A French hottie and smoothe Italian on Waiheke Island

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Not having been to Waiheke for a weekend for a few years, it was fun to return to visit friends and family and to see what foodie surprises were in store. I flagged a vineyard this time, as I felt like a leetle French something. You know I adore anything French.

Frenchot (pronounced French hot with hard ‘t’ not Frenchot as in Bistro) is a traditional French Café, Bistro and Crêperie located in Miami Ave, Surfdale. It is the latest venture for Julien Le Quéré (formerly of acclaimed French wine bar, Winehot- hence the twist on the current name) and Jane Raybould.

This is similar to a French boulangerie yet you can also eat in, café-style, on a few stools at the shop front and side counters. The main counter cabinets provide filled baguettes, savoury croissants or almond croissants, pain aux raisins, pain aux chocolat amongst other French deliciousness made on the premises. The element of surprise for me was the hidden beautiful French style kitchen with an outdoor courtyard setting out the back. You can enjoy a lovely French breakfast or lunch here, or at night, the kitchen transforms into a bistrot, Wed to Sat from 6pm. The menu and wine list looks amazing and reservations are recommended. You won’t see any chicken nuggets here for the kiddiewinkles, only steak or pizza with fries.

Saturday breakfast was on the cards for us.  You order and pay at the counter and they deliver to your table. I guess the payment in advance keeps a reign on the business and staff costs, where dinner no doubt you would be served at the table and pay later.

The menu is small but specialised with a fantastic selection of sweet crepes e.g. caramel, l’orange, Florence, Tatin, chocolat or gluten-free buckwheat galettes e.g. smoked salmon, Provençale, Toulouse, Campagnarde. I would normally choose one of these, but today was drawn to a fab looking filled baguette with salami, gruyere cheese and meslcun. Mmm the baguette was crunchy and scummy. My latte was good,small but strong and I couldn’t resist also buying an almond croissant. My eyes were bigger than my stomach though, so I spread out the gluten and ate this later. I realised that this kept me going until dinner. My sis in law also chose a baguette and pain au chocolat and the other friends chose a tatin crepe and a Toulouse galette. The savoury galette comes folded like a triangle purse (note no picture as it doesn’t do it justice). It is unattractive on the outside but stunning inside because as soon as you cut into it, the beauty unfolds. Despite me loving my baguette, I got food envy.

Yes you had to be a big shot didn’t ya Frenchhot? And you are!

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My Sunday treat after lunch, before boarding the ferry, was to stop on the main road of Oneroa, at the gorgeous artisan-crafted gelato shop, housed in a pop-up container. Island Gelato also sells Allpress Coffee & Al Brown’s Best Ugly Bagels. They open at 8am and there were people eating icecream that early on a Saturday! Yolo right?!

The flavours were divine and change regularly and they do give you wee tasters to help you decide on your main purchase. I got to try Peanut Butter and Coconut. Yummyilicious. There’s no way I’m not having it in a cup as the cone for me, is the only way to go. You can also buy it by the litre. Thank goodness I don’t live here as that would be dangerous on two counts. The first with me trying to peer out the window to check out the flavours and the second, me wanting to have one every day which is not good for the waistline or bank balance.

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