estate Heritage Centre in Marlborough. Photo: ©

Kia Ora! (That’s my Māori hello to you.) I returned from New Zealand on Tuesday afternoon after an action-packed and food- and wine-filled 10 days in that gorgeous country. Seriously, whoa. I had some of the best shellfish of my life, was so impressed with many wonderful wines I tasted (Central Otago is full of incredible winemakers and wines), plus some killer beers and coffees, and was blown away with all the beautiful skies and sunsets and greenery everywhere (including some serious rainbows). And the Kiwi kindness and hospitality is no joke. They are also really funny and sassy people—I got a good dose of banter everywhere I went, from airline pilots to street food vendors.

I’m just about to start editing through my 1,800 images, stand by. (Cue Memories.) Thank you all SO MUCH for the great recommendations you sent before I left—my hosts couldn’t believe all the fabulous tips I showed up with. That’s because my readers rock, plain and simple.

As you can imagine, I am still catching up on emails and news, so we’ll have a pretty packed hopper on Tuesday. For now, I have a few news tidbits on some new openings, plus a wino, 707 scout, and a bookworm for you. I hope you enjoy your afternoon (or weekend) reading.

And I’m not sure what your plans are for this gorgeous weekend, but on Sunday, I’ll be judging at the Cochon 555 event, which is going to be quite the spread. In addition to seven chefs and butchers serving dishes from seven different hogs, there will be winemakers, butcher demonstrations, oysters, a Manhattan bar and chupito bar (mezcals in the house!), plus a cheese bar, beer from Anchor Brewing, pork-spiked desserts, and cold-brewed coffee. Yeah, you will be pummeled.

And just in case you haven’t had a chance to pick up a tablehopper vintage t-shirt, there will be a table where you can check ‘em out! Just don’t get your greasy fingers on that quality cotton, okay? Thanks. See you there!

Enjoy the weekend! With springtime weather like this, it sure is good to be home.

Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Friday, Apr 12 2013