ADDRESS: 1431 Glenavy-Hilderthorpe Rd, Ōamaru
CONTACT: 03 431 3505
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $38 – $45

SCORE: 17/20

The wraparound Riverstone experience takes family hospitality to a whole new level with a restaurant, shop, castle, gardens and a cooking course all in the one venue. This is the domain of Bevan Smith whose parents, Dot and Neil, built this farm on a bed of river stone. In the restaurant, Bevan – he writes books as well as cooks – turns out a menu true to its immediate surrounds. Much of the produce comes from the on-site garden. Who, when the season is right, would not try the roast winter vegetables main with spiced lentils, roast cauliflower, wilted greens and herb oil? But Riverstone does breakfast and all-day menus, too. There are meats and wines and cakes as well (their scones, both savoury and sweet, are legendary). Within this great, welcoming countryside enclave is a harmony and generosity that is reflected in the tastes that Bevan coaxes out of every carefully chosen ingredient.

IN BRIEF: Bucolic bliss on a bed of river stone


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