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Pucker up, anyone for sushi?

Christchurch, New Zealand

A perfect day in Dunedin combined two of our favourite things, alcohol and chocolate as we visited the Speight's Ale House and Cadbury's factory. The entertaining tour of the brewery was educational and not just a piss-up. We learnt that the yeast left over from the brewing process is used to produce marmite. For fellow marmite fans, a handy way to get free marmite, is to become a Sri-Lankan schoolchild, as they receive the delicious spread daily due to its health benefits. In New Zealand, 'skulling' is a term used for downing one's drink. We discovered that the vikings used their victim's skulls as drinking vessels and hence the term was born. The tour came to a pleasant finale when we were given a lesson on the finer arts of tasting beer and free reign of the bar. Here we could sample six varities of Speight's beer including the speciality chocolate ale, whetting our appetite for the chocolate factory to follow.

We had been looking forward to touring the Cadbury's factory from the day we landed on NZ soil and discovered the huge array of Cadbury's bars only available down under. These treats include a 'desserts' range which boasts delights such as banoffee pie, lemon cheesecake and fudge brownie flavoured dairy milk, as well as the 'Moro' (Cadbury's mars bar) and the 'Perkynana' (banana flavoured chocolate coated chew). We had taken the liberty of compiling a short list of interview-style questions for our tour guide. Some sample questions follow:

Q. Why do they not have the Moro bar in Britain?
A. It's really just a question of British loyalty to the Mars bar, which came out first. In NZ the Moro arrived first and hence it was the favoured version and became NZ's most popular chocolate bar. In fact, there is one consumed every two seconds.

Q. Why does Cadbury's taste different in hot climates?
A. They reduce the amount of cocoa butter to stop it melting.

Another interesting fact is that New Zealanders are a nation after our own hearts. Despite the population being a mere 4 million, Cadbury's produce 40 million easter eggs per year and none of these are for export. You do the math. The piece de resistance of the tour was watching a ton of chocolate cascade from a vat in front of our eyes. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to stick our faces in it :(

After our day of gorging we felt we should get out in the open air and we went for an invigorating hack at Bums 'n Saddles stables. The ride was frequently interrupted due to our horses being compulsive eaters as they stopped to devour every bush we passed. Colly drew the short straw with her loose cannon of a horse, Smoothie. The girls were happily trotting along when they heard a distant shriek and through the bushes, caught a glimpse of the back of Colly's head bobbing along as she disappeared off in the wrong direction. Her stubborn mule had decided he was bored of the trek and wanted to go home. It took ten minutes to tame the live wire back onto the track, only for him then to attack Murph's horse Warner- there is apparently an on-going bullying problem. Warner finds it tough being the new horse on the block. Overall we really enjoyed the ride, particularly along the beautiful white sandy beach.

Our final destination in New Zealand was Christchurch, the most English of it's cities. We enjoyed ambling along the River Avon and around roads such as Manchester, Gloucester and Oxford Street. During one of our strolls Colly developed a craving for sushi so we popped into one of Christchurch's many sushi bars. Whilst trying to order two California rolls each, a communication break-down somehow led us to leave the shop with sixty four pieces. Colly's craving was more than satisfied.....for the rest of the trip.

Two reunions took place in Christchurch, first we had the pleasure of a drink and night out with Rhiannon Ayeh-Kumi a school friend of Colly and Murph's. Secondly was the reappearance of James Watkin of Asian fame. We certainly went out with a bang on our last night in New Zealand, it was an interesting night with an unexpected twist.....

permalink written by  Murph, Tay, Colly and Erin on September 6, 2006 from Christchurch, New Zealand
from the travel blog: The Smug Adventures Down Under
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You din't mention that NZ Marmite is different to UK (original Marmite)? See extract from the "I love Marmite" site (see below). But also, this site has good tips, including these two, one of which is appropriate but the other wholly inappropriate for you for the time being:

"There is no feeling like the smugness you feel when you manage to scrape just enough Marmite from the jar for another piece of toast. Top tip (from James Kew): pour boiling water into a near-empty jar and drink the jar clean."


"In some neighborhoods it is (apparently!) common for nursing mothers to dab a little on their nipples before feeding their infants."

Marmite is made from (greater quantity first):
Yeast Extract
Vegetable Extract
Vitamin: Niacin
Vitamins: B1, B2, Folic Acid, B12

Marmite is also made under license throughout the world. In New Zealand, the ingredients are :
Wheatgerm Extract
Mineral Salt (508)
Color (Caramel)
Vitamins: Niacin, Thiamin, Riboflavin

permalink written by  Father O'Doode on September 6, 2006

So what's so funny about that?! You would hardly dab it on AFTER feeding your infant, now would you? - that could really smart!

permalink written by  Mrs Mandy Marmite, (mother of five) on September 6, 2006

hey girls!!!
thoroughly enjoying the blog as always! happy birthday murph! glad youre all safely in Cairns and enjoying work.
although a bit concerned that the swordfished nose 'weaselette' is making TV appearances!!!
and i also hurd from a midget mum that she was catering on rich exotic islands!!!! tough life!

anyway keep enjoying urselfs but dnt blow all the money getting drunk!

take care (miss you helsy)
weasel out

permalink written by  Weasel anyone? on September 12, 2006

Hi Ladies,

glad top hear that after zero cultural experiences with myself and Master Garner in Thailand, you've returned to the essence of the trip, this being "Learning things and seeing the world" as opposed to "I don't remember what we did last night".

Life in England has been tranquil but with the move to London imminent it will no doubt pick up speed. Not for Matt though. The most laid back man in the world can only get so stressed, after that he goes out and drinks to forget.

Wish we were there to enjoy it with you, feel we're missing out on some good times, can't guarantee a trip down under won't be made in the next few months.

All my love


p.s. We're kitting the flat out with all the necessities for your return: Sangsom on tap (murph), Dancing Pole a la Apache complete with audience (Tay), dayglow spectacles by the box load (Erin) and a Linkin Park CD (Colly aka "the cold one". There's also a "Dance like Laura" pamphlet with holographic diagrams and a fanclub application form).


permalink written by  Robbi Ricki Rausa on September 15, 2006

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