Spring wildlife, dogs and food
Wow spring has truly sprung! Most trees have their leaves; the last of the flowering cherry trees are coming into bloom & the garden is really benefitting from seeing the sun & basking in it’s goodness. The wildlife is also multiplying prolifically which is not always a good thing in the case of the rabbits! Ollie is spending every waking hour on rabbit patrol & retires to bed completely exhausted, only for the next day to bring more excited yaps as the joyful bunnies hop around again (he’s convinced - just to tease him). It’s a very hard time of year for Ollie when his self appointed duties as park ranger are virtually never ending.
Wildlife, the quails
The birds are glorious and this year seems to be a great one for the birds we named Quail Lodge after, the quail. They are incredibly shy birds & seem to feel the presence of a camera before you’ve even whipped it out to take some photos of them making it extremely difficult to get some decent footage of these gorgeous happy looking birds.
Pheasants are also making an appearance this year and how magnificent the males’ plumage is withbeautiful rich colours. Tui & Kereru come swooping by at regular intervals, a sight that always gladdens the heart.
Bring your dog to stay
We’ve had the pleasure of hosting quite a few fur babies staying with their parents lately. I find it such a joy to welcome these beautiful members of the family. Ollie is always happy to play a game of chase but equally if a quiet time is required he stays on his side of the house. Quite a few dog visitors are show dogs coming to compete at the Auckland Exhibition Centre on the road to Clevedon, it’s always a lovely way to end the day hearing how they got on at a show, mostly we seem to have been lucky enough to have champions to stay. The only request I make with a fur baby stay is that they don’t get on the furniture or beds or get left alone while you go out. With a couple of fully fenced acres to run and roam around on, like their parents they have a great stay at Quail Lodge.
Food, glorious food
The most commented theme in my guest book is food! Whether it be our outstanding breakfast or the 2 course dinner I try to leave all tastes & dietary requirements happy, full & extremely satisfied. Seasonal of course is always my first choice, asparagus which is prolific at the moment is an absolute favourite of mine, personally I find it hard to go past lightly cooked asparagus smothered in butter,salt & pepper, delicious!
This weekend's guests are in for a treat with a salmon & prawn salad with an orange, sweet chilli & green ginger warm sauce poured over the top, - not only a fabulous tasting dish but visually it looks amazing with lots of different colours; like eating the rainbow!
The much anticipated Whitebait season has just drawn to a close and the Quail Lodge supplies are topped up ready to be served as a breakfast (or dinner) dish. A bit like asparagus I like to hero the whitebait and have it as simply as possible, that means there’s nothing but egg & whitebait in the fritter or omlette, fried in either butter or olive oil for our df guests. I leave seasoning to you to get it just how you like it. If you’ve never tried whitebait and you like fish, there’s no better time to try it than at your next Quail Lodge stay.
Bye for now,
Wow! wonderful accommodation, beautiful views, amazing food and outstanding hospitality! Thank you so much."