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To complement Lakeman's best brews, James expanded his love of food and beer as co-owner of Jimmy Coops Lakehouse. With 15 taps of Lakeman Brewing proudly on display, this is the ultimate burger & beer bar in Taupō town centre.
Between the lineup of huge burgers crafted for the perfect marriage of ingredients stacked together and their Lakeman taps of fruity IPAs to refreshing lagers to heart-warming stouts, you'll have to make some hard choices about what to make room for! Perfect for a mid-winter chat or lakefront summer evening!
A favourite spot for James is Floating Rock Vineyard and Cafe in Taupō's Western Bays. This working vineyard is tucked away in scenic Kuratau. The cafe offers delicious wood-fired pizzas with a glass of their locally grown Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Further around the lake, you will find Hare & Copper Eatery. It is the latest edition to the Tūrangi foodie scene but already has established itself as a firm locals favourite. This family-owned and operated restaurant offers a great range of food and beverages in a beautiful riverside setting. Look out for their local music events on their Facebook page.
Kinloch beach is a popular spot for the Cooper family on summer days. And a trip to Kinloch would not be complete without popping into the Tipsy Trout. The sleepy lakeside settlement comes alive during summer and school holidays with visitors who descend on the Tipsy for their morning coffee, lunch or evening meal. Their Thirsty Thursdays' locals evening is legendary, and there's no better place for a celebratory beer and hearty meal after tackling the Great Lake Trails.
James will often shout the team a coffee from L'Arte Cafe and Gallery in Acacia Bay on a cold morning. The café and gallery is a truly visual and edible feast. Set in a magical, art-filled garden, complete with an outside mosaic living room they serve hearty fare and Allpress coffee.
Places of interest
L'Arte Cafe & Gallery
Hare & Copper Eatery & Bar
Jimmy Coops Lakehouse
In 90 seconds, Taupo fisherwoman and adventurer Libby O’Brien can cycle from her house to the lakefront. From there, it’s a 15-minute ride to her senior role at the Department of Conservation office. Within half an hour, she can pedal to her favourite mineral hot pools to soak away aches after an active weekend of fly fishing, boating, skiing and – more often than not - falling off her mountain bike.Find out more
For Steve Manunui, noticing trivialities may be a matter of life and death. Minor details count while working on the side of a mountain, where a little too much wind, the wrong clothing or a moment’s inattention can have dire consequences.
Don’t be fooled by the contemporary ‘shipping container chic’ that seems to set Taupo’s Baked With Love premises apart. That sleek industrial façade disguises the soul of an old-fashioned farmhouse kitchen, where founder Kim Forsythe's tempting dishes and decadent special occasion cakes are scattered with violas, cornflowers and edible petals from her home garden.Find out more
Glass artist Lynden Over’s award-winning style is distinctive and striking. Working in front of a roaring furnace, he twists and blends molten canes of coloured glass together in a painterly way, swirling and stippling the colour in layers to create dramatic, weighty glass vessels that are sought-after by collectors around the world.Find out more
“They say a photograph tells 1000 words, but for me, a photograph only tells part of the story. When you look at a photograph, you are missing out on the sensation of the area, being out there in the cold and the wind.Find out more
For nearly 100 years, the Huka Lodge kitchen has fed guests who come from around the world to catch trout in the luminescent blue-green Waikato River beside the luxury lodge. For five years, chef Paul Froggatt has led Huka Lodge’s kitchen.Find out more