A Kiwi Christmas

It’s long over now – the party hats and wrapping paper in the bin, the sherry all drunk and the turkey turned into soup and eaten up in butties.

My Kiwi Christmas did not include crackers or sherry or Christmas pudding, but that didn’t make it any less traditional. We were up in the mountains near Arthur’s Pass, in a tiny Alpine village of wooden chalets called Castle Hill. The suitably Sound of Music-style landscape meant it didn’t seem too strange, surrounded by pine trees and mountains.

We started the morning with whitebait patties, fish caught on the west coast of South Island and a delicacy in NZ, pancakes, fruit and yoghurt for brunch.

In the run up to Christmas, the weather forecasters spoke about a hot Christmas in much the same way as we anticipate a White Christmas in the north.

We were lucky. After brunch we moved outside onto the deck, slapping on Factor 30 sunscreen against the 24 degree heat and the sun, for Christmas cake outside. A perfect summer’s day. We were joined to make up a good crowd for Christmas dinner and feasted on a ham and roast chicken, delicious salads, and boiled new potatoes, washed down with bottles of NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

And to finish? Pavlova, of course.

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