Who dunnit?!

Murder mystery success!!

Mr Lid and I hosted a 1920’s themed murder mystery night- if you have never done one- do it!

We had a really interesting mix of friends all from different groups and wow! Give someone a character to play, a murder to solve and dress up galore throw in some cocktails and you have one great night!

I searched high and low for an authentic punch recipe from the 1920s this one was delish with a little tweek- I will definitely be making this to drink in the sunshine over summer!

Pomegranate champagne punch
2 tea bags steeped in 500ml hot water- after 3-5min remove tea bags and leave to cool, I used pomegranate and apple herbal tea it was amazing
750ml bubbles
500ml soda water
1cup sugar
1/2cup water
4Tbs brandy
2Tbs spiced Rum
2Tbs Triple Sec
Mix sugar and water bring to the boil for 10min then let cool- if too thick add more hot water.
Once tea is cold add spirits, bubbles and soda water, and sugar mix to taste…. Drink on a sunny day with good friends


Flight to Esk Valley

What a bargain! $25 for a evening of wine tasting and supper. Not just any wine tasting either but a tasting run by the Head Wine maker of Esk Valley.
Hosted at Villa Maria out near Auckland’s Airport, the Esk Valley winery from the Hawkes Bay region were about to showcase their wares.
A wine and a nibble to warm up then into a room that was just beautiful with 16 tables all set out with wine and tasting notes.


Seven wines from current stock and one real treat, Esk Valley wines are wines made with love and respect for true grape varieties and history.
My favorite of the evening being the Chenin Blanc 2011 it was light, with a touch of sweetness and honey. I thought it was absolutely delicious.

The filght was 8 wines ranging from a 2012 Verdelho which is a traditional and famous variety from the Portuguese island of Madeira where for many centuries it has been used in the production of fortified wine. Esk Valley has been New Zealand’s pioneer of this variety, producing a dry style Verdelho from their Hawkes Bay vineyards since 2002.  There was a yummy 2013 Rose which was the best colour I have ever seen in a Rose- it was truly candy pink, tasted of strawberries and was soft and slightly dry on the pallet.

And for those who drink Reds like Mr Lid may I recommend the Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 which was a full bodied and rich Hawkes Bay blend, densely coloured and exhibiting a bouquet of plums, red fruits, dried herbs and hints of oak.

After Tasting the wines Villa Maria had made a small taster dish for supper to match with the Verdelho it was a match made in heaven- Corned beef with a hint of cinnamon- which from now on will be going into my corned beef recipe.


A Tasting flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

A perfect Bloody Mary

A perfect Bloody Mary is one of the best things about the the morning after a night drinking- or not drinking.

They are great for a Sunday Brunch in a tall jug allowing guests to refill as much as their little hearts desire. Spicy and fresh with a stick of crunchy celery to stir and eat.

Even without the hair of the dog- a Virgin Mary is great to drink on a plane.


Perfect Bloody Mary

Tomato juice- a good quality tomato juice is best, one that is rich and flavourful and not too thin.

A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce- Lea & Perrins is best

Two shakes of Tabasco sauce- or your favorite spicy sauce- we use Kaitaia Fire

1.2 tsp Horseradish sauce

Salt and fresh Pepper

30ml Vodka

Ice- lots of ice!

Put Worcestershire, Tabasco, Horseradish, Vodka and Ice in a glass- stir to mix well.

Top with Tomato juice, Salt and Pepper.

Stir, taste, adjust seasoning- if not spicy enough add more.

Garnish with a stick of crunchy celery.