For years I’ve done culinary trips into Hawke’s Bay — mostly vineyard tours at first then graduating to cafe and restaurant crawls as big-name chefs opened up kitchens in Napier, Havelock North and nearby wineries.
For almost all of that time Hastings has been out of the reckoning. Though locals could technically claim that Havelock was within their city limits and though their Sunday farmers’ market is undeniably the best in the region, there was never much reason to visit the CBD. But something has been going on in Hastings.
A progressive developer, some brilliant entrepreneurs and a willing city council boosted by central government Covid funding has, if not transformed the central city, at least turned it into a destination any serious foodie would be silly to miss.
I spent a weekend there and found it to be one of the more exciting urban projects under way in New Zealand.
One block in particular stands out — Heretaunga Street between Warren and Karamu. Kate Galloway and her French husband, David, wanted to put a gin distillery into one of the shops here but when the council got nervous about a gas-powered alcohol plant in close proximity to its retail district, the couple opened a stylish gin bar instead.
First published by VIVA. Click here to read the full article.