A mid-winter Christmas may be the norm for our friends in the northern hemisphere, but in New Zealand where the festive season is celebrated at the height of summer, a mid-winter Christmas party helps brighten the spirits during the winter months.
Mid-winter Christmas celebrations in New Zealand take many forms. Groups and businesses go out for dinner, throw themed parties, or do something festive and adventurous.
Last month, we hosted a group of cyclists at our cellar door and cafe, and treated them to some mid-winter fun.
Saint Clair cellar door manager Sonya Simmons says the group of cyclists has been stopping in at our cafe on Wednesdays and Saturdays for about 12 years.
“It’s pretty amazing really, they’ve been coming for such a long time and they’re such a lovely group, we thought we’d do something special for them.”
The cellar door staff strung up Christmas lights and tinsel, and baked a Christmas-themed red velvet cake with green icing in the middle, topped off with white cream cheese icing.
“They were so surprised and touched, we got a hug from all of them, it was lovely,” Sonya says.
The Saint Clair Cellar Door and Cafe has been operating among the vineyards at Selmes Rd for the past 13 years, and is a popular coffee, lunch and wine tasting spot with locals and visitors.
It’s also the central hub for the annual Saint Clair Family Estate Vineyard Half Marathon.
While we’re open all year round, we will be closing for about eight weeks from Friday July 11, while we give the cellar door a makeover.
Saint Clair marketing managers Julie and Sarina Ibbotson say the refurbishment will include expansion in the kitchen as well as some alterations to the main body of the restaurant.
“We are excited by the upcoming change and the prospect of achieving our goal of providing the best possible experience to our customers,” Julie says.
Sonya says our regular visitors will be accommodated by Nina and her team at Pataka – The Foodstore, who run the speciality food store and deli adjacent to our cellar door.
Pataka will remain open during the closure, and will be open daily from 10am-4pm, offering light lunches, Devonshire teas, deli items and giftware.