On a beautiful day, just ahead of spring, a friend and I went to check out Café Irresistiblue at Monavale Blueberries. We sat in the sun on the verandah, enjoying the stunning views across the blueberry orchards to the mountains Kakepuku and Pirongia. We drank blueberry leaf tea (caffeine free and a cute shade of pink), with delicious organic blueberry tarts featuring a perfectly buttery, crumbly pastry. On the caffeine front, my excellent latte was all-organic, including the milk.
Looking across the blueberry fields to Pirongia. Photo by Meliors Simms
Monavale is New Zealand’s largest organically certified blueberry orchard – and they’re also one of the largest blueberry orchards in the country, full stop. Being organic is really important for the two-generation family team who run Monavale. They’re proud that they are farming this Waikato peat bog in an environmentally sustainable way, rather than draining it. Peat bog is a perfect place to grow blueberries.
Café Irresistiblue aims to showcase organic blueberries and blueberry products, as well as other organic and/or local produce where possible. The menu looks pretty interesting – it ranges from venison and blueberry pie to all-day breakfast options. All the meat is free-range and/or organic, and so are the eggs. There are plenty of gluten-free choices. And everything on the winter menu contains at least one “superfood”, for those of us who like food to be healthy as well as delicious. Blueberries (the starring superfood here) get glowing reports from health researchers, with high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients. And being organic maximizes the benefits. I reckon Monavale are onto a very good thing.
One blueberry bush in the carpark was just starting to show pink blossoms, and the rest of the orchard should be flowering in a few weeks’ time. I’ll be going back soon to enjoy the blossoms and to sample the rest of the menu. A beautiful place with delicious, organic, local food – can’t get much better than that.
790 Wallace Rd, RD3, Cambridge
Phone 07 834 3501
Café Irresistiblue is open all year round. Bookings recommended. For hours and menu, see the website: www.monavaleblueberries.co.nz