Over the past week, New Zealand’s food scene has been abuzz with one hot new destination in every discussion – Ayrburn.
Nestled between Queenstown and Arrowtown, locals and visitors alike can come to find the newest dining precinct from Saturday the 9th of December where it’s promised innovation meets heritage.
Lucky for us, we were fortunate enough to get an early sneak-peek so we can happily divulge in all there is to know about the unique wine and dine experience.
With a history dating back 160 years as a 60-hectre farm, Ayrburn has evidently worked harmoniously between their architect (S.A Studio), construction crew (Cook Brothers), and interior designers (Alexander & Co.), preserving the natural sag of barn rooftops, incorporating cobblestone walls and bringing in eclectic art pieces to ensure the heritage echoes throughout.
Amidst the manicured grounds and mature trees are five gorgeous venues with an additional four to come as the team hope to appeal as a destination for all. The Woolshed welcomes casual dining in a lively atmosphere; the Manure Room provides space for Ayrburn’s exclusive wine paired with small bites; The Burr Bar (or some may say the natural progression from the Manure Room) provides cocktails and more in a luxurious and intimate bar; The Dairy for freshly made gelato; and The Dell which resides as a central outdoor gathering spot.
We had a chat with the talented Executive Chef, Richard Highnam, known widely amongst Aucklanders for his work at White + Wongs, Harbourside and Botswana Butchary.
After chasing the desire for the outdoor Queenstown lifestyle with his family, Richard has been working hard and collaboratively with the team at Ayrburn to create menus that offer both variety and pair well with Ayrburn’s extensive wine range.
Richard felt inspired by CEO Chirs Meehans vision of creating a destination and let that guide his approach to each menu across the venues, ensuring visitors could come no matter the occasion.
“If you want to travel through the bike trails with the kids, have a couple of drinks and ice cream then move on you can but there’s certainly the options there for more intimate dining or a group dinner.”
And the food scene at Ayrburn is only expected to get better as the final venues finish development, including a bakehouse and butcher, allowing the team to do as much as they can onsite and offer fresh daily specials.
“There's going be a lot of collaboration between, our baker who can provide all breads, pizzas and pastries for the property and the butcher as we plan to implement things like a meat program where we'll have large aging cabinets for a lot of our beef.”
In the meantime, however, the initial summer menu promises fresh flavours with a sense of classic elegance for us to enjoy.
Richard’s Woolshed Menu Picks:
- Asian Spiced Duck, Lemon Grass & Date Relish, Nashi Pear, White Kimchi
- Pork Schnitzel, Fennel & Apple Slaw, Parmesan, Caper
Our Woolshed Menu Picks:
- Market Fish Crudo, Cucumber, Fermented Chilli, Mandarin, Coriander, Ajo Blanco Sauce
- Grilled octopus, black garlic emulsion, chilli sesame dressing, compressed green apple
- Heirloom Tomato, Pulled Burrata, olives & Basil
Our Burr Bar Picks:
- The Green Lady – Lemon gin, limoncello, basil, lemon
- Jalisco Jardin – Tequila, cucumber, jalapeño, agave, lime juice
We anticipate the precinct to become a hub of activity and new memories upon its opening, so whether you’re a local or planning your next trip, it’s a destination that can’t be missed.
Ayr Avenue, Arrowtown, New Zealand.