The Duke of Gloucester is described as being the place with something for everyone “and we really do have something for everyone” says David Perreaux. Almost on
cue I’m shown around this Taradale bar and restaurants and there is almost certainly an area to suit your needs whether it’s enjoying the sun in the outdoor courtyard, indoors in the conservatory restaurant or at the bar enjoying a bet or two on the races or in the gaming room nicknamed Taravegas! There is also a functions room that you may not have seen before and is popular for celebration events such as birthdays and anniversaries. “We have a 100 seat private function & conference room right next door to The Duke, with several menus to choose from starting from the Roast Carvery, right through to a full seafood buffet. Later on, the young ones move over to the pub, while the oldies keep enjoying having a natter.” says David. The Duke Kitchen caters for functions buffet style with the roasted Carvery starting at $25 per head.
A traditional summer day at The Duke brings back the live music bands in the outdoor garden bar. This was the surprise find for me on this trip as I’ve driven past plenty of time, but the sun and quiet of the garden bar isn’t something you’d expect from the street. The area can be booked out for your own true kiwi garden BBQ and the available BBQ menus are just the starting place for ideas with David promising that whatever your idea The Duke will try their best to accommodate.
With both Heineken and Erdinger on tap alongside their own Duke draft beer, The Duke isn’t standing still when it comes to continually improving the pub going experience. “We’ve recently upped the standard of glassware for the wines too. All our glasses our now Duke branded.” says David. There’s more significant improvements planned to the front of the building following on from the new carpet, bathrooms and outdoor concrete paving for the garden bar.
A new food theme series has recently started at The Duke of Gloucester, taking place on the last Thursday of the month. “In the restaurant we are doing a food theme
night, and the Italian night has already sold out & we are looking forward to planning the next ones, come summer we may even do a Jamaican bbq in the garden bar!” The last one was an Italian themed night with Septembers event promising the best of France followed by Germany in October to coincide with the Oktoberfest festival in Germany. Pete Jeffery is the chef and is originally from England, having worked in hotel restaurants throughout Europe over the last 30 years. “I’m looking forward to the theme nights, it’s an opportunity for us to try something new and an opportunity for the staff to learn.” says Pete. “It’s also a chance for kiwis to try a style of European food they might not have had before.” The Duke loves customer feedback and pays attention. “We know kiwi’s love to flood their dish with gravy, so we serve it up in it’s own jug so they can flood it right at the table.” says David. Oh and if you like spicy nachos, Pete reckons theirs could be the spiciest in Hawke’s Bay. “We tell them it’s spicy, and we mean it’s spicy!”
The Duke likes to provide the extras to make you feel extra welcome. “We put on free rugby buses to all Magpie home games, we carve a free baron off beef on the bar Thursday nights & we carry around some free nibbles on Friday nights, it’s just part of our what we do.” says David. The Duke also shares the love with local community initiatives, having recently hosted the headshave for cancer fundraiser along with numerous community carwash fundraisers. “All the money goes to the charity, we provide all the carwash cleaning equipment and soap suds so group just turn up and work hard. With about a dozen people it works really well with 8-10 washing cars. Works perfectly for everyone.” says David.
The restaurant menu at The Duke is continually changing and the weekly chef creations available to see on the Duke menu. This weeks specials are Oven Roasted chicken
supreme, Ham & Mushroom Pasta and Grilled Pork Loin Steak with lime pickle and potato wedges. “We make our own burger patties & even crumb our own scallops to order, they are one of the most popular dished on the menu and our Seafood Chowder is famous throughout Hawke’s Bay.” says David. “We only use New Zealand Silver Fern Steaks & our chef keeps it new & fresh with the weekly chef creations.”
On my visit, I went for something a bit more adventurous ordering a banana, prawn and avocado stack. There’s a lot of creaminess in the dish, and although it’s one of the most popular dishes at The Duke, I would have gone for a prawn avocado cocktail without the banana. Anyway, who am I to argue with one of the most popular dishes at the Duke!
So, if you haven’t been to the Duke of Gloucester in Taradale, park your car around the back and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in the garden bar. If you’re bringing the kids, don’t forget to ask for the kids colouring packs. If you’re struggling to know where to go for your next work function, ask for Sandy and she’ll show you around all the options. Lastly, although it’s a tad too early to talk Christmas functions, The Duke’s Christmas Day lunch usually books out by November, David says so if you’re after a no hassle way to enjoy Christmas with set cloths, crackers and macintosh lollies galore, at $95 per head, this could be the place for you. Talk to front of house Rachel on twitter @TheDukeTaradale or call on 06 845 0502 with any questions you may have.
- A traditional summer day at @TheDukeTaradale brings back the live music bands in the outdoor garden bar. Tweet
- A new food theme series has recently started at The Duke of Gloucester. Tweet
- Book out the garden bar for a true kiwi garden BBQ this summer @theduketaradale. Tweet