Whenever I travel abroad, I try to eat out as much as possible in order to get an idea of the national cuisine of the country or province I am visiting to be able to delve deeper into the local culture. Over the years of travelling around the world, I have been to a great number of unusual and interesting restaurants that impressed me. If I were to make a list of the most memorable local restaurants and cafes that I have visited abroad over the past 12 years, New Zealand’s Yellow Treehouse would definitely make it to the top of the list.
This restaurant is located in the woods of Warkworth, about a 40-minute drive north of Auckland. The description of the place is in its name – a wooden tree house built ten meters above the ground on a Redwood tree. If you think it is nothing special, you are wrong. The restaurant is unusual looking and does not resemble anything I have seen before. From the ground, it looks like a small onion-shaped knag in the middle of the tree trunk that is softly illuminated with orange and yellow lights. It also has a narrow wooden bridge leading to it that connects the restaurant with a bunch of the neighboring trees that are also illuminated. The place looks particularly pretty at night, and the walk to the café by the bridge is really something!
Inside, the place feels quite different from what it looks like outside. The seemingly fragile construction made of thin and flexible wooden bars, bent in the middle to form a dome shaped construction, is cozy and spacious inside. What I liked the most about the construction is probably the fact that not only is it located in the woods, far from the roads, city noises and smog, surrounded by nothing but the trees and the local fauna, it is in fact built entirely of natural materials. The whole construction is authentic, simple in its interior and exterior design, yet obviously well thought-out. The restaurant is meant to host up to 30 guests at a time, and to me, is a perfect place for a romantic getaway, or a family celebration, like a wedding anniversary, a birthday, or a small engagement party.
The chef of the place does a great job as well. The dishes we ordered were delicious and juicy. The menu mainly consists of local cuisine; the wine list consists of a great selection of New Zealand’s white and red wines. Overall, the dinner was tasty, and the service provided unobtrusive, yet attentive and polite. Their waiters were an excellent addition to the pleasant experience. The place is a must-see, or rather a must-eat-in, to those who are visiting the country and want to get a scope of the most vibrant impressions. While the rest of the world is competing in construction of the highest and ugliest concrete-and-glass skyscrapers, New Zealand is coming back to the roots, both figuratively and literally speaking, with this unique wooden tree house restaurant that reminds us all that going back to basics will always be the ultimate solution.
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