Tuesday, 3 July 2012

From A to B via L&P

Kerikeri has been very good to us, the weather generally has been great in the subtropical "winterless north", we've made some great friends at work. On the whole we've been truly spoilt with our stay at the Kerikeri Farm Hostel, which really has felt like home but sadly now it's time for us to go. We'll especially miss our honorary dogs at Kerikeri Farm Hostel, Nika and Weewee...

Nika, please don't leave me!

Lizzie with our other favourite lady, Weewee

Our plan for now is to make our way to the South Island but the first stop on the long way down is via Rotorua. Along the way we decided to stop off in the small town of Paeroa in the Southern Coromandel, as it's the birthplace of Lemon and Paeroa (L&P) - an iconic homegrown, but no longer home-owned (now owned by Coca-Cola Amatil) soft drink that we've become slightly addicted to!

Traditionally, L&P is made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water sourced from Paeroa, which gives the drink it's unique flavour. The taste is quite hard to describe as it's not like lemonade, but its equally as refreshing.

In homage to the delectable drink we stopped off at the L&P café where you can sample some L&P ice cream and see a replica of the iconic L&P bottle outside, however, the original giant "bottle" can be found in Ohinemuri Park on the corner of Normanby and Te Aroha Roads at the eastern entrance of State Highway 2.

The only place in New Zealand where you can sample L&P ice cream

A replica of the iconic L&P bottle beckons visitors passing through

Lizzie standing next to the 5.8m bottle

The inspiration for the eye-catching L&P bottle came about after a replica rocket was assembled for Paeroa's 1967 Christmas promotion "Rocket into Christmas". The iconic 23ft high monument is a favourite with New Zealanders and overseas visitors.

The giant L&P bottle sports the label design used from the 1970s to the 1990s 

Mosaic of a cut lemon and gas bubbles in Ohinemuri Park

The modern bottle design sports the paradoxical slogan "World famous in New Zealand", which is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek way of New Zealanders laughing at themselves!

I seriously hope you can buy this drink back at home someday, as I'm really surprised that such a great drink hasn't become more commercial abroad. It reminds me of the time when I got hooked to A&W root beer when we travelled across the United States. I still hanker for a taste every now and again...!

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