LaValla really know how to put on a picnic.
If there's an unwritten rule that I religiously go by, it's that food always tastes better when someone else creates it.
Whether that's a testament to my culinary skills, or it's simply a fact of life, I'm not sure.
What I do know, is that I am always up for a delicious feast, and what better way to dine, than to combine it with great company and the tranquil setting of Tuakau's LaValla Estate.
LaValla recently started hosting Sunday picnics, and while I was a tad apprehensive about how fantastic a picnic could be, (probably because I'm not the best picnic packer myself), my friend Lara Wyatt and I were pleasantly surprised.
We ordered our drinks, and as soon as we were seated, our picnic box arrived. It contained fresh breads, decadent dips, meats, a quiche, salad, and lots of cheese, which was perfect for a pair of cheese fiends.
The food was rustic, which suited the estate's aesthetic perfectly, and the singers Edwin Judd and Matthew Newman added to the relaxed vibe.
Dessert was a few pieces of fruit, some feijoa leather, and a delicious, fudgey chocolate brownie with butterscotch cream that I devoured in no time.
After lunch, the rain subsided and we played a game of giant chess, while other guests made the most of the outdoor badminton, or simply relaxed on their picnic blankets under umbrellas.
The picnic was a fantastic lazy Sunday, and we easily spent around two hours chatting and indulging in food and drink. For a price of $70 per picnic basket, great entertainment and a peaceful setting, it is a reasonably priced Sunday outing.
Image source: Briar Hubbard/Fairfax NZ