Sometimes, it’s right under our noses, where the real gems lie – and that’s certainly the case with Hotel Ashburton. If you haven’t visited lately, it’s time you did!

Whether you’re popping in for lunch, brunch, dinner, a wine or a great coffee, you’ll be delighted by a menu that offers variety and flavour.

An excellent team of chefs led by Brent Liley and sous chef Manali Patankar serve up a selection of tempting new dishes along with firm favourites.  On the dinner menu Cardrona Lamb Rump and Akaroa Salmon are enormously popular – each incorporating a tantalising twist of taste, but you may very well find yourself tempted by exciting new dishes that are gaining rave reviews. Pan Seared Duck Breast and Venison Carpaccio are two of the most-ordered entrees, and from the dessert selection, you can’t go past Eton Mess and Tartufo.

To complement your meal, the revamped wine list emphasises New Zealand wines along with a good selection from Australia and Europe. There are also a number of boutique labels that deserve attention. Two that caught my eye are Little Angel – a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, and Take it to the Grave –a silky Australian Shiraz – both very more-ish!

With the team of dedicated chefs in the kitchen, functions are easily and beautifully catered for. The recently launched new functions menu is already proving a hit. “These menus were overdue for a freshen-up, and we’re delighted with the response, Brent says.”

At the helm of the revitalised Hotel Ashburton, is manager David Brown. “It’s an exciting time to be here,” he says. “We have a fantastic staff, and everything we do is based around providing the very best food and service. When you dine out, you want to feel special – you deserve that, and that’s the level of service we deliver.”

David is keen for Hotel Ashburton to become the heart of the community once again. “We want locals to be very proud of ‘their’ hotel and to use the facilities, bring their families and have a party, or pop in and enjoy the gardens and the swimming pool – they’re not just for guests.”  Plans to introduce garden dining this summer were somewhat thwarted by the weather, but the new Seniors Lunches are a huge hit, and there are ideas aplenty for even more innovative dining options in the pipeline.

Hotel Ashburton – you’ll love it!

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.