I love this place! I visited the first time a few years ago to meet up with friends who have two little children. It's a great atmosphere for kids because the outdoor seating is beautiful and there is a kid's play area around the backside of the main building. In Spring the trees are blooming with beautiful pink flowers. There's a little pond with a wee walking bridge over it and ducks as well as other birds flying around. There's also plenty of indoor seating. For a little twist, they also have a little gift shop on the property. There's an eclectic mix of items in the shop, including some great New Zealand made candles and one of the funniest greeting card selections you'll find in the Queenstown area. (I like greeting cards with humour, and it isn't easy to find a broader selection available in Queenstown shops.)
I rediscovered Walnut Cottage last Winter when there was an unusual snowfall in the Dalefield/Arrowtown area, and I decided to go for a walk in the snow. It was late afternoon, and I arrived to find myself the only person at the place and Deni and Rick (the owners) getting ready to close for the day. But Deni sat with me for a bit before bringing me a huge bowl of hot homemade vegetable soup and generous slice of warm bread. A perfect meal for a cold, snowy day.
Since that Winter day, I pop in quite frequently ... either for a flat white (coffee) and sweet by myself to enjoy a beautiful afternoon ... or to have lunch with friends. My all-time favourite meal there is Beef Rendang. Rick is the chef, and Deni works the front as well as handles their Facebook page. They are originally from Indonesia and have had a few restaurants in Queenstown over the years. I only mention this so readers will understand that the Beef Rendang is authentic and DELICIOUS! The few times I have visited for lunch and the Beef Rendang sold out, I've ordered a panini which comes with a really nice green salad dressed so nicely with a light dressing. (I have to make a point to mention this as well, because it's one of the nicest green salads I've had in the area.)
Walnut Cottage is well worth a visit whether you want a snack or a meal. (I hear their breakfasts are pretty good as well.) They get a good mix of visitors and locals, some of which are regulars. And they are on the road from Queenstown (past Lake Hayes) to Arrowtown ... another must-visit place if you're in the area.
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