enjoying sunny days with blue skies. Can't wait for summer!
The Qualmark assessor visited us recently, which was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Within a few months we'll hear whether we can keep our 4 star grade, but we're optimistic, as there have been many improvements such as the hot tub, heat pump and bedroom extension.
Our guests enjoy many of the attractions that Rotorua and nearby cities have to offer and I haven't been asked any questions I couldn't answer, but the other day I was stumped when one of our guests asked about swimming with dolphins and whale watching. I went on the internet and discovered that there are dolphin swimming companies less than an hour's drive from Blossom Cottage. Most of these companies operate during the summer months. They take people out on a launch or sailing boat to enjoy the birdlife, dolphins, whales, penguins, snorkelling and swimming. You can make a day of it and be back at Blossom Cottage in the early evening to enjoy a BBQ dinner and a soak in the hot tub.
Guess what I attempted a couple of months ago? I went rafting on the Kaituna River with my 14 year old daughter! If you are into excitement and a real adrenalin rush, then this is the adventure for you. We rafted down many waterfalls and drops and it is an experience I will never forget. The Kaituna River is only 10 minutes from our cottage and, after an exhilarating time on the river, you can visit the nearby cafe for lunch or coffee.
If you love horse riding, then you will be in the perfect location. Next door to Blossom Cottage, only a minute's walk away, is the Farmhouse Horse Riding. It is a fun place to ride a horse, whether you are young or old, have some experience or none at all. There is a horse to suit any level of experience. We recently had a family stay at Blossom Cottage and their 4 year old daughter loved horse riding so much, she went to The Farmhouse twice while staying with us.
As for the animals at Blossom Cottage: we have 4 adult lop-eared rabbits living on the property: Holly, Lollies, Crumpet and Smudge. Holly gave birth to 4 little ones a few months ago, much to the joy of the young guests at Blossom Cottage. Unfortunately, they looked more like sausages with ears for the first week or so, but Holly kept the little ones warm by plucking her own fur and using it to make a cosy nest to protect them from the elements. Mother and babies are doing remarkably well.
If you are into spray-free, healthy food, I can recommend a walk down our country road to Janine Cotter's shop. It is packed full of produce including vegetables, fruit and gluten-free products. A lot of the food has been sourced from neighbouring orchards and her milk and feta cheese comes from a woman called Bridget, who hand-milked her cows for years until she bought an old milking machine. Bridget's feta is the best I have ever tasted and her milk is also delicious. The free-range eggs at Janine's shop are provided by Blossom Cottage's own hens, who get up to mischief in the area and can roam wherever they like until bedtime. Janine's shop operates on a trust basis and there is an honesty box, but if you want to meet Janine in person and to hear about her old-fashioned remedies and household tips, I can arrange for you to meet her.
That's all I have got time for, but I have a delicious recipe that I would like to share with you.
185 grams butter, 2 eggs, 2 tsp mixed spice, half cup sugar, 1.5 cup flour, 425 grams apples, cooked. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, beating between each egg. Fold in the flour and spices. Put half the mixture in an oven dish, add the cooked apple and then the remaining mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy!
Must go now. Next time I will have more news on the attractions in and around Rotorua, one of my delicious recipes and news on the happenings at Blossom Cottage.-