Thursday, January 6, 2011

Through the tunnel to Puhoi, Devonshire teas and sunny childhood memories...

Having spent a good chunk of my childhood living within the rolling hills of Bohemenian Puhoi, I sometimes like to visit, to see how the place as changed or not. Mostly it hasn't changed; all the roads are now tar-sealed (I used to enjoy riding my pony along some of those gravelled roads...), but the place still looks the same. The lovely New Englandish looking church is still there, along with the library, the schoolhouse and the general store. Not forgetting of course, the infamous Puhoi pub. All along side the picturesque Puhoi river, of course. To my grown-up eyes, it just looks a bit smaller. It's all very pretty, and could be a set out of Walnut Grove, of Little House on the Praire fame.

Besides the pub and the annual A and P show, Puhoi is famous for its home-made cheese, it's Bohemanian background, its local artisans and the lovely old cottage still serving Devonshire Teas. This is not far from the main drag of Puhoi, towards Aroha. Anyway, decided to visit the tearooms today, for the first time in about thirty-odd years. It was well worth the wait. The fresh cream scones are enormous and delicious, served with warm jam and your choice of tea or coffee. At $10.50 this is great value, the scones are light and fluffy and ginormous. There are other mouth-watering selections too, such as chocolate mudcake, cheesecake, and home-made steak pie. And what a setting; take your choice, as long as its not raining, the outside tables are the nicest, with trees and flowers and a picturesque feel. The service is with a smile, and it's not called a diet-free zone for nothing.The cottage itself is an orignal villa, with original wallpaper, timber, etc, etc, quality, such character. Much like the hundred year old villa my family lived in, dark hallways, very high, ornamented ceilings, and quite often, huge spiders.

What with the new tunnels, the trip to Puhoi is a hop, skip, jump from Auckland these days. On the farm which my parents once owned is now a place to stay called Kauri Lodge, at the top of Fiddlers Hill. I would love to try this place out; funny to think that the paddock we kids rode/explored in is now home to a sprawling dwelling, complete with Kauri trees and glow-worms. The Puhoi show is up and coming this weekend, and back in the '80's, was always really good. So, anyway, Puhoi, land of cheese, scones, beer, original, historical buildings and sweeping green valleys is absolutely well worth a long afternoon visi, at the very least..

Those jam scones, to die for! The pub is infamous and the tranquil scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Much as I enjoy travelling through the tunnel, I prefer the original route; windy, but very very beautiful, especially near the Waiwera, Wenderholm area. Talk about blessed.

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