Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Good, the Bad and Art Deco

I am pleased to report that my visit to Napier itself was entirely satisfactory.

Our hotel, The Tennyson Motor Inn, was comfortable, very well priced ($139 for a premium suite) and located right in the CBD next to a park and in the same block as numerous cafes, bars and eateries. The top shelf of the bar was well-stocked with excellent whiskeys (obviously another fan of Islay was involved here) and there was a good selection of local brews at very good prices. All the staff were most friendly and helpful. Obviously owner-operators.

Saturday morning was spent wandering about the town trying to steer the ball & chain away from the numerous clothing shops. I got stuck in a rather good second-hand bookshop that I will have to revisit.

Much of the afternoon was spent steaming, sauna-ing and soaking at the Ocean Spa. Then it was off for rehydration with more of the local beverages.

Dinner was at Antonio's Pizza and Pasta Parlour (no website) The pizza kept falling apart from the weight of the toppings- a pleasant change from franchise chain pizzas. The coffee and chocolate gellato was outstanding and they even had Grappa on offer, to finish the meal! My diet has gone all to hell this weekend!

Overall, the Napier CBD and waterfront is very well presented and maintained- we even saw a cleanup crew out sweeping and tidying the Clive Square gardens on Sunday morning. A stroll along the waterfront in the evening is most worthwile to take in the illuminated fountains, trees and gardens while listening to the surf. The town was quite deserted on Friday night- the inevitable cretins coming out to be a pain in the arse on Saturday. Nothing that a little car-crushing wouldn't fix. The police should have hung onto those LAV-25's!

It certainly is a character city- the art deco style seens to grow on you with age- I used to hate it- possibly from seeing so many shabby examples about provincial NZ. In Napier it seems right.

I will be back- soon!

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