Sunday, June 23: Beth made hotdogs at Golding’s Free Dive to fundraise for the SPCA. There were heaps of well behaved doggies, heaps of nice people, and heaps of delicious hot dogs.
Tuesday, June 11: Wellington on a Plate is back in August! So excited! I’ve nabbed tickets to the New Orleans Jazz Brunch at Logan Brown, now I just have to wait two months.
Saturday, June 15: Brunch & shoe shopping followed by acquainting myself with Customs Brew Bar (finally). Breakfast espresso followed by a mug of swiss gold filter followed by a small cup of chemex and I was drunk. Drunk off coffee rolling around whining that I felt sick.
Don’t do drugs kids.
Thursday, May 23: Another few hours spent at Thunderbird. This time with a hangover from celebrating Sarah-Rose & Craig’s house settlement. I love these lampshades at Thunderbird. I also really love their new chilli cheese fries, best hangover cure ever (unless you’re vegetarian or allergic to dairy).
Sunday, May 26: Wellington Open Day finally gets some good weather and I’m determined to see what Zealandia (Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) is all about. If you’re into trees or birds then it’s really really cool. I’m looking forward to going back and trying out some of the other walks.
Seeing a takahe was amazing, I had no idea they are so big! I always wondered if I was getting them mixed up with pukeko, but now I’ve seen one in real life I know there was no chance. Did you know takahe were declared extinct until they were discovered again in 1948?!
Sunday, May 19: My fifth catch up with Laura and Tim in 3 days! Coffee and chocolate rose marble cake.
What a beautiful part of the country!
It’s unusual flying into Queenstown for the first time. Growing up I constantly saw images of our epic landscapes; snow capped mountains with streams running between them and not a person in sight. Exposure to these images increased in the years following New Zealand’s transformation into Middle Earth. But now, making the sharp right turn toward Queenstown’s airport, those images are very real and present.
So real I heard that pilots flying into Queenstown have to be good enough to ignore warnings coming from the safety systems telling them they’re going to crash into a mountain. (Nervous collar pull.)
I always expected that these sorts of landscapes could only be accessed with a lot of money, a helicopter ride, or a two day trek in the snow. Not the mere act of standing on solid ground with Lake Wakatipu on one side and Queenstown’s low profile city centre on the other side.
A large number of Queenstown’s population is transient, travelers there for a few months, a few weeks, a few days. It’s easy to become a local, just stay put for a couple of years. I wonder if everyone is so nice because they know they’ll be gone soon…or you’ll be gone soon.
We ate some incredible food in our four days. The coffee wasn’t half bad either.
If you can afford it then Amisfield Winery is well worth the visit. We loved Kappa for more affordable Japanese food. I was impressed with the coffee I tried at Vudu in Queenstown, Espresso Love & Cafe Mondo in Arrowtown, and Kai Whakapai in Wanaka.
All of the rumours about Fergburger (and Fergbaker) are true: huge cheap delicious burgers and fast friendly service. And if you’re a sweet tooth like me go try some of the many fudge varieties at one of the Remarkable Sweet Shops.
In the end it all comes back to the view. Wander around the gardens at the lake (try not to get hit by frisbees on the frolf course), take a trip up the Skyline gondola, and if you’re as lucky as I am get your friends to take you over the Crown Range and eventually on to Cromwell for a classic Southland Cheese Roll next to Lake Dunstan.
Amisfield Winery: We tasted some wines at their cellar door and then sat in the sun to share a charcuterie board with wild rabbit rillette & apricots, dried venison sausage, chicken liver mousse with pistachio crust, pickled vegetables, and sourdough; huge slices of pork belly with barley and blood orange; and a spiced kumara tart with caramel walnuts and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I loved the noble sauvignon blanc so much I had to bring a bottle home with me.
We got out just in time to cross the road and catch the bus into Arrowtown.
Our first night in town was a bit cold, but still fine enough to eat our burgers down by the lake. For the most part though we were totally over prepared, the sun shone and we found ourselves having to strip off coats and thermal layers.
Wednesday, May 1: I almost wanted to cry on my walk to work: I tried to take some photos and my lens wouldn’t focus, even on manual. I gave it a few frustrated taps and turns and kept trying as I walked – this is the photo of success.
Thursday, May 2: We tried Caliente for lunch as a celebration/mini send off for a friend moving to Melbourne. We avoided the breakfast menu on advice that we’d been given & ordered flautas & enchiladas. They were excellent.
Sunday, May 5: Breakfast at Finc. I’m really happy that more cafes are serving coffee over ice these days. Plain black coffee over ice, none of this whipped cream and chocolate fish business. This was the Ethiopian Wote Konga filter from Coffee Supreme; damn tasty.
Saturday, April 27: Kate was out of town when we watched all 12 hours of The Hour in one day so Laura invited us over to watch it again/for the first time. We were easier on ourselves this time and only watched 4 episodes. Laura made this amazing golden syrup cake, I’ve been thinking about it ever since.