I love this time of year. There’s actually time to actually do stuff after work, not just auto-default to the chair in front of the fire with a glass of red. Not that this option is bad either, but late evening sun is so special and reminds me of all the reasons we moved from Wellington to Queenstown. More sunshine. Less wind (sorry Welly, alas it is true). Open spaces. Tasty local cuisine. Somewhere you wake up and drive to work marvelling in what’s around you, no matter the season.

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 At this time of year I am always on the hunt for sunny evening spots to have dinner. Queenstown is surprisingly low on these magical spots, I’m talking about the sunglasses on/glass of wine in hand/ good food in the other spots. Millbrook Resort has one of these gems, the Hole in One Café.

Most people know of Millbrook, yet many think it’s not available for locals or non-guests to enjoy. Or that you have to be wearing plaid pants and have a Lydio Ko swing to visit. But if you meander down the towering fairytale avenue of trees at Millbrook and you’ll discover there is something here for you too... including a bit of foodie paradise.

There are three dining options on site;  The Millhouse – a contemporary dining experience like no other in the region, Kobe Cuisine – Japanese food that will blow your socks off, and the Hole in One Café – ready for all your daytime caffeine hits, post spa or golf drinks or tasty evening meals. Each are worthy for a trip to Millbrook alone, so get them on your dining bucket list. 

Last night, the better half and I headed off to the Hole in One to try out their Pizza & Pinot Special, on until 30 November. We are both big fans of pizza … and wine… and were experiencing an end-of-week cooking aversion that seems to set in, well about this time most weeks.  Gourmet pizza and two glasses of Pinot Noir for $45 certainly was a tasty prospect and we jumped in the car.

We took up a seat outside in the sun (of course), and assumed people-watching-mode. The resort is alive and buzzing at that time of evening, post-golf friends enjoying some drinks, locals biking the trails, kids on the practice green testing their putting skills, members in favourite seats drinking wine and catching up with friends. No traffic noise, only birds and so much space. We pick which is our favourite tree. So many in full blossom, beautiful old oaks and wellingtonians amidst old stone farm buildings mirroring ponds, a few wandering ducks.. it’s such a relaxing spot.

We decide to order the Millbrook Classic pizza, an insider tip from Andrew at the Hole in One. We were not disappointed; it was a beautiful thin crust wood-fired pizza, with flavourful herb-roasted chicken, streaky bacon, crème cheese, hazelnut, apricot chutney and baby rocket. The Pinot Noir served to match was a 2014 Central Otago Wild Earth’s Stockman’s Station, a classic central drop with plum flavours, earthy and soft tones. A bowl of fries on the side for Jimmy and we had the ultimate Thursday treat. 

Hard to fault, we will be back. The ambience alone is hard to beat, but the food and wine definitely cement the deal. Just such a nice spot to chill and be surrounded by the best of what our region is about… beautiful trees and mountain views, not cement pavements and end-of-day traffic.

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Nicky Sygrove moved to the Queenstown region from Wellington in December 2013. Originally a country girl from Canterbury, she is loving being surrounded by mountains and getting out amongst it as often as possible. 

The Pizza & Pinot Special is on at the Hole in One Cafe until 30 November 2015. Read more here...