... what have i been doing lately? apart from trying to earn $4000 this summer for a wee holiday i'm planning next year, i've been relaxing and making meals that aren't visually pleasing but taste amazing. woop.

on one of my only days off work, we gathered a few friends and went road tripping down to hamilton to have lunch at the zealong tea estate! i was so excited for this being the tea lover that i am!
it took us just over two hours to get here from auckland, and we were all famished as we stepped through the doors of zealong. 

a waitress introduced us to the four different zealong teas they had available and explained them all to us -- pure, aromatic, dark and black. it worked out pretty well, because we all liked different types of teas and got to try all four! i'm a huge english breakfast fan, and the waitress told me black was similar -- hence my choice of black tea. each tea was able to be re-infused up to eight times so that was perfect! we were able to sit and just relax after our meals drinking cups of tea (we literally stayed there for like three hours and there was no complaint whatsoever!) 
also just a mini shoutout to joe who worked at zealong and came over to talk to us a few times during our visit! such a lovely guy who told us interesting stories!!!

we ordered a signature tiffin high tea to share ($39) just to try out little dishes. look how cute it was!!! two of us (including myself) ordered the scotch fillet with sauteed gailan and kumara crisps finished with wasabi bavarois ($33). c ordered the market fish with semolina crumbed artichokes, broccoli, parsnip puree and a pine nut butter sauce ($35), and s ordered the ravioli with shiitake, portobello and swiss mushrooms in a roast garlic soup and toasted herb cream served with two slices of grilled artisan bread ($28). the ravioli literally looked like big wontons - they were so big!!!

my steak was really really really good. we were expecting kumara fries but the crisps were good to munch on! my favourite thing from the high tea was the zealong pure tea and white chocolate tart with zealong dark tea sweet short crust pastry and freeze dried fruit!!!! the names are so long but they sound so good (and they were so good!).

when we first got to the place, we did a little bit of exploring and the atmosphere here was just amazing. we also went on a weekday so there weren't too many people as well, which was perfect since we were away from our seats exploring for quite a time! the seating, the environment, the waiters and waitresses -- everything was wonderful.

i literally do not have anything bad to say about this place! the tea is $8 per person though, but taking into account how it can be brewed up to eight times, that's $1 each cup. well worth the price. can i also just mention that this was 100% new zealand tea??? we could see people picking/gathering(??) tea in the distance and that was super cool too! totally made the experience. the prices overall were similar to auckland cafes and restaurants but the whole experience of the place was worth every cent. if you are a tea lover, this place is perfect for you! i am definitely bringing the fam down here some time.

(statues of people making tea!)

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