We had managed to get out to the highway from Pumphouse Point on our way to Bicheno but a local had just made it up the mountain and warned us that "there's no way you're getting down in that unless the plough comes through". By "that", he meant our Camry hire car. Also, apparently, another big dump of snow was expected. So, in the hope that the plough would, in fact, come through, we got off the road and fanged the car into the hotel driveway until the snow stopped us and we had to abandon it.
The pub had a Closed sign on the door but the owner welcomed us in when we explained our predicament. He led us to the fire, organised drinks and offerred lunch if we wanted it. This was at about 11.30am. A little later, we were joined by Ima, the chef, to talk about lunch (and a broad range of other topics) and he confirmed that the snow plough would come through later. His description of his curries led us to choose a Sri Lankan chicken curry which turned out to be great. While we were sitting by the fire, one of the other chefs set up a table for us and brought over a heater to supplement the fire (it's a very big room to heat). We'd been finished our lunch for a few minutes when the call came through that the plough was coming so we managed to reverse the car out of the snowed-under driveway and white-knuckled our way down the mountain. The hotel was a totally unexpected delight in the middle of nowhere and we were very grateful for the warm welcome and great meal.