To Do in Greytown: Winemakers Lunch Series at the Top Pub

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If you're heading to Greytown this summer, theres a few boxes you want to tick when you're planning your itinerary. Fantastic wine and food, outdoorsy-loveliness, and some classy fun. The Winemakers Lunch Series at the Top Pub covers it all!

Basically what is is is a three course meal served in a gorgeous leafy courtyard. Each dish has been carefully designed by the chef to pair with a specific wine; and the chef and the winemaker will come out between courses to tell you a bit about the food and drink you're about to enjoy.

There's two dates left for the season- February 25th and March 4th- so make sure to make a booking if you want to attend!

Meet the Locals: Adam Blackwell, Purveyor of Fine Bicycles

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Adam Blackwell is the proprietor of Blackwell & Sons, a very  a e s t h e t i c  bicycle shop in the heart of Greytown's Main Street which stocks gorgeous Pashley vintage-look bicycles straight out of The Sartorialist's wildest dreams. Adam is also a driving force behind the campaign to unite Greytown business owners and reinvigorate the local economy.

I first visited Greytown as a kid- my parents used to bring me here. Then one day Millie and were browsing the paper, and we saw this great house, and we knew straight away we had to have it! It was 2012. 

We figured this town was the perfect place for a bicycle shop, and so we waited for the perfect space to open up. It was the perfect antidote for the other things in our lives- advertising and selling software. Here, we can live the lifestyle we want to live. And with technology changing and advancing, there is absolutely no barrier to running an international business in Greytown.

I have a vision for what Greytown can be. There's no reason at all why businesses who are wanting to give their staff a better lifestyle couldn't relocate here. No downsides. No commute, no stress, no traffic. It's all about keeping it to the right scale- bike stands, not carparks. Solar panels. Keeping the environment balanced so we don't recreate what people are trying to get away from.

There's nothing I miss about Wellington. Really, nothing!

THE BEST COFFEE IN GREYTOWN IS FROM... The French Baker. Hands down.

WHEN FRIENDS VISIT GREYTOWN, I TAKE THEM... for a long lunch at the White Swan, and then to explore every nook and cranny of Main Street.

ONE THING I'D CHANGE ABOUT GREYTOWN IS... I want us to identify who we are as a town, and be united in that identity.

Have a look at the store here. 

This is part of the of the 'Meet the Locals' series, in which I'll be introducing you to the cool and creative people that make Greytown the wonderful place it is! Stay tuned for more stories...

Dogs of Greytown : Tiki from Tapestry

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NAME: Tiki

AGE: 5 1/2

BREED: English Spaniel/Bijon

OCCUPATION: Assistant to the Shop Manager

HOBBIES: Following mum around, naps

You can meet Tiki in his natural habitat at Tapestry on Main Street, where he will be more than happy to assist you in picking out some beautiful clothes and homewares for yourself or as gifts. Tiki works with his owner Pam to curate a collection of beautiful objects from local and international artisans.


Meet The Locals: Millie Blackwell, Monkey-Maker Extraordinaire

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Millie Blackwell is the founder, CEO and premiere seamstress of the Greytown Free Range Company, a start-up dedicated to the conservation and breeding of rare antipodean sock monkeys.

I learnt to sew sock monkeys when I was living in Christchurch. A lady who was living in the flat next door taught me- she was an American who had grown up in a commune in Iowa. We would sit on the balcony and sew together. At first I was making them as gifts for friends and family, and then people started asking to buy them. I've made more than a thousand across the course of my monkey making career.

I first visited Greytown in 2011. I'd just moved to Wellington, and I had nothing to do in the weekends. I thought it was a super cute town and I loved the views and the drive over the Rimutakas. To be honest, I don't miss anything about Wellington- I'd rather poke my eyes out then move back!

THE BEST COFFEE IN GREYTOWN IS FROM... The French Baker. I'm an economic localist, after all.

WHEN FRIENDS VISIT GREYTOWN, I TAKE THEM... Shopping on Main Street (can't miss Nicola Screen and Hall for the girls!), then cycling on the rail trail.

ONE THING I'D CHANGE ABOUT GREYTOWN IS... a ban on lawn mowing on Sundays. If I was running for mayor, that would definitely be my platform!

Check out the Millie's monkeys here, or visit Tapestry on Main Street to browse and buy.

This is the first of the 'Meet the Locals' series, in which I'll be introducing you to the cool and creative people that make Greytown the wonderful place it is! Stay tuned for more stories...


Food Forest Organic's Fudgy Vegan Brownie Recipe

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When you hear the word 'vegan' you're probably imagining a diet filled with kale, coconut water and despair. However, as I'm going to prove to you today, dear readers, that couldn't be further from the truth.

I have ventured deep into the plant-based bowels of the Wairarapa's premiere meat-free eatery, Food Forest Organics, and returned to you with their top secret recipe for fudgy no-bake vegan brownies. Ok, well to be honest I just asked really nicely and they gave it to me, but the point is I've got the recipe and I'm going to share it with you!


  • 1 cup (93 g) + 1/2 cup (47 g) raw walnuts, divided + more for topping
  • 1 cup (150 g) raw almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups (~425 g / 15 ounces) dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
  • 3/4 cup (60 g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp cacao nibs + more for topping
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) almond milk
  • 1 cup (~175 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub vegan butter), melted
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor or blender spout.
  5. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand. You may not use all the dates.
  6. Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8x8 dish and before pressing, add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts and cacao nibs and toss to combine and evenly distribute. Then press down with hands until it is flat and firm. I like laying down a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking and get it really flat.
  7. Lift parchment paper to remove brownies from dish and use hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square - this will make the brownies slightly thicker and more dense.
  8. Transfer back to dish and place in freezer or fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 12 even squares (If adding ganache, slice afterwards!).
  9. FOR THE GANACHE: Add almond milk to a mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until very warm. Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan until just simmering, then transfer to mixing bowl.
  10. Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
  11. Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add melted coconut oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
  12. Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few Tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  13. Frost brownies generously with frosting and then top with additional raw walnuts and cacao nibs (optional). Slice into 12 even squares.
  14. Store brownies in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for at least 1 month (though best when fresh)