“The Store” is one of my favourite little spots in the whole world. To start with, The Store is located really in the middle of nowhere. If you take the road from Blenheim to Kaikoura on the East Coast, it is exactly in the middle. Before it there is nothing and after it there is nothing. Nothing that is except lush hills covered with beautiful trees that come all the way down to the road on the right side and a stunning coast line with rough waves and rocks along the shores on the left. From inside you enjoy this same view and can watch the waves hitting the sandy beach just outside the back terrace. It is a present, a treat and completely unexpected at this particular spot.
The second thing I love about The Store is the design. It looks like it might have been an old post office, at least part of it. The main eating area has been designed to look like a traditional cob , but also has the look of a giant yurt or tent from the inside. The main counter has two large displays, one full of sandwiches and quiches and the other of tasty looking sweets. A giant blackboard on one side lists the specials for the day. There are several tables both inside and out but because of the chilly breeze we opt for one inside. We are surrounded by curiosities, many of which are for sale. There are a series of large baskets on the floor near our table, one filled with lemons, one with lavender.
We ordered two fish and chip plates which were delicious and of course I ordered a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was beautifully presented but there wasn’t very much of it. Like most Kiwi hot chocolates there is a pretty thick later of foamy milk on the top of the hot chocolate. In this case they broke the record for the trip, a full half of the cup was milk foam which only left room for a taste of hot chocolate underneath unfortunately. The little hot chocolate I got I enjoyed. It tasted as a nice hot chocolate should, like chocolate but not too sweet.
Once you leave, full and satisfied, the drive along the coast will continue to impress. If you can take your eyes off the road or stop along it, there are thousands and thousands of seals, from big male seals to mothers nursing their young.
Verdict: I will never forget The Store because of how stunning it was. I wish I lived closer as this is where I’d love to do all my writing and thinking. The Store, Kekerengu, Marlborough, New Zealand