Inclement weather snatched away our staggering views of Mt Cook today so we were moved to park up the Mighty Mau Mau and head for the Hermitage Hotel to check out the Ed Hillary Centre.
Frankly, I give the exhibition a big TRY HARDER but The Ed Hillary documentary we watched in the theatre was first rate. What an honest, not to mention thrilling, account of an unlikely and, at the crux of it, unenthusiastic – about fame anyway – mountaineering hero.
My biggest disappointment, however, had nothing to do with knocking the bastard Everest off* and everything to do with knocking the edge off my delicate little appetite. Un-breakfasted, we were disappointed to find that just like in the olden days the breakfast service was finished in the restaurant but the café was only just opening and clearly moving towards lunch.
Against my better judgement, I ordered a date scone. All date scones are judged against my gold standard: the Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli date and orange scone from Lyall Bay in Wellington.
Actually, the Mt Cook version did not fail too miserably to begin with. I would give it a 5 out of 10. Believe me I’ve had worse. It scored poorly on a light insipid crumb and questionable freshness but better on generous use of dates and a firm crust. However, this was one pricey scone. Two of them and two coffees came to $18 so it must have been hovering around the $5 mark, for which it probably should get a zero rating.
Worse than that, however, and this is a skinflint talking, was that it was delivered cold on an empty plate.
What’s wrong with that picture?
A scone without butter is like a significant birthday without a trip to Paris. It just should not happen.
Not only was there no butter on the plate, in this case, but apparently no available butter in the Ed Hillary Centre Café at all, which is a crime against all New Zealanders, heroes or otherwise.
Margarine, in this neck of the woods, simply does not cut the mustard.
* This is not just me being rude, by the way. "We knocked the bastard off," is Sir Edmund Hillary's famous answer upon being asked when reaching base camp if he had made it to the summit (which along with Sherpa Tenzing, he had.)