Nothing but sunshine has graced our property for many, many months, much to the joy of our
guests.Today is the first day that we have had some decent rain to get those paddocks and gardens looking fresh and green again. We have had a good season at Blossom Cottage and have had many romantic couples, friends and families to stay. Everyone, including the romantic couples, has enjoyed the secluded setting of the cottage, with their own private hot-tub and outdoor shower, complete with country views, a star-spangled sky and moonlit nights shining down on them as they soaked away any aching limbs after a day of sightseeing. Delicious breakfast provisions, including home-made muesli and jam, bacon, beverages and free-range eggs have been eaten out on the deck in the sunshine, with the birds chirping and stunning views of Lake Rotorua and Mount Ngongotaha in the distance. Crisp cotton linen, fluffy towels adorned with chocolates and fresh quilts on comfortable beds ensured that the guests had a perfect night's sleep. Sumptuous, cosy bathrobes hanging in the rose-scented cupboards were available for the guests as well.
Children loved the array of inside and outside toys, including a new swing, the trampoline, soccer table, sandpit and enormous soccer goal. Inside they played with dressing-up clothes, dolls, cars, dinosaurs, board games, watched movies and read the books. The cottage even has a basket full of wacky sunglasses in all shapes and sizes and a couple of large, squishy, silly-looking slippers to wear while testing out all the inside toys.
Last, but not least, we have many naughty, quirky and cheeky property animals: ducks, hens, bunnies, Teddy, the cat, 3 noisy donkeys, who pretend to feel sorry for themselves by braying and showing off their big teeth and large tongues in the hope of a tasty morsel! And......who could forget our Guinea-pig, who has been named after Rod Stewart because of his messy hairdo !! For our young (and old) children we also have a ''Feathers and Fluff Food Basket" full of food for all our feathered and fluffy animals, which is delivered to the cottage each day. In the morning, the warm and freshly-laid eggs can be collected from the hen-house and the hens can be let out to enjoy another day of scratching, clucking and roaming of the meadows to their hearts' content.
Many attractions, some off the beaten track, but close to Blossom Cottage, were enjoyed: beautiful Hamurana Springs, with its turquoise-tinted, pristine waters, The Kaharoa Kokako Track, which is a safe, predator-free haven for our protected native Kokako, is a challenging walk through beautiful forest. The walk takes you past the rare King Fern and down through mystical, magical gorges to the Onaia Stream. Also close by, Lake Rotorua, with its picnic area, barbeque and playground and even a bridge to jump off into the icy water, which is enjoyed by many locals in the summer. Only 10 minutes by car, is one of three major Maori Cultural Shows, Rainbow Springs with its fascinating Kiwi and exhilarating Big Splash, which takes you for an educational ride and ends with a plunge down a large waterfall. Also just 10 minutes away is Okere Falls with its large waterfalls, complete with adventurous rafters and kayakers, The Skyline Skyrides, which takes you up the mountain by gondola to the Luge rides and a delicious buffet dinner, complete with heart-stopping views of Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island and Rotorua city. How lucky are we to live in this diverse, fascinating, beautiful city?
I am going to end my Newsflash with a recipe that is so delicious that you will want to make it every week:
Salmon Parcels with Tomato Pesto
Lay a piece of tinfoil lined with baking paper on the bench. Put a 150g salmon fillet on the baking paper, put 2 heaped tbsp of tomato pesto on the salmon, add 2 or 3 anchovies, 3 sliced black or green olives, ground black pepper and 4 thin slices of lemon.
Fold up the top of the parcel and then the ends and put in an oven tray. Bake at 200 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Eat with mashed potatoes, wilted spinach and roast tomato halves seasoned with thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
* Delicious with any of your favourite fish.
* Green pesto can also be used.
* Fish that is not as thick as salmon will take less time to bake, so try 10 - 15 minutes at 200 degrees.
I will be back soon with more Blossom Cottage information, local attractions, animal antics and a mouth-watering recipe.