Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip With Sam And Graham - Season 2 2023

Men In Kilts Eat Their Way Through New Zealand – Review, Ep. 203; Win a Prize Pack

Now I’m  hungry. After watching this episode again, I found more and more that’s fascinating! And all four segments – the bees, dairy farming, winery, and restaurant – have great stories. I hope you enjoy the extra info that I bring you in these posts – I’ve got a LOT of it this week! And even more – scroll down to the end of this article and enter a contest for some fun MIK and New Zealand swag!

Once more, the driving sequences between segments didn’t make much sense if you were looking for them actually going through the areas they discussed. If you’ve paid attention to the scenery behind them, we’ve seen the same picturesque buildings several times. But – do you really care, unless you’re from New Zealand? They’re just a way to introduce each segment, and probably were all shot in a few days. The exciting and interesting info comes in the places they stop!

Bee My Honey

First stop – Larnach Castle, Dunedin. This is one of three Dunedin towns I know of – there’s one in Scotland, one on Florida’s Gulf coast (and it’s a beautiful little town), and this one. My son Greg stopped here several times when he worked on a cruise ship, and reports that it’s a lovely place, with lots of great cafes to sit and find wifi to call your mom (lol).

Manuka honey, like the variety that is produced on the castle’s grounds, is known for its medicinal qualities. This variety has unique antibacterial qualities, and is most often used for burns and wound healing. It’s also used for skin care, for conditions like eczema and dermatitis; for sore throats; and digestive health, according to Web M.D. Australian Manuka honey can be found at Home Goods and World Market in the US, but I’m including a small jar of New Zealand Manuka in the contest prize (see below).

Larnach Castle & Gardens is “New Zealand’s only castle,” and is open to the public for touring. Their website doesn’t say anything about beekeeping, and there are no honey products listed in their shop, but it looks like a wonderful place to visit nonetheless! “Decades have been spent on the Castle’s restoration, with the family having restored empty buildings from ruin and assembled a large collection of original New Zealand period furniture and antiques. This living collection showcases the craftsmanship and spirit of New Zealand,” according to their website. Several videos are available here.

Insert Cow Joke Here

All of Graham’s cow jokes were udderly corny! But their trip to the dairy coop, which was in Waikato on the North Island, was no joke – dairy farming is very important in New Zealand. You can’t drive 10 minutes without seeing cows. And the man they chatted with, Stu Muir, is much more than a dairy farmer (and he wore a kilt for them too!). Looking for information about this location, I found a lot of info about Stu himself. He mentions in the show that he is concerned about environmental issues – “I’m looking for the next five generations out. That’s what I get a kick out of, improving the natural side of of it.”

The New Zealand Herald did a feature on Mr. Muir, along with a great video where he talks about his river restoration project. As you watch the video, notice how the Maori Te Reo language that I talked about in last week’s review is just part of his natural speech – that’s the way most people that we met in New Zealand speak. This additional link is to an article about his pest control efforts so the local wildlife could thrive.

Land of WINE and Honey

You knew that Sam and Graham had to get alcohol into the show somehow! They travel to Hawke’s Bay, and go to Black Barn Winery. Hawke’s Bay is the area my son lives in, and there are SO many wineries! They range from small family-owned couple of acre places to locations like Black Barn, which really redefines “winery.” The site includes 17 guest cottages for rent – each one different – a restaurant, a gift shop, a huge amphitheater that hosts large, well known bands in concert, and of course, acres of grapes. Hawke’s Bay weather is ideal for growing, as Dave McKee, their guest, discusses. The Pacific Ocean is on the east side of the Bay, and the west side is surrounded by mountains – it rarely gets above 80º or below 40, and almost never snows (this year, however, has been extremely wet – a cyclone went through the region earlier this year, taking out roads and bridges, flooding entire towns, and it almost hasn’t stopped raining since).

This location is in the same town that my daughter in law’s psychology practice is in. Havelock North is a great, fairly upscale city, with lots of restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and beautiful homes. Black Barn really fits in with the area’s vibe, and I’m sure it’s an important part of this vibrant community. My son has actually played there, as they have blues, rock, and jazz artists playing every weekend. You can be sure we’ll be stopping there when we go back to New Zealand in December, and I’m really excited to try the rosé. (I’ve attempted to contact Black Barn several times to chat with them about Sam and Graham’s stop, but they haven’t returned my contacts. I’ll keep trying!)

Fleur’s Place

The final stop of this week’s episode was back to the South Island, to have dinner at Fleur’s Place. Fleur Sullivan is a well-known New Zealand chef, and has a memoir/cookbook available. You can get the book, Fleur: The Life and Times of Pioneering Restaurateur Fleur Sullivan, only on Kindle at Amazon. The restaurant, currently closed, is located in Moeraki, which is north of Dunedin. The area has a rich Maori, whaling and sealing history. It’s famous for the beach with perfectly rounded boulders, millions of years old, The Moeraki Boulders.

Because New Zealand is an island nation, fish makes up a large part of the diet and native cuisine. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to prepare it, and it looks like Sam and Graham really enjoyed the several different fish dishes Fleur served them!

If there’s one issue I have with Men In Kilts, it’s that the half-hour format doesn’t allow for much more than the entertainment value of the stops they make. Personally, I’d love to hear more of the backstory of these locations. I feel like all we get is a quick brush with these wonderful people and locations, and off we go again! I’m looking forward to Sam and Graham’s book, Clanlands in New Zealand, coming out on November 7. It’s sure to have lots of humor and more information about their covid-era journey through this terrific country.


Win a Men in Kilts New Zealand prize package! I have all kinds of official Men In Kilts and New Zealand goodies for you. You’ll get a bunch of great items – a Men In Kilts cocktail napkin, promo card, and “flat” Sam and Graham from press swag sent out for MIK Season 1; a tin bee themed cup purchased at the gift shop at MTG Hawkes Bay (a local museum, theater and gallery in Napier); set of bee-themed magnets; set of Outlander magnetic bookmarks; a jar of New Zealand Manuka honey (not pictured); all sent in the MIK swag box I received for Season 1!

Enter by doing as many options as you choose in the Rafflecopter box below. BE SURE TO CHECK THEM OFF in the Rafflecopter box! Some rules:
1) Apple products aren’t necessarily compatible with Rafflecopter. If you have trouble and you are on an iPhone, please try to enter on a different device. Three If By Space is not responsible for finding a different way for you to enter – all entries MUST go through Rafflecopter to count. Comments must be HERE, on this article, not on Twitter or in a Facebook group (those are always interesting, but won’t count for the contest).
2) Sorry, entrants must have a US address for delivery. I pay for postage myself, and can’t afford to send internationally.
3) Winner will be notified next Friday, Sept. 1.

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