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Day 2 at the Resurgence Abel Tasman National Park New Zealand

I have to apologise that the dates are getting a bit out of sinc. Travelling and writing is not as easy as it may seem, often hard work and lots of self discipline to keep the travel blog up to date, but I made notes here on Dec 26th.

This guide is all about the exceptional; the exemplary and we had great hopes for the Resurgence hoping and expecting to write good things about it and Alexandra and I have discussed this at some length: The accommodation is… pretty good to ok. Our hosts Peter and Clare – pleasant, but food, (sorry Clare) – just really, really poor and we simply cannot recommend it. How there are so many reviews that wax lyrical about the Resurgence we just can’t work out!

The Abel Tasman National Park is the most stunning place to visit – the Resurgence though at $560 nz a night: NOT the place to stay whilst you do.

There are some good things to say here: Peter is clearly very conscious of the environment, proud to be re-introducing indigenous trees to the area and quite an authority on indigenous bird live. However Peter (nice chap) proudly tells the story though of how his and Clare’s decision to get into the hospitality industry was (and I quote) “driven by Clare’s love of cooking” – love it the poor woman may – do it well, she regrettably can not and astonishingly poor the food is as a result.

Supper on our first evening began with a cold smoked fish brulee which tasted as bad as it sounds and most left it. The next course was a salad of kinds with small piles of; grated carrot, French beans, 3 halved cherry tomatoes (one with a tiny sliver of Mozzarella) and 6 slices of cucumber.

The main course was a very plain unseasoned salmon fillet (which we could not decide whether it was poached or baked) sitting on a bed of plain boiled rice (with a few whole grains included) with a little wilted spinach and I really wish I could say I was exaggerating.

Supper on Christmas day started with a broccoli and ricotta mouse, turned out of a soufflé mould and garnished with one single sprig of (I think) chive. Being a little lactose intolerant, mine – announced Peter – was a broccoli timbale – although in essence a raw broccoli omelette which – readers, I jest not was a real mess anyway and any chef worth his salt would have dumped it and started again.

The next course was to our surprise a pretty tasty risotto, but seasoned well as it was we genuinely wondered if it had been cooked by the someone else. The excitement waned  when the main course arrived; consisting of a very tired and grey looking fillet steak, that whilst in itself very tender was spoiled by someone who didn’t know how to do it justice and accompanied by 3 small pieces of potato, 2 raw asparagus tips, 1 baby carrot and bizarrely… a small mushroom pie. 

Why Clare doesn’t look at the amount of food being returned on each plate and question why some 5 out of 6 guests on our table didn’t eat her much lauded chocolate mousse (that was so very bitter and lumpy that we just couldn’t eat it), is quite beyond us!

Breakfast is equally unexciting, packed lunches poor and very expensive, the wine list limited with the cheapest red being $46nz.

If  Clare or Peter would care to respond I would very happily engage and publish the discussion as our aim here is not to trash the poor, but recommend the exceptional. The Resurgence though has been so highly recommended by so many we just felt we should give our view.


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