Last year at some point I went to a Croatian Club fundraiser for my friend Ivana to go to Croatia with the boyfriend and some other friends. Somehow we managed to win a raffle and so had vouchers for six to go for Sunday lunch at Vilagrad, a Vineyard just outside of Hamilton. We put it off and put it off and were meaning to have a big blow out weekend of it but then soon March – the expiration date was approaching and we had to decide on a weekend. The blow out weekend was abandoned but last Sunday Adam, Ivana, Hans and I headed down for lunch. (The other two people’s vouchers were turned into a bar tab. Win!)
I was terribly terribly hung over from a friends 21st the night before so was feeling pretty sorry for myself on the way down, but when we arrived it was beautiful.
The eating area is huge open, corrugated plastic roofed courtyard, with grape vines growing inside around the posts. The lunch itself was a huge buffet. I way over estimated my stomach size and so had a bit of trouble finishing mine but it was really yummy – lot’s of salad, home made bread, chutneys in every flavour imaginable, pork and lamb off the spit, snapper, you name it.
Dessert soon followed – a delicious chocolate and blueberry cake, meringue with custard and fruit and plums. We all sat there desperately attempting to eat but making no head way after our massive lunches.
After lunch we headed outside to have a look around the Vineyard. Sitting for a while under a big canopy at an outside table and then wandering through the vines.
By the time it was time to head back home I was feeling perfectly human and refreshed. It was a really lovely Vineyard, and although quite different to other Vineyard lunches I’ve had, really great in that it was so relaxed and casual. Comforting even. It would be a great venue for a wedding or 21st.
If you’re interested in experiencing a Vilagrad Sunday Lunch, it’s well worth it. Lunch costs $39.50 a head, with children for $17. There’s onsite accommodation and it’s quite close to Hamilton. If you’re coming from Auckland you turn off at Ngaruawahia onto SHWY39.
Check it out here.