My Wellington wining & dining list

I’m really missing Urban Spoon over here. Not only do I not have a great place to look up where I should eat but there’s nowhere to place my food blogs. There are others similar but they come nowhere in comparison. I tweeted them and asked them if they had an interest in creating a NZ one in the works but no such luck.

So with a little googling, I have created the following lists.

Places to eat:
Louis Sergent
Crab Shack
Logan Brown
Havana Bar
Nikau Gallery
Pan de Muerto
Roti Chenai

Places to drink:
Hawthorn Lounge
Motel Bar
The Library
Mighty Mighty
Foxglove Bar

What have I missed out Wellingtonians?!


Welly explorations

I’ve been having a quiet time in Wellington lately! Quite unlike me but I probably needed if.

I’ve been admin temping in the city – it’s quiet. But I get to try different places to eat each day for lunch! Although I’m yet to have anywhere to report that is really great unfortunately.

This weekend I manage to tick off three activities I’ve been meaning to do here – the markets!

Firstly the Friday night markets, I’d heard the dumplings there were pretty good as that they were. Lots of other yummy food there too.

Secondly the Saturday markets in Frank Kitts park. Lots of arts and crafts, I was more interested in the food (not really a surprise, right?) so sat down with a paella and devoured it.

Then the fresh food markets on Sunday. Lots of produce, we were a little late for the fish I think. Some nice food stalls again and I had a steamed pork bun in my stomach before I’d even realised what had happened.

I fitted in a nice walk/ jog around Oriental Bay and that was about the extent of my weekend!

Oh and I made Kalya and Al a nice fresh pasta with smokey bacon and mushies in a tomato sauce mmm.





A weekend in Welly

What a weekend! Partying in the big smoke of Masterton, horribly windy roads in the mountains, discovering culinary delights in Wellington city and walking up Mt Kau Kau.

Friday I drove to Masterton to visit my friend Pilly, she’d had a below average day and had bought a bottle of Grey Goose to wash away her sorrows. I wore a hoody to the pub and this was socially very acceptable. That probably gives you an idea of what kind of place Masterton is. We had a fun night and I found out the Maccas stocks Georgie Pies! Probably the highlight.

Saturday we lazed about until three when I drove over some of the yuckiest roads I’ve driven on the way to Wellington. Imagine the windiest road, with blind corners. Now add to that twisting around mountains with giant drops and valleys and oncoming trucks. Yuck. If it was in Greece you’d probably have to take a donkey.

In Wellington I caught up with my lovely friend Kayla who had some exciting but secret news! Eep! Anyway we headed out for dinner on Tory Street hopeful out destination would be Chow but there was an hour wait. The same at a Mexican joint whose interior was done by Weta Workshop- impressive. Finally we ended up at Osteria Del Toro, a Mediterranean restaurant with a gorgeous, plush interior. I had the seafood linguine with a Spanish wine – perfect.

Sunday morning I was up early to visit an old friend, Adam. He currently lives in Melbourne so it was straight luck he happened to be there with his sweet partner, Sally. We had brunch (bruschetta with peas, mint & haloumi) and a catch up before I had to run to my other brunch with the girls on Oriental Bay.

Kayla’s friends were all so nice and I sat back and listened to the gossip of their mutual friends while sipping my feijoa juice. Seems everyone is getting engaged, married or pregnant – the usual story.

Next up, Mt Kau Kau.

Firstly, my butt hurts. Damn glutes. Nobody mentioned all the stairs that would be on the walk up the mountain! I thought it would be a leisurely stroll. For some it may be, but for this asthmatic (minus inhala) it was more challenging than I originally thought. Luckily the four girls I went up with were lovely and understanding and gave me lots of opportunities to catch my breath.

The top was certainly a sight for sore eyes, a gorgeous panoramic of the city, out over the bays with glimpses of the South Island past the sparkling sea. I’m glad I made it to the top!20140324-111630.jpg20140324-111642.jpg20140324-111657.jpg





From outraged to engaged

Okay so outraged is a bit of an exaggeration but I thought it made a good title.

I visited Chameleon Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel, Wellington. Being my last night in NZ I had poured over Wellington menus and decided we would visit there so I could have the NZ crayfish with scallops. Yumm!

We arrived, and after the waiter told us the specials he added in that they were out of crayfish. I went from being super excited to hugely disappointed in one sentence.

Being the digital media addict that I am I decided to tweet my frustration.


Soon after, Ellen, the Duty Manager approached us to see how our meals were going. I explained we were only on our breads and she pressed to ensure everything was okay. I told her it was my last night in NZ for a year or so and I was disappointed they were out of crayfish which was why I chose to dine there. She explained they had run out and apologised and offered me a free dessert or coffee. I wasn’t fussed and said I’d see how I felt.

Having noticed Ellen was perhaps already aware of an issue I checked my Twitter. Sure enough, Intercontinental had replied.


Seeing they had made an effort to respond at 7pm in the evening and advise their duty manager, I was impressed with their customer service. I sent back a quick tweet:


The grouper was the fish of the day so I went with that seeing as the crayfish was out. Another reply came through:


Our meals were all delicious. My Mum even said it was the best meal she had had out in a long time. We’ve dined out a lot the past month.

Dessert was just as delightful and Ellen came to check on our table, slipping that they had a surprise for me. I could never have guessed what happened next. Our waiter arrived with a beautiful dessert construction! Their take on Petit Fours, but personalised for me with ‘Bon Voyage’ on the plate. An incredible assortment of chocolates, macaroons and warm choc rum in a test tube. I couldn’t have been more shocked or impressed. What a kind gesture. The staff wished me well and said they had been brainstorming out back what they could do for me.

I once read an article about how a bottle of water turned into a million dollars. Very quickly – a man was unimpressed there was no water in his hotel room and he complained. The next time he stayed the CEO had written him a note apologising and had provided complimentary bottled water. Turns out the man was also a CEO and travelled greatly for work. So did all his staff. Guess where they now stay?

The same goes for Intercontinental Wellington. Not only did they get exposure on my twitter, Instagram and a friend’s Facebook page BUT they also will now receive my custom wherever possible, as well as hotel bookings.

As well, they receive one of the best marketing tools around – word of mouth. Not only from me but my Mum, Dad, brother and a good friend. Not to mention all the people who pass on this story.

Great job Intercontinental!




Chameleon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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