Dateline January 29,2015 – Millhills Lodge – Hawke’s Bay

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DSC_0400After the great experience of playing Jack Nicolas , Kinloch golf course it was off to Hawks Bay for a two night stay at the Millhills Lodge.  Our plans called for a round of golf at Cape Kidnappers which is an easy drive from Millhills Lodge.  The drive to the lodge was several hours arriving about 6:30.  We were amused when TomTom told us we were at our destination.  A little plot with several cows looking at us.DSC_0401

We called Sam Jackman at the Millhouse Lodge and we were less than 200 yards from the turn in to their location.  Arriving we past three small buildings and went on to the main house where we were greeted by our hosts Penny and Sam along with Kip, their mixed breed herding and labrador dog .  We discussed some options for dinner, where the local liquor store was, the vodka and rum was depleted, my gosh how can that happen.

Millhills Lodge is located on several acres that is surrounded by Penny’s various family farms.  To one side are sheep and the other cattle.

DSC_0407Sam then showed us to our rooms which were the small cabins we passed.  They were absolutely stunning inside with wifi and Apple TV access to the selections of movies on Sam’s computer in the house.

We than proceeded to the local town about 7 miles away, picked up some groceries (needed for cocktail hour) and our liquor.  We had dinner at a local restaurant called Diva.  The food was outstanding and we had a chance to try some of the famous Hawks Bay regional wines.

After a great nights sleep we were treated to a wonderful breakfast and conversation with Penny and Sam.  The night before they had asked if we would like to have dinner prepared by them and it sounded great, so we discussed the menu over breakfast.  We also asked where we could find good local wine to pair with dinner.

Off we went for a day of golf at kidnappers where our “ace” Bunny had her first hole in one!

After the day at Kidnappers we returned to town and to the wine store recommended by Sam.


They specialize in the local Hawks Bay varietals as well as other wines from around the world.  They recommended a French oak’d chardonnay from Quarter Acres, by at the leading wine maker in New Zealand, Rod McDonald.

We also bought a Syrah made by Elephant Hills  and a very good Hawke’s Bay cabernet from Brookfields,one of the oldest boutique wineries.

We headed back to Millhills, enjoyed a drink, showered and were ready to go to the main house for dinner.  We enjoyed both the chardonnay and syrah with some cheese and a small New Zealand tasty popup, that was wonderful, baked by Penny.  We drank much wine, enjoying the company of Penny and Sam and of course Kip.

We were then taken into their lovely dinning room for dinner.P1010471

The table was beautifully set and we enjoyed a three course meal with a sushi starter with raw salmon, avocado and a small of caviar on top of sushi rice.  It was sensational.  Bunny and Pete enjoyed fresh snapper and Janice and John had a great lamb dish.  Dessert was an original New Zealand gelatin dish called pavlova cake, believed to be named after the famous Russian prima ballerina, Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931).  It was wonderful.

Penny and Sam joined us after dinner for some more wine and conversation.  It was off to bed.  With the morning being our last at Millhills, we enjoyed eggs benedict! That breakfast was special and capped off two days with these charming hosts. DSC_0404


If you plan either a wine trip or a golfing trip to the Hawke’s Bay area This is your place to stay.


  1. Carol Majka

    It keeps getting better – happy you are enjoying yourselves.

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