Food and Wine Queenstown Restaurants

Must-do Apres Ski at Cargo Gantley’s Historic Pub

Written by Margo Berryman

Strategically placed close to the Coronet Peak Ski Area access road Gantley’s Pub & Café is a popular place to eat on the way to the slopes and the ideal après ski stop off for skiers and snowboarders heading home from the mountain.

Owners Malcolm and Meron Blakey, who have created a lively European style après ski atmosphere at the historic establishment in Arthurs Point, just five minutes’ drive from downtown Queenstown and one-minute drive from the ski area road say there is lots this winter to attract visitors and locals both before and after skiing.

“We are open early for coffee, snacks and breakfast rolls to enjoy here or takeaway and later lunch, snacks, dinner and drinks continue on at the pub until late,” says Malcolm.

“Essentially a day on mountain doesn’t stop at 4.00pm when the lifts close because the vibe continues at Cargo. Just as in Europe where you ski to a mountain village for après ski we provide the same sort of atmosphere everyday.”

The 1863 heritage Gantley’s building has been revitalised since Malcolm and Meron took it over last year, creating a rustically stylish café and pub interior, new bar and revamped outdoor courtyard.

“The indoor bar areas really come alive during winter with roaring fires and cosy corners to get warm and dry after a day on the mountain,” he says. “We have an après ski outside bar set up in the garden beside the fire so people can walk from the car to the bar in their ski boots, grab a mulled wine, hot cocktail or beer along with delicious barbecue food and settle in for some genuine post mountain relaxation.”

Gantley’s is family oriented with plenty of space for kids to run around and roast marshmallows on the fire. 

“We always have parties to celebrate the mountain opening, night skiing starting and other special occasions and live music happens both during the week and weekends,” says Malcolm. “Locals and visitors should keep an eye on our social for some cool activations this season.”

GOURMET GASTRONOMY

Motivated by the exceptional hospitality served at European mountain villages and chalets Meron and her kitchen team have crafted a winter menu with a distinctive Kiwi twist.

“Lots of shared platters, soups, pies and hearty pub food like burgers and fries using local Kiwi ingredients,” says Meron. “We have some quirky snacks and dishes that you can only find at Cargo during winter. This includes spicy chicken wings and our famous Cargo haloumi fries that the après ski crowd love. These salty, delicious snacks are massively popular and so unique there would be an uproar if we took them off the menu.”

Cargo at Gantley’s has a range of beers, wine and specialty drinks.

“We have our own Cargo brewed beers and a really extensive range of New Zealand and international craft beers on tap plus local and international wines including Central Otago Pinots and Sauvignon Blancs,” says Malcolm. “Mulled wine and mulled ginger beer are delicious options to warm up with after the mountain and we have developed some creative hot cocktails with the team from Cardrona Distillery to serve this winter.”

About the author

Margo Berryman