Tag : wellington

newtown festival street fair

Newtown is a very diverse suburb in Wellington and to celebrate it, nothing better than holding a massive street fair for a day. With 12 stages, over 400 stalls, and 80 acts, the event that took place on Sunday 8 March (same day as International Women’s Day) was the largest street fair I’ve ever seen. Many food stalls, offering food from all over the world, including the always great Curbside Cafe, and several other stalls selling all kinds of products from vintage clothing and personal grooming to decorations and services like energy readings and henna tattoos.  It was a fun, sunny morning, perfect for lots of photos.

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Le Canard may have closed its doors but this rotisserie food truck is amazing!

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eateries: chameleon restaurant & zomato meet up

Last Wednesday I was invited to join a group of bloggers for the first Zomato meet up in Wellington at the Chameleon Restaurant, at the Intercontinental Hotel. I got to taste their divine autumn menu, enhanced by the inspired Ata Rangi pairings, each course bursting with fresh, intense flavours. Their menu changes seasonly and talented chef Paul Limacher makes the most out of local ingredients available at different times of the year.

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When I first arrived at the hotel, I got distracted by a display of one of the costumes used by Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf on the Hobbit trilogy. As I was taking a photo on my iPhone, Geoff (director of sales and marketing at the hotel) quickly spotted me and took me over to the bar where all the other bloggers attending the event were enjoying a drink. I got myself a glass of infused lemon and gin, and sat down close to Kahu, Emma and Marie. Jenna, who I’ve met before at the Brunch Club meet up last month, was there too, as well as Tallulah, Rachel and Blaire. Shaun and James were representing Zomato and Helen from Ata Rangi completed the group. After a very stressful day at work, it was great to relax in such good company.

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We then headed to the restaurant and two tables with marked seats waited us. The personalised menu was a sweet touch, and variations to accommodate dietary requirements were noted, so everyone was properly catered for that evening.

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To start the degustation session, amuse bouche of duck on chicory leave.

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The first dish served was avocado tartare with cornichon, roasted saganaki, beetroot chips and coriander juice, paired with a crisp, Dry Riesling 2010. I’d never have thought of combining avocado with pan fried cheese but now it seems so obvious it’s a perfect match, I can’t believe it took me so long to try it!

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The next course was a plate of kingfish gravlax with creme fruit, vodka, cucumber, tomato jelly and watercress, paired with a refreshing Craighall Chardonnay 2013. It was like a delicate kiss straight out of the ocean.

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Then, we had lamb rack and braised neck, with wild thyme honeyed caramelised yoghurt, black garlic, brussels and shitake, paired with an elegant, layered Pinot Noir 2012 and my favourite wine of the evening, a peppery perfumed Syrah 2010. The meat was so tender, coming out of the bone with no effort at all.

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Dessert was an amazing piña colada coconut yoghurt mousse with rum pineapple and coconut sponge, followed by a plate of petit fours to share and coffee. I can’t stop thinking about it and would definitely go back just for another teste of that pineapple!

The menu isn’t actually divided into entrees and mains, and all the seasonal plates are NZ$26. It was an incredible evening and I had a wonderful time: amazing food, exceptional service, and lots of laughs with new friends.

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You can read more about the tasting meet up from Kahurangi at Xox Bubbles and Emma at Muffin Mum.

eateries: loretta (plus brunch club meet up!)

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This past Saturday was a great day of firsts: my first time attending a Brunch Club meet up and also my first visit to Loretta on Cuba St!

When I created my first blog in 2001, one of the things that really stood out to me was how bloggers are such cool people to hang out with. I’ve been blogging on and off ever since and made truly amazing friends along the way who, unfortunately, are far away in Brazil. So when I decided to start a blog in English, I knew I had to find a community of local bloggers to join, share my interests and keep me inspired.

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with Georgina and Auie

 

I had a small taste of a meet up last month, when Katie visited Wellington and some of the bloggers got together at The Library for a chat and desserts. I remember being very nervous that day, but quickly relaxing as we started sharing funny stories and advice on free stock photography. This time it felt a lot easier to strike conversations with so many new faces and discuss business cards, flat mates horror stories, avocados and spam filters. It was a truly fun occasion and I’m looking forward to the next one!

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And what about Loretta? I still remember when that location used to be a French cafe and I had no idea the space was so big, stretching out all the way back. The ambiance was lovely, tastefully decorated and so pleasant. The service was impeccable and the front of house staff looking after our table was friendly, never letting our glasses of water empty for longer than half a minute.

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I ordered a long black and I have to say that my personal way of “testing” the barista’s skills. Most places tend to burn the coffee, it’s a simple drink but easy to get it wrong. Loretta’s long black was spot on! I had with no sugar, simply enjoying the richness of the scent and flavour. Then, I had an orange juice so fresh and tasty I almost ordered another one.

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The menu is varied but not too extensive, which is always a good sign, it shows a kitchen focused on their strengths. And Loretta’s are eggs. I had a croque madame, which is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top. Delicious! And I could see consistency around the table, everyone’s eggs looked just as good.

Pip, RhianaJenna and Rochelle have also posted about the brunch.

Check out the other girls’ blogs too: Georgina, Larissa, Tallulah, Bridget, Hannah, Auie and Morgan.

eateries: curbside cafe

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One of my favourite things to do on a Friday night after work is stopping by the Cuba St Night Market and having a taste of Wellington’s great food scene. With so many options, there’s always something new to try and a couple of weeks ago the chosen one was the Curbside Cafe.

The food truck craze hasn’t hit Welly that hard yet and Darcy (Curbside’s converted bedford camper) truly stands outs. Managed by couple Peter and Pene, the menu caught my eye when I spotted a Ron Swanson slider: venison and beef, streaky bacon, beer glazed caramelised onions with a maple syrup hickory bbq sauce. Who would let that pass?

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The demo sliders on display were a really clever touch, seeing live exactly what you’re gonna eat makes ordering so much easier! I also applaud their concise, 6 items menu. Short menus means the place is specialised in what they offer and that’s always a good sign.

 

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Everything was so tasty and packed with flavour! I tried the Ron Swanson, the Reuben and the Pork Belly sliders and recommend all three of them and at 3 for $10 they’re fairly priced. And service was quick which meant we weren’t late to our movie afterwards. I’ll definitely come back some time and try one of their coffees too!

 

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You can check Darcy’s next location on Curbside’s website and fanpage.