After the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, the celebrated foodie markets in the region are back up and running. My favourite is in the scenic port of Lyttelton, pictured below.
Lyttelton is on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour close to Banks Peninsula, a suburb of Christchurch on the eastern coast. It was damaged in the 7.3 quake last September and the fatal February quake saw 50 per cent of its quaint, colonial, wooden hillside homes badly damaged or destroyed. The heart of Lyttelton was shattered into little pieces and 181 people were killed in Christchurch overall. Lyttelton had about eight hotels, only one is still standing and it’s still closed. The historic Anglican and Catholic churches were levelled. Thousands of aftershocks have hit the South Island region since then, some causing more damage, but determined residents are putting their lives back together.
I visited the seaside Lyttelton Farmers Market before the disasters, and I’m thrilled that such a quality outlet is back. The market is run as a not-for-profit enterprise by Project Port Lyttelton and local volunteers.
Producers of quality food and drink sell direct to the public. Lyttelton foodie market features fresh fruit and vegetables, free range eggs, goat’s cheese and yoghurt, bread, fish, eel, meats, speciality cheese and herbs and plants every Saturday.
A must try is Julie’s Peninsula Preserves’ Quince Paste with Lyttelton Blue goat’s cheese made by Anna on Vic’s Bread bagel along with organic apples. I just adore Sheehan Apiaries Honey and I bought kilos of it to bring back to Sydney. On subsequent visits to Christchurch, it’s been the first thing on my shopping list. Starting from $NZ6.50 a kilo, it’s a bargain. Flavoured with New Zealand native flowers such as manuka and rata and berry flowers such as blackberry, the quality is first class. Creamy, delicate flavours lingering long after the last bite of toast.
Lyttelton Farmers Market, Lyttelton Main School, Oxford Street, Lyttelton, Christchurch
Every Saturday 10am-1pm
Other weekend markets in the area: Akaroa Farmers Markets at Snuggle Inn, Rue Lavaud, Akaroa; Waipara Valley Farmers Market at 66 Carters Road, Amberley.
Sheehan Apiaries, Feredays Road, RD 3 Leeston 8151. Call: 03 324 2875. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
*Honey photo courtesy of Lyttelton Farmers Market, other pix by Taste for Travel on a digital Nikon, which didn’t last the distance so it’s just been replaced by a mighty little Canon SX130 IS.