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Food-lovers’ treats for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and beyond

Ben Bayly in the second series of A New Zealand Food Story, on TVNZ. Photo / Supplied

The Queen’s Birthday weekend is almost upon us, and QEII is becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee – that’s an incredible 70 years of service. Celebrate Her Majesty de ella, and your long weekend, with these delicious treats.

The Park Hyatt’s high tea fit for a queen

At the Park Hyatt, pastry chef Callum Liddicoat and chef de cuisine Andreas Pfyl have created a very special menu that mixes up a traditional high tea with a classic English lunch. Across five courses, experience a taste of Britain with some delightfully modern twists in each – the chicken and celery is served in a crisp tart shell, the ham sandwich is ham hock green peas and apple cider jellies, and the salmon and crème fresh comes on a fresh crumpet. For afters, there is a 7-layer opera cake, a salty sweet banoffee, and of course scones (including one flavored with Earl Gray and sultana) with jam, churned butter and marscapone. Each of the 5 courses is a little adventure for your palette.

The Queen’s Birthday high tea is available June 1-12, book at hyatt.com

Park Hyatt's Queen's Birthday high tea.  Photo / Supplied
Park Hyatt’s Queen’s Birthday high tea. Photo / Supplied

Stay home for an NZ foodie binge watch

Ben Bayly is off on tour again, traveling the length and bredth of NZ to learn about our artisan food producers, growers, cooks and suppliers. This is the second series of the food-focused show – the first was created in the build up to the opening of Commercial Bay’s Ahi restaurant, and sought to discover what the essence of New Zealand food is. This time, the show will focus on the faces behind the products and dishes that now feature on Ahi’s stunning menu.

Bayly will go berry picking in the far north, discover macadamia groves in the Coromandel, and learn about sustainable approaches to harvesting seafood. This weekend’s ep features vanilla beans, truffles and avocadoes in the Bay of Plenty.

A New Zealand Food Story 2 screens Saturdays at 4.30pm on TVNZ 1, and past episodes are on TVNZ OnDemand.

Ben Bayly in the second series of A New Zealand Food Story, on TVNZ.  Photo / Supplied
Ben Bayly in the second series of A New Zealand Food Story, on TVNZ. Photo / Supplied

A four-course fine dining and whiskey event at Onslow

Josh Emett’s Onslow is hosting a very special one-off event, Le Grande Pique-Nique Noir, on June 29. The event will feature a four-course menu created by Emett and Onslow’s head chef Glen File, and each course is paired with a Glenfiddich cocktail. Diners will also taste the Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23, an experimental whiskey expression from the renowned Scottish brand, which has been finished in French cuvée oak casks, and has tasting notes that promise pear sorbet and fresh baked bread.

The night will be an incredible celebration, and with only 80 seats available, we suggest you move quickly. Tickets are on sale now for the Weds 29 June dinner, $185, go to onslow.nz.

Glenfiddich's Grand Cru will be celebrated at Onslow in June.  Photo / Supplied
Glenfiddich’s Grand Cru will be celebrated at Onslow in June. Photo / Supplied

Check out a brand new city bar, Palmer

Palmer is the latest bar to open in Auckland’s rapidly rejuvenating downtown. Located at the architectural 1 Albert St (formerly known as West Plaza), Palmer aims to offer a relaxed environment with sophisticated food and drinks, suitable for after work catch ups, casual date nights, or special occasions.

Chef James Kenny is a recent-ish returnee from Europe, with experience in top international restaurants, alongside Gordon Ramsey in London and in Copenhagen’s 3-Michelin starred foraging-focused Noma, and more recently at Parnell’s Gerome.

James Kenny's new menu at Palmer, 1 Albert St, Auckland.  Photo / Supplied
James Kenny’s new menu at Palmer, 1 Albert St, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

The food menu will offer small plates featuring locally sourced ingredients, done simply – Kenny says he wants his guests to be reintroduced to familiar ingredients in a fresh way. On the opening menu you’ll find gnocco fritto with Poaka Farms pork, chicken liver parfait with fermented beetroot, bavette with black garlic, kahawai croquettes, and bread fresh from the kitchen’s open fire barbecue. The cocktail menu will also showcase local, and will change regularly to reflect the seasons, and a low-waste approach to ingredients, using all parts of the plant, from root to tip, husk to peel.

Australian design agency Acme was brought in to create the space – the tones are natural and earthy, the shapes are gentle and curved, and the vibe – well, you’ll have to head along to check it out. palmerbar.nz

Auckland's new Palmer bar, 1 Albert St, Auckland.  Photo / Supplied
Auckland’s new Palmer bar, 1 Albert St, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

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