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Serving up the taste of Waikato

Set in the lush green farmland of the Waikato’s Hinuera Valley, the Red Barn offers a slice of rural New Zealand.

With views of rolling green pastures, nearby mountains and Lake Karapiro, it has become a popular destination for weddings, private parties and corporate events since its launch over 10 years ago. In recent years they have also been offering farm tours through their 200ha working dairy farm.

Now, owners Bridgette and Lance O’Sullivan are taking their passion for the region to the next level with the launch of a new gastronomic venture called Taste of Waikato.

A gourmet six-course degustation menu, which launches this spring, will showcase some of the finest regional food and wine, while offering an interactive experience that includes butter churning and plating a meal.

The degustation lunches and dinners are designed to be a leisurely, enjoyable experience taking around 3.5 hours.

On arrival guests will receive a glass of sparkling wine, marking the start of a delicious culinary journey around the wider Waikato and Coromandel, with a menu designed by executive chef Leith Davidson.

It features Coromandel mussels served with Opito Bay scallop crème, crispy Otorohanga pork belly and delicately-flavoured smoked tuna arancini with an indigenous twist

Many of the Waikato’s top artisan food companies also appear on the menu including Bella Pane (Putaruru), Magills Butchery (Te Awamutu), Kaimai Greens (Matamata), Balle Bros (Matamata), Southern Fresh (Matangi), Cilantro Cheese (Hamilton), Kōwhai Creamery (Waharoa), Raglan Chocolate, and Southfish (eel from Te Kauwhata).

Each of the six courses is paired with wine from Te Kauwhata-based INVIVO, Ohaupo-based Vilagrad Winery and Karapiro-based Takapoto Estate. Raglan Roast coffee and tea from Zealong Tea Estate (near Hamilton) is also available.

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