Quirky Martinborough?

 

 

‘Martinborough is a quirky little village with a majestic square at its heart.’

Highway 53 ends here, as it runs into a square whose roads and paths are said to have been organised along the lines of the union flag. And couldn’t be safer, making one’s way from the zebra crossing into the square….and no, it’s not Abbey Road…

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The blurb on one of its finest buildings continues:

‘The Martinborough Hotel takes pride of place at the entrance to the square. Developer Edmund Buckeridge described it in 1882 as “one of the finest hostelries ever erected in any inland town in New Zealand”. Once a way station for prosperous travellers to and from the South Wairarapa’s huge isolated sheep stations – its grand facade has been a focal point for the town from the early days.’

The hotel was fully restored in 1996.  There is a road in front of it which this photo cleverly hides behind the hedges of the square. This how it looked in 1920…

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‘Martinborough – the little town with the big name – has made a name for itself as a centre of excellence for cuisine and wine. It attracts thousands to its fairs, wine and food festival and vibrant restaurant and café scene, and remains as quirky as ever’

Close by the square the Village cafe serves food all day, and displays a series of very fetching retro posters for the annual Toast Marlborough festival, as well as a relief map (below), made in 2002.

we can vouch for the vibrant festival and cafe scene… but quirky?

Look closely at the map – not only can you see the locations of the relatively new wineries on the gravel terraces to the side of the winding river, (pale wine red, of course, redolent of Pinot Noir) but at the heart of the square you can just make out the crosses of saints George, Andrew and David….

a quirk perhaps not enjoying a very high profile in the year that the people of New Zealand struggle to decide on their own, new flag….

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See also the post Martinborough’s wines, and http://www.winefriend.org/blog

 

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