|Heartland Hotel in Cotswold|
As always I left my holiday plans to the last minute, but I managed to book an 11 Day Christmas Getaway tour with Grand Pacific Tours for my parents and me. We had a pleasant flight to Christchurch and it was refreshing to see mature age cabin crew aboard on our Air New Zealand flight. Not that I have anything against the young, svelte and attractive (for this is an apt description of me... haha!) attendants, it must be said that people over 35 are in no way obsolete, and are just as capable and if not more efficient and attentive than their younger counterparts.
We were greeted with a patchwork of greens and blues as our plane descended into Christchurch on Thursday 22 December. Despite trying circumstances due to the devastating earthquakes (and numerous aftershocks) in February 2011, it was positive to see that locals were still optimistic about the future as they tended their gardens in anticipation for warmer weather. There were bursts of brightly coloured flowers as we walked to a nearby shopping centre which gave me hope that Christchurch will rebuild and flourish again.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite with a generous size living area at a Tudor style Heartland Hotel in Cotswold. Each section was dedicated to one of King Henry VIII's wives, with a notable absence of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, so I'm assuming they couldn't do a head shot? (I know, I know, that was unkind!)
We had a delicious welcome dinner that evening where we met our fellow travellers. We dined on the scallop entree, salmon wrapped in nori and pavlova, where the Australians in the group were adamant that it is an Australian rather than a New Zealand dessert!
|Aoraki Salmon with Fennel Creme Fraiche|
|Pavlova with Plum Pudding Ice Cream|