When it comes to defining what it means to be a Kiwi, the Topp Twins are an absolute authority – and since they've been travelling all over New Zealand to film their hit series Topp Country, we figured they'd also be experts on where to go to sample the best our nation has to offer!
"What does it mean to be a Kiwi? It just means we can get anything done," says Jools.
"We've had that mentality from the word go – we used to call it the number eight wire mentality. If it's broken, we fix it! We have amazing ingenuity – out of nothing, something happens!"
Here, Jools and Lynda let us in on their local secrets, and where you can find Topp Twins-approved Kiwi gems!
Jools: Beef and blue vein cheese from Pioneer Pie Co in Albany.
Lynda: The Butcher's Pie Hororata Café, to me, is number one and the Fairlie Bakehouse pie is a close second. So close!
Jools: The Dairy Flat Bakery does the best vegetarian pie with a three-cheese sauce.
Jools: Helensville Fishery. There's a little Japanese guy who started it up and it's the best fish in New Zealand. Never had a bad one. Shelly Beach is a close second.
Lynda: Hampden – the little takeaway store there. It has the best blue cod.
Jools: My beach – Muriwai or Shelly Beach on the other side.
Lynda: For me, it's Moeraki, you can stand on the beach, then walk a couple of metres and you're inside Fleur's lovely restaurant eating seafood.
Jools: Home – on the back of a horse.
Lynda: Topp Lodge! I make a good steak, I pride myself on it. Out of all the things in cooking, if I was on Topp Country, I would be showing how to cook the best steak. Pride myself.
Jools: I'd have to back that up. Every time I head to Topp Lodge, I'm looking forward to a steak.
Lynda: If I'm going out for one, it's Stronechrubie in Mt Somers and the other steak is the Waikaia pub. I have this thing, when I go to order it, I'll have steak, eggs and chips – no green s*! The folks at the Waikaia pub called it the Tractor Driver special.
Jools: Gee, they're almost a thing of the past!
Lynda: I like a nice ice-cold beer at home, but if I did have to go to a pub, it'd be Blue Pub or Brown Pub in Methven.
Jools: At home, right here, on the verandah, cold beer in hand watching my horses play in the paddock.
Lynda: Double Shot Coffee House in Methven because my wife, my beautiful partner Donna, is a barista and she makes the best!
Jools: For me, it's at home – and it's called Earl Grey.
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