Happiness is cheese, right? Last night I attended the “Yelp’s Powerhouse Pairing: Kapiti & Wild Side” event which was outstandingly sumptuous. I had never even heard of ‘Wild Side Cider’ until yesterday; now it’s my favourite (low alcohol) beverage. No spoilers – however the winning cider/cheese combination (for me) has to be ‘Wildberries’ paired with glorious grilled (Tuteremoana Aged Cheddar) cheese. Just wow. I then sampled the refreshing ‘Feijoa & Passionfruit’ cider with Kanuka Waxed Havarti. Apparently this is the most popular cider, however it is a little sweet for me, just saying. The Havarati was extraordinary: rich, dense & creamy. Next up is the ‘Strawberry & Lime’ cider with Kikorangi Blue. This cheese is my favourite, by far. Smells divine & is explosively flavoursome. ‘Blackberry & Plum’ cider with Tuteremoana Aged Cheddar was delightfully paired with fruity & sharp flavours to satisfy. Lastly ‘Apple & Pomegranate’ Cider poured over Spicy Apple Crumble ice cream was orgasmically exciting. I wanted more – a lot more. Meg from ‘Kapiti’ was extremely erudite about cheese, which made me smile ear-to-ear. Andy from ‘Wild Side’ knew a thing or two about cider – loved their logos and each back story behind the animal – especially the ram. There was also a special treat on offer from ‘Chuffed’: Ginger crunch, chocolate fudge and gluten-free bread I think! Truly a flawless ‘Yelp’ event that showcased some of the best & ‘hot’ NZ brands in the market.
Recently I went to the opening of #fourcournersofnz by Richard Hodder: photography (at its’ absolute best) featuring landscapes of rich and wholesome ‘Kiwi’ land. By that I mean – Richard has captured the idyllic surfing waves in motion’, the uninterrupted countryside, majestic lakes, rugged ‘off the beaten track’ roads to paradise from Cape Reinga, Northland to Lake Hawea, Otago. Allpress roastery was brimming with friends & strangers eager to see what lined the walls. The ‘open’ and ‘limited’ edition works are available for sale from $300 upto $1350 (The Scoop @Allens Beach) to the general public. There are 23 works on exhibition from 15 – 25 July. I found out about this extraordinary photography project via Instagram @inthedrink. You need to go before it disappears – just saying.
What a find! Bunker cafe is hidden away – just off Great North Road – not the easiest place to find, however when you do: bliss. I personally love ‘hard to find’ quirky, urban cafes that don’t do conventional. ‘Bunker Cafe’ is just that; a converted container surrounded by designer bean bags, wooden benches, pews and a concrete garden. Atomic coffee is on offer, along with oversized sweet & savoury brioche, gourmet pies, sweet fare and gastronomic European sandwiches filled with a multitude of choices. I decided on the bacon & egg ciabatta that was winking at me. Everything is takeaway: served on disposable plates. Service is fabulous and personable. Parking is scarce. Ambience is a writer’s dream. You better go now before everyone knows about it!
BIG fan – not sure why I have not been here before as its in my neighbourhood! Located on the corner of Great North Rd & Williamson Ave, it’s central Grey Lynn. The space is modern, bright and inviting. As I approached the counter, the barista was beaming as she asked “how are you?” Fantastic: personable, engaging and gives’ a sh*t. Some cafes are just too busy to care – “Kokako” does care. The cabinet food looked fresh, appetising and healthy with all the usual options available: berry muffins, scummy sandwiches & other mouth-watering treats. Reasonably priced from $4.50. I was looking forward to the coffee, of course. It didn’t disappoint – my triple shot flat white. The cafe was extremely busy for a morning weekday; that explains a lot. Very impressed with this flagship cafe: “Kokako”!
Lot 23 is a place that you may read about in ‘Viva’; then make the (conscious) decision to visit, before it’s everyone’s hang-out.
Located in Minnie Street, Eden Terrace which happens to be where TVNZ ‘Step Dave’s’ (blue) house is situated!
As you enter the space: walls are filled with the latest art curated by Natalie Tozer, concrete floor, wooden old-school chairs, complimented with a super-slick white interior that acts as a great canvas for everything art!
The menu is delectable: ‘Ugly bagels’ topped with lashings of cream cheese, capers and fresh salmon, daily soup choice/s, croissant filled with Camembert, tomato and ham off the bone, ‘Baghdad eggs’ and coconut ice!
Every mouthful is ‘gastronomy’ and flavoursome. I particularly love the ‘Brazilian coffee’ that stimulates the senses – like coffee should. I can’t get enough of Lot 23.
‘Junk & Disorderly’ is a second-hand shoppers’ haven: inundated with everything vintage including timeless books, kitsch ornaments, old-school pails, rocking horses, dainty tables, mannequins, crockery, 1970’s sofas and the kitchen sink. Serious. I absolutely adore this oversized jumble-sale – that favours the consumer. I have purchased, borrowed and browsed this awe-inspiring warehouse for days without boredom. Parking is a dream; located in the heart of Northcote – go and find some treasure now or miss out.
Odettes is red-hot: appearing in Denzien, Metro and recently Vogue Living Australia. The aesthetics are pure eye-candy to patrons: carefully selected mosaic tiles, European-style seating, exquisite art hanging on the wall, with intimate lights to drool over. I have been here for coffee and lunch/brunch a few times. Service is excellent and the wait staff are very attentive. Food is orgasmic: salmon salad for a healthy option, or decadent crepes (with blueberries) for a sweet choice. Full bar. Good wine list, I had Miners Daughter by the glass- great. Loos are shared by both men and women which proved an interesting experience. Nothing feels rushed or onerous. Beautiful place for a meeting, celebration or utter indulgence. Try the crab sliders, if you dare.
“Get inspired.” One of the key messages (amplifying) from this event. How the heck couldn’t you, with such mind-blowing storytellers? Speakers: Ian Wharton (Creative Director), Tiffany Bozic (Artist), Ashley Gilbertson (Photojournalist), Augustin Teboul (Fashion designers), Matt Willey (Graphic Designer), Galon Levin (Artist) and Abbot Miller (Partner) kicked off on the first day.
Ashley Gilbertson spoke about his time on the ground in Iraq (2002-2008) photographing immediate imagery of warfare and the human experience. What a ‘profound encounter’ of truth, conflict and bravery. Seeing pictures of bloody (dead) bodies, explosions, destruction and ‘a collection of photos of intact bedrooms of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan’ captivated the audience into utter silence. Incredible. Touching – nearly to the point of tears. No one will ever forget those (human) stories.
Fashion designers: Annelie Augustin and Odely Teboul provoked with their “black is our universe” collections. Having only launched in 2011, they have worked with musicians like ‘
Lady Gaga’ to create haute couture garments, and have been heavily published in the world-wide press. From humble beginnings (living in a tent due to pennilessness), they now both live in Berlin and collaborate with the local community to make their wares. They find inspiration through “creative accidents.”
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the second day – however I got my ‘quota’ of inspiration from the stories I heard, aplenty.
Looking forward to the 11th year!
Have you even heard of “Zomato”? Neither had I until recently. This is an “online restaurant discovery guide” birthed in India in 2008, then launched in New Zealand at the end of 2013.
This is a consumer-driven review platform, where verified bloggers upload content and give their feedback on the overall experience, with a rating of 1 to 5.
Available on iOS, Android, Windows phones, PC and blackberry devices.
I have the app. You have multiple search choices, handsome photos, upto date menus to view (of every cafe/restaurant) and it’s seamless.
It’s accessible, user-friendly and you now save time by knowing the menu!
Great for foodies and busy people!