Double Decadence in Dunedin

Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh, and is a city in the south with a rather Scottish air – not really very surprising when you consider this was a large settlement for many Scottish immigrants. It was the first city in the South Island, with a cathedral that was constructed in two parts due to money restraints. This has led to a gothic building with the altar area being in a rather more modern 70s style, I understand architectural styles change over time but it does seem somewhat of an unfortunate mismatch. There are other lovely buildings in Dunedin, including the train station with its stained glass windows. However train travel has been surpassed in New Zealand by roads, maybe a little shortsightedly in my mind, and now only a tourist train, which leads to a dead end because of the removal of track, is the only visitor to this prestigious building.

However two areas of industry that are continuing to do well in the city are the Cadburys factory and the Speights brewery, both of which offer tours and both of which we decided we couldn't miss. The Cadburys factory was busily making Easter eggs when we were there, apparently they make them between June and January each year and it takes New Zealanders the whole of a week to eat all this chocolate! We were encouraged to listen to the talks and video presentations since correct answers to questions led to prizes of chocolate. I think David did the best out of this by 'looking sweet' as our tour guide and being awarded chocolate anyway. The smell around the factory is one of the most tempting you can imagine, but we managed to resist buying too much in the shop. In fact, our surprising bargain was some waterproof trousers they had on sale for $25 and which have been much in use already! We actually found out that the local supermarket was doing a better deal on Dairy Milk than the factory shop.

After dinner we headed back in to town to the Speights Brewery, this was the only brewery to still use wooden gyles for brewing some of their craft beers. Apparently there had been one other near Portsmouth but it had been recently bought out and so the tradition went with the exchange of contracts. It was a gravity based brewery which meant all the ingredients were put in at the top of the building and the process continued as you headed downstairs. At the end of the tour, we all had chance to taste a selection of their brews, and were able to pull our own mini-pints! This wasn't something I'd ever done before and I was pretty chuffed at my efforts. While we were supping the beer, some of the brewery's adverts were played including their birthday advert in which sheep and a dog sang them happy birthday, one I could easily imagine being rather popular.

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