Seriously. It’s amazing there. The warm, friendly people, the scenery that really is just as impressive as you thought it was the first time you watched Lord of the Rings, the food….oh my. Levi and I set a personal goal to eat as many green-lipped mussels as possible in one week. And let’s just talk about pies for a second. Observation #1: In the U.S., we love our dessert pies, but savory pies are hardly encountered. This tends to be flip-flopped in commonwealth countries like the U.K. or New Zealand; they’ve got all kinds of savory pies, and there is a chance you may encounter an apple pie, but that’s about the extent of it.

(Observation #2: Handheld mini pies are both practical and adorable.)

Anyway, my friends and I worked together to make a truly multicultural meal: savory pie followed by sweet pie. To be more exact, Beef and Guinness Pie followed by….

Blueberry Peach Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping

Fresh Plum and Port Pie

It’s always a little more work to make pies in someone else’s kitchen. Okay, a lot more work. In the absence of shortening I made all-butter pastry, and in the absence of time, I didn’t refrigerate it for close to long enough. It stuck to literally everything it came in contact. But all’s well that ends well, and the perfect ending to pie (thanks Yaana!) turns out to be…more pie.