A weekend ritual

Get up late, walk to the end of Oriental Parade, get halfway back before realising it’s 3pm and we haven’t eaten lunch, lose pace due to sheer hunger. Eat all the things.

Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade
Oriental Parade

Reykjavik Street Art

Toadstools

Reykjavik reminds me of Wellington in a few ways. There is great street art and the people can be very sarcastic and ironic, it was nice to share inside jokes in a foreign country. We’re both laughing at this ignorant tourist, haha.

Art transcends language but it really helps when everyone has learnt your native tongue at school.

Untitled
Mountain
Street art

Fake flowers

Indie

Ties

Ear muffs
Ear muffs
A few of the statues around town had been given ear muffs

Spear

Fire face

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown
Queenstown

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.)

Air New Zealand Wellington to Queenstown

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.

See all of my Queenstown, Arrowtown, and Cromwell photos on Flickr.

Fergburger, Queenstown

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.

Arrowtown
Cromwell
Cromwell

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.

Amisfield Winery, Lake Hayes
Amisfield Winery food
Amisfield Winery, Lake Hayes

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.

Cromwell
Cromwell

Queenstown Gardens and Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown
Queenstown
Queenstown
Queenstown
Queenstown
Queenstown

Skyline Gondola
Skyline Gondola, Queenstown
Skyline Gondola, Queenstown
Skyline Gondola, Queenstown
Skyline Gondola, Queenstown
Skyline Gondola

Lake Wanaka
Wanaka

Arrowtown and the Millenium Walk
Arrowtown
Arrowtown
Arrowtown
Arrowtown
Arrowtown

See more of my Queenstown, Arrowtown, and Cromwell photos on Flickr.

365 in 2013

Tuesday, April 23: Colourful paper shapes on Egmont St.
Tuesday, April 23: Colourful paper shapes on Egmont St.

Wednesday, April 24: ANZAC eve meant it was ok to go out after work. We had a drink at the new bar on Leeds St - Goldings Free Dive.
Wednesday, April 24: ANZAC eve meant it was ok to go out after work. We had a drink at the new bar on Leeds St, Goldings Free Dive, before splitting and reconvening later for Iron Man 3.

Thursday, April 25: ANZAC day holiday was spent getting a friend for my fox.
Thursday, April 25: ANZAC day holiday was spent getting a stag friend for my fox.

Friday, April 26: A Friday that felt like a Monday. Lukcy number 9 was spotted on my race to the postshop after work, I'd left all my parcels at home in the morning.
Friday, April 26: A Friday that felt like a Monday. Lukcy number 9 was spotted on my race to the postshop after work, I’d left all my parcels at home in the morning.

Saturday, April 27: Kate was out of town when we watched all 12 hours of The Hour so Laura invited us over to watch it again/for the first time. We were a bit easier on ourselves this time and only watched 4 episodes. Laura made this amazing cake.
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.

Sunday, April 28: Brendan and I followed part of the Southern walkway from our house to Roseneath. I love this city.

Sunday, April 28: Brendan and I followed part of the Southern walkway from our house to Roseneath. I love this city.
Sunday, April 28: Brendan and I followed part of the Southern walkway from our house to Roseneath. I love this city.

Monday, April 29: Waitangi Park Wetlands. It is so much darker in the evenings already. The sun was setting as I walked home, not long now till I'll be walking home in the dark.
Monday, April 29: Waitangi Park Wetlands. It is so much darker in the evenings already. The sun was setting as I walked home, not long now till I’ll be walking home in the dark.

365 in 2013

Tuesday, February 5: Day one of birthday cinnamon rolls.
Tuesday, February 5: As a challenge to myself I thought I’d give birthday pinwheels a go. They take two days to make and use yeast so the they’re far more involved than the recipes I usually try. Day one of the recipe involved dough mixing and sprinkles.

Wednesday, February 6: Waitangi Day, Megan's birthday, and day two of birthday cinnamon pinwheels.
Wednesday, February 6: The colours in the sprinkles ran as soon as liquid touched them, but I quite like the way it turned the dough green. Day two involved rolling, buttering, sprinkling, rising, and then baking.

Thursday, February 7: Finally a chance to check out the Mt Vic Chippery.
Thursday, February 7: Finally! The Mt Vic Chippery! I’ve been waiting for a fish & chip shop to open in Mt Vic since I moved here 10 years ago. The chips could be crunchier, but they’ve only been open a week or so so I won’t judge too harshly yet.

Friday, February 8: There are a lot of instruments in our room.
Friday, February 8: There are a lot of instruments in our room. This is the neck of Brendan’s mandolin.

Saturday, February 9: Kedgeree at Nikau
Saturday, February 9: The kedgeree at Nikau is one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Sunday, February 10: We had a working bee with snacks (some of us worked, some of just snacked).
Sunday, Febraury 10: A working bee with snacks was held at our house. Some worked, some snacked, some worked and snacked. Kate & Jason made two amazing dips; I made a pretzel crunch and the birthday crumb from the Momofuku Milk cookbook; everything was delicious.

Monday, February 11: Webstock week, Webstock swag
Monday, February 11: It’s Webstock week! After a few years of pining for what has been described as “the best conference in the world” I finally got the guts to had over $1000 for two days of inspiration and mingling. Registering early to pick up my beautiful swag definitely helped get the week off to a good start.

365 in 2013

Tuesday January 8: No more daytime drinking
Tuesday, January 8: Average weather and the return of office hours left St John’s grassy area empty and sad.

Wednesday January 9: Midweek pasta
Wednesday, January 9: Midweek pasta.

Thursday January 10: A week of weather, including winds intense even for Wellington
Thursday, January 10: No one missed the wind, but it came back anyway. With a vengeance.

Friday January 11: Wayward Newtown
Friday, January 11: We got a group together and drove to Newtown to try the latest offering from the brains behind Monterey and Six Barrel Soda Co. Wayward (literally behind Monterey) supplied us with Amercian Whiskey and smoked meats.

Saturday January 12: Fez sitting
Saturday, January 12: Fez needed play time and food while his mum and dad were out of town.

Sunday January 13: Brunch at The Tasting Room
Sunday, January 13: Capitol was closed for Brunch so we ventured across the road to The Tasting Room. We tried the Sennor [sic] Roesti and the Pitti Panna [sic] Roesti and its was all very very tasty. This light fixture was the highlight though.

Monday January 14: It rained
Monday, January 14: It rained. All day. Occasionally on my face.

Artichokes

We scored three artichokes for $1.50 in the sale bin at the supermarket yesterday which is a saving of $4.50 PER ARTICHOKE apparently.

I love artichokes but I’d never actually cooked and eaten them whole like this before, usually I’d have artichoke hearts with an antipasto platter or on a pizza. Brend reached back into his mind grapes to remember how they ate artichokes in Spain. People would turn up to parties with bags full of them and they’d steam them and eat them with nothing else!

We steamed ours for about 20 minutes until they went dark green, then dipped the edible parts of the leaves and the hearts in a butter, garlic, lemon thyme, and basil sauce. So good.

Make sure you get rid of all the fluffy stuff in the middle (the choke) before you eat the heart, it gets caught in your throat big time. No fun.

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