I approach Moeraki, not by Highway One but by the coast road from Oamaru. And what a splendid decision that is.
Kilometre after kilometre of road that hugs eroded clay cliffs, which look down on golden-sand beaches being massaged by glassy waves, peeling left and right.
As a teenager I used to come to these beaches with my surfing friends from Timaru. We would sometimes overnight in cramped tents overlooking Campbells Bay, breakfast on baked beans straight from the can, then surf the day away.
Today, barely a surfer in sight. From Oamaru to Moeraki via Kakanui I see just one wet-suited youth at All Day Bay.
All Day Bay is prominent in my memory because it is where I experienced the greatest fright of my life. I was about a hundred metres out from shore sitting astride my board when, right beside me, there appeared a grey fin.
My heart plummeted to the soles of my feet. Dread filled my every crevice. My arms became the frantic paddles of cartoons.
The terror only lasted a second – it soon become apparent it was a dolphin – but that second lasted a lot longer than any second has a right to.
All terrifying thoughts are banished as I drive into Moeraki village on what is a still and mild autumn day. What I'm hoping for is all there: fishing boats bobbing, boat trailers, marker buoys, crayfish pots, karking seagulls, the salty smell of salt air, the smell of the sea's bounty being grilled.
I gaze from my harbourside accommodation and estimate a 10-minute walk to Fleurs Place. And a bonus. The town planners have done me a favour because halfway to Fleurs is a tavern. It's maybe five minutes away, four if I run a bit.
I run a bit. An icy beer later, I'm set up for my visit.
Fleurs Place (she clearly eschews apostrophes) is anything but conventional and that's its charm. The timber walls are adorned with hand-written messages from customers and the eclectic decor includes past-its-best fruit in handsome jars, fresh lavender in need of more water, antique cups and saucers, a coal range, a conch, jars of Fleur's homemade jams and preserves with hand-written labels, candles in used anchovy tins and an antique poster advertising heartburn and flatulence pills.
Three paintings by Dunedin artist John Francis provide saner highlights.
The day I am there it is busy all day as breakfast merges into brunch, brunch into lunch then late lunch into dinner. And Fleur herself still manages to cruise the tables and deliver plates up the stairs.
I discuss my options with the lady herself. In southern climes my gastro-radar leads me to blue cod and pinot noir, but they are not felicitous partners. I could have a blue cod first course with a fine Otago white followed by muttonbird with Otago pinot noir.
And that's exactly what I do. Moist, succulent blue cod wrapped in Fleur's own smoked bacon and garnished with cockles is perfectly paired with my first Waitaki Valley wine, a 2016 riesling. The cockle shells provide perfect sauce scoopers for clean-up.
And my first muttonbird (from Stewart Island), sits well with my Otago pinot noir. That's two firsts at one meal.
The muttonbird, you ask? A combination of duck, mutton and anchovy. I wouldn't order it again but I'm glad I've done it.
This place is an icon, a status achieved by doing what it does in its own unique way. And, of course, serving the freshest fish imaginable straight from the neighbouring ocean.
It's easy to see why Rick Stein chose it as the restaurant he wanted to visit to make a BBC documentary.
There's just nowhere else like it.
• Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.