During the holidays, Mr. Edwards and I wanted to take some time for ourselves, so we decided to slip away to the Hawke’s Bay region for a few days to celebrate 2017.  Their tagline is “Sunny Hawke’s Bay,” so what’s not to like?  With the lovely Art Deco centre, their fresh local produce and amazing wines, this area is a winner all round.  The beach is a little bit pebbly but there is a lovely promenade, perfect for walking or cycling.
In Napier, I loved how contemporary the Art Deco architecture felt. Pinks, golds, greens and whites and the warm climate meant there were lots of structural palms, ferns, and cacti.  It gave a very “on trend” feel to the city.  I really want to go and do a photoshoot there, I can’t stop thinking about it.

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Packing in New Zealand can sometimes be a sport of its own – you never know what could happen with the weather or quite what activities you will end up doing, so I aim to always be prepared.  I was happy to have taken my loose polka-dot culottes with me, as they were perfect for our impromptu grass-sitting sessions on the waterfront and at the botanical gardens.  A hat is always an essential in NZ for the sunny afternoons and my Tailor Skincare minis were packed to keep up my skincare routine along with my gorgeous night cream from Elemis I’ve been testing.  I can’t forget about my new day bag I bought in the UK from Cath Kidston which has an extra strap you can add – perfect for shopping trips and stuffing things in when you could be out all day.  One of my own personal treats, when I travel, is to always pack a smelly candle to add your own touch of luxury to your room or home-away-from-home.  This year I took one of my own copper jars filled with a floral Christmas inspired scent with hints of cranberry and spices, lily and jasmine.

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Usually, our trips to the Hawke’s Bay involve wineries, shopping, and styling a wedding, but this time it was all about a well-earned rest and some downtime.

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When out shopping one day, Mr. Edwards and I stumbled across this stylish little store just off the main street called Blackbird Goods.  What a nice mix of gifts and things you could buy for yourself in there!  Throws, homewares, ceramics, a bit of art and some locally made wares.  It had that NZ hipster vibe with a large range of prices, from $8 upwards.  It was a lovely, curated mix that all sat very well together and they have a nice website you can buy from too.

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Photo Credit : Blackbird Goods

There are world class wineries in Hawke’s Bay, and of course, a lot of them have cafes and restaurants as well, but on this trip, we explored our own road less trodden.  We had some lovely sundowner drinks in Ahuriri, just past Perfume Point there is a whole little strip of cute eateries right on the waterfront quay.  The restaurants range from Mexican fare to fish and chips and all with a perfect view as the sun goes down.  I liked Ahuriri and it seemed like the previously industrial port area was getting a fashionable makeover and becoming the place to be.  There were even some loft style apartments in some of the old sheds – now there’s a spot for a photoshoot!

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One day was quite hot, so Mr. E and I decided a trip to the museum was our best plan of action to make use of the air conditioning, but also have a look through.  They had a few exhibitions on, one on the big earthquake that shaped the Napier of today and also this gorgeous photographic series of Art Deco homes around the city.  There were so many beautiful images of these original homes and I am sure I kept spotting them later in the week as we drove around.

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This was the longest we have spent in Napier and I really enjoyed it.  The weather is amazing and the people are some of the friendliest in New Zealand, even stopping us in the street to see if we needed directions (we must have looked like were from out of town!).  You have everything to enjoy on your doorstep like beautiful architecture, luxury lunches at the wineries, and gourmet produce from all the farms.  Mr. E got a couple of fishing trips in and we loved dancing away with the locals at midnight at the Sound Shell on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2017.  

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The antique shops and little boutiques are lovely to wander through and you are always surrounded by all this fabulous Art Deco architecture, which brings a bit of glamour to even a stroll through the park or picnic at the Botanical Gardens.  Mr. E and I will be planning another road trip there, I am sure.  We were told the Art Deco festival is marvellous and I love an excuse to get dressed up.  Napier … we will be back!

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Posted by:Yvette Edwards

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