"Romance requires a beautiful setting, beautiful food and a beautiful beverage, and Marlborough has an abundance of all three."
top Must Dos
Dream date in the Sounds
Motuara Island eco sanctuary
Barbara DeLeo knows a thing or two about life’s happy endings, with four published romance novels, and another two on the way.
The Blenheim based author believes in taking romance beyond the pages of her books, and is a veritable go-to for romantic destinations in the province. She says romance requires a beautiful setting, beautiful food and a beautiful beverage, and Marlborough has an abundance of all three.
Her top tips include packing a picnic of Marlborough cherries, strawberries and methode traditionelle for an early morning champagne breakfast at the top of Mt Vernon in the Wither Hills, soaking up stunning views as the sun climbs over the horizon. Or go to De Broods Bakery on Moran street to select your picnic, including their legendary sticky buns, and drive to Totara Flat near Pelorus Bridge for a romantic picnic, including bush walks and a dip in the river.
But for the ultimate romantic getaway, she suggests an early morning cruise to the Motuara Island bird sanctuary, before being dropped off at Furneaux Lodge on the Queen Charlotte Track. Walk from there to Punga Lodge for wood fired pizza at the waterfront bar, before staying the night in a room with stunning views.
After 16 years of marriage and two set of twins, Barbara and her husband George still keep romance alive, including at least one weekend a year at a Marlborough Sounds resort, indulging in good food and wine. “Romance is a life-long thing - it’s not just about being romantic when you are young.”