The food at Owen River Lodge could best be described as stunning.
Naturally, all the meals are included in our nightly tariff.
We use the freshest of local produce, our large lodge garden, tended according to organic principles, supplies the kitchen with produce every day and is backed up by daily deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the Nelson region.
When it comes to seafood, nearby Nelson has a thriving fishing industry, so what they catch on Monday we serve at the lodge on Tuesday!
A word from our Head Chef, Ryan:
“Like most Kiwis, I travelled overseas for quite some time after university. I worked as a chef both in the USA and England, before coming back to New Zealand in July 2005. I cooked at several of Nelson’s leading restaurants prior to starting at Owen River Lodge in October 2010. It’s always exciting to start a new season and meet many of our regular guests.”
The Nelson/Tasman region has changed from principally a farming community to one where tourism plays a significant part.
Murchison is renowned for its trout fishing, tramping, hunting, rafting and white-water kayaking, and visitors come from all over the world. These days, if you walk down the main street or into the local pub, you’re as likely to hear a Swedish, Aussie or American accent as a Kiwi one!
Our gastronomy has also evolved, and while nearly everyone really enjoys classical South Island dishes like roast lamb, it’s also fun to occasionally surprise our guests with culinary ideas from Asia and Europe.
New Zealand’s unique cuisine has grown from a fusion of highly distinct cultures - Māori, Polynesian, Asian and every kind of European. We call this multicultural food style, Pacifica.
Whatever the menu, it doesn’t hurt that the world-famous Marlborough wine district is just over the hill, so we can be confident you’ll enjoy your meal with a nice glass or two of premium-quality local wine.
Breakfast is as light or complete as you like it. Choose from fresh fruit salad, our own lodge- made muesli/granola (following a secret recipe that’s been handed down by four generations of gypsies) and fresh yoghurt, jams and marmalade – again, made at the lodge when our fruit trees provide us with their bounty — and free range eggs from organically-fed chickens cooked any way you like!
Lunch is served either on the river or at the kitchen bar if you’re not fishing, and tends to be a picnic-style sandwich or roll served with lodge-baked biscuits – it’s a real feed, not just a snack.
Dinner, which is a 4-course affair, is served table d’hôte style with all guests seated around a communal table.
Enjoy pre-dinner nibbles by the bar, sharing the day’s adventures with other guests. Then, after a day walking and fishing, we know you’re going to look forward to a great meal. View a sample menu.
At various times of the season our garden produces beans, spring onions/scallions, a huge variety of lettuces, tomatoes, snow peas, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, watercress, silverbeet, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, apples, grapes and currants.
Our herb gardens provide us with some of our own basil, garlic, onions, parsley, sage, thyme, mint, chives, fennel and rosemary. In this way, we can ensure there’s something on the table every night direct from the garden.
Food always tastes better when it was growing 30 seconds before being used in the kitchen!
The Nelson/Marlborough area produces world-class wines. Indeed, we’d venture to suggest that the area produces the best Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in the world. Our wine list features wines from both local boutique and internationally-recognised vineyards.