Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so if you need a bit of inspo for treating Mum in Rotorua, check out these options, from high tea to wine tasting and more.
If Mum’s an early riser, a great breakfast buffet awaits at Atlas Café & Restaurant at Novotel. A light, bright dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows provides just the kind of views you need to start your day: Lake Rotorua, the Village Green and the newly expanded playground. Go ahead and indulge, then take Mum for a stroll along the newly refurbished boardwalk.
When: Daily, 6-10.30am
Bookings: Not required
Pātaka Kai at Te Puia
Nothing better than a good ole, relaxing Sunday brunch, right? Well, Pātaka Kai takes it even further. Not only is their world-famous buffet back and still beautifully infused with native ingredients such as horopito, kawakawa, watercress and Akaroa salmon, but dining here is always enhanced with views of the erupting of Pōhutu Geyser in the near distance. Dining at Pataka Kai does not require paying an entry fee to the geothermal park, but why not spoil Mum and treat her to experience this special place!
When: Sundays, 9am-2pm
Bookings: Highly recommended
Duke’s Bar & Restaurant at Prince’s Gate
We can thank Anna Stanhope, seventh Duchess of Bedford, for her clever plan to prevent becoming hangry. The story goes that in the early 19th century, Queen Victoria’s court took dinner around 7 or 8pm. The duchess would often find herself hungry well before then as lunch was served midday, so she began requesting a small meal with a pot of tea late each afternoon. Thus, high tea was borne.
If your mum is a bit regal, why not indulge likewise? There’s hardly a better place to enjoy this centuries-old tradition than at the historic, 125-year-old Duke’s at Prince’s Gate Hotel. Their signature high tea is served daily, with four versions on offer, including a family group high tea for 10 or more guests – perfect for including your siblings and partners, children, aunties and uncles, and anyone else who wants to make all the mums feel special. This high tea is served buffet-style with a glass of bubbles for each adult.
When: Daily, 11am-4pm
Bookings: Highly recommended
Treating Mum to high tea at The Regent Room at Regent of Rotorua boutique hotel will knock her socks off. If she loves a fancy place with crisp, white linens, black accents and a bit of glam, this is her jam. Speaking of jam, be sure to try the homemade scones with jam and cream that accompany the selection of sandwiches, savouries, and other baked goods. If the weather is fine, don your sun hats and check if there’s a poolside table in the courtyard to enjoy.
When: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-4pm
Here’s another buffet option and it’s a doozy! Plus, getting there is half the magic.
Stratosfare is offering a sweet Mother’s Day package that includes taking the scenic route up Mt Ngongotahā via the Skyline Gondola – which is, in its own merits, a Rotorua must-do. The panoramic views over Rotorua and its namesake lake are simply beautiful.
Speaking of views, wait until you feast your eyes upon Stratosfare’s enormous buffet, one of the best you’ll ever find. Arrive hungry so you can enjoy all-you-can-eat freshly prepared and cooked-to-order dishes that highlight locally sourced seafood, meat and produce. The special also includes a glass of bubble or orange juice upon arrival, and a plate of sweets delivered to your table. We highly suggest booking a window table so you can soak in the scenery while you dine.
When: Sunday, 8 May, 11.30am-1.30pm
If you’re on your way to Stratosfare, you may as well make Rotorua’s only winery your first stop once you disembark the Gondola. You can call in for a casual glass or two before dinner and enjoy the same epic views over the city. Hint: capture a special moment by snapping a cheeky selfie with your darling mum!
If you have more time up your sleeves, we highly suggest scheduling a wine tasting and let vintner Brent Park help you discover your favourites. In his eyes, it’s all about the individual’s taste buds and he loves to help everyone find a type they’ll enjoy; it’s not what the latest influencers are preaching about. He’s a true character, too, so you’ll spend as much time laughing as you will tasting. If you’re not dining at Stratosfare, order a platter of nibbles to accompany your tasting.
When: Thursdays & Sundays, 12-5pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 12-6pm
At Poco, it’s the little things, and that includes a menu offering a dozen or so small, seasonal, shareable dishes like seared scallops, pork tenderloin, and their famous chicken tenders. A must-try is the charred iceberg salad – sounds a bit strange perhaps, but it’s perfect for these cooler nights – light, warm and really scrummy.
Poco’s dining room is cosy and intimate without feeling like you’re imposing on other diners. The service is friendly and attentive, and you might even have the chef himself deliver your dishes.
For Mother’s Day, Poco is offering a special selection of the chef’s favourite dishes plus a glass of Prosecco (this can be switched for non-alcoholic soda, if you prefer) for a set price for a minimum of two people. Please mention any dietary requirements when booking.
When: Sunday, 8 May, 4-10pm
What’s Mother’s Day without flowers and gifts?
If you’d like to really spoil Mum with an extra treat – and doesn’t she deserve it? – you can hardly go wrong with a bouquet of flowers. In in the city centre, you have Rotorua Florist and Kānuka Boutique Florist creating amazing floral arrangements. They’re literally works of art! Best to pre-order yours as these folks get crazy busy.
If Mum’s on the current houseplant craze, one of the best places to shop is just a bit north of the city, in Ngongotahā Village. The ladies at Curiosity Blooms are plant-mad and have a great selection to choose from, as well as loads of other gorgeous gifts Mum would love.