Love at First Sight

Anything French, I’m sold. My darling friend Hemma who abandoned me in Welly and moved to Auckland, suggested Catroux as a place for our catchup. How she knows me so well. This was so love at first sight. Continue reading

Bula Denarau Fiji; 2017

Nothing excites me more than sharing with you, my annual trip to Denarau Fiji. Hubby goes for work so I tag along for the ride and enjoy a week of bliss by the pool. Fiji will always be my home away from home as we’ve been coming here for years so it’s very familiar. It’s nice to see a few changes too. Continue reading

Superbe! 

My dear Auckland friend Juliet, recommended Paris Butter as a great place to visit with my Welly girlfriends. I was so excited to read a great review in the Saturday Auckland Herald. So I knew we were hipsters and on to it!

Located in Herne Bay, this was the former Vinnie’s ; an Auckland institution that I unfortunately never got to visit. Au revoir Vinnie’s, Bonjour Paris Kitchen. I text hubby’s boss who’s a Herne Bay local to say Hi and he was overseas and thought I was in Paris. Well I kinda was, but Auckland Paris.

The decor is DDG ( drop-dead gorgeous) with the most beautiful Laurent Perrier champagne bucket sitting on the counter with stunning glasses, to the mirrors, flowers, stunning lamps and chandeliers, mirrors, greenery, cushions, and duck-egg booth seating There are various different areas to sit in which I love as it breaks up the restaurant. I love the area near the cellar down the back but was glad we sat in the main dining room. It was sunny but a little fresh so we chose to eat indoors, yet some punters braved it outside, with a nana blanket provided if need-be.

As it was Mother’s Day, they treated us to a glass of bubbles which was a lovely start to our experience. We loved the sound of the lovely juices on offer but instead opted for coffees. Yah they could satisfy my dairy-free request of an almond milk mocha. The other gals had a lovely flat white and long black. The coffees are small though, unlike Wellington and they asked us did we want single or double strength? Um all Wellingtonians are accustomed to double shots without question!

As for the brunch menu, I was so tempted to do the steak and pommies-frites but thought 9am was a little early so I settled on some boudin-noir ( black pudding) with fried eggs and onion salad. The onion salad didn’t spin my wheels so I asked to substitute it for some frisée green salad. Our lovely waitress explained it was actually an onion jam but was more than happy to add some greens. Each mouthful was so delicious as was the presentation. The other two ladies were happy with their salmon and scrambled eggs and the French Farmer’s assiette was chokka with tomato, boiled egg, salad, pork mousse and terrine. Other items that featured were the basic baguette with pastries and jam/Nutella or a granola chia pudding, or a more the more substantial goat’s cheese tartine, truffled fromage omelette, Croque Monsieur or duck cassoulet. Of course they place a wee basket of crunchy, fresh baguette on your table that is irrestible and needed to mop your sauce up on your plate.

Service was excellent until we put through a second order of coffees.  The wait started to impinge on our shopping time. They finally arrived just before we were about to ask if the order had got misplaced. Phew.

Apart from the brunch menu, they do offer lunch and dinner menus and they take reservations. Loved it here and would return in a heart beat. Merci Paris Buerre! A bientot avec mon Mari!

Noble indeed Noble Rot!

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Swan Lane in Welly is tucked away nicely in between Cuba and Marion Streets. This area has always been hip and it’s  getting hipper. It was a sad adieu to Duke Carvells but a very nice Bonjour to Noble Rot Wine Bar. Even though Noble Rot translates to ” a grey mould deliberately cultivated on grapes in order to perfect wines”, there was no grey mould to be seen but only perfection. Continue reading

Ortega Fish Shack

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I think this visit to Ortega Fish Shack had to be my best meal in Wellington this year. Ok so it was our dear friend Don’s 60th, and champagne was flowing and the company was awesome but this was a Mediterranean feast. Continue reading

France; Paris to Giverny!

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Choosing which photos to share with you was my biggest dilemma post my 5th trip to Paris. I now endeavour to be like a Parisian when I visit and I have so not yet finished with you Paris yet. Continue reading

France; Uzes to Dijon

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Only 20 minutes walk from town, our Italian-style hotel le Saint Genies in Uzes, was absolutely stunning, apart from the grumpy owner!. It was so nice to relax by the pool before exploring the town late afternoon. We hit an international cycle race en route which was fun as was the fantastic live street music. I did expect a bit more though, as Peta Mathias raved about this town.  Continue reading

France; St Remy to Arles

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I was so excited to add St Remy de Provence into the mix as this village mes amis, is definitely one I could live in. A dream is to live in France for 6 months when I’m rich and famous and I have found it!  I can’t explain why but it was quaint, quiet with gorgeous wee cafes/restaurants, boutiques and it was beautiful and elegant. Even Le Mistral, the dreaded Southern wind didn’t deter me. We weren’t there long but got to meander in the square and cobblestone streets and it was magic. Continue reading

The South of France

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We decided to make an unplanned stop in Narbonne as a tribute to Jerry Collins. That’s the beauty of having a rental car! It was a pretty wee town with nice shops, restaurants, church etc. and it was fun watching the barges go through the locks. Plus I scored my pink floral sneakers there, on sale of course.

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France; Toulouse to Carcassonne!

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I always laugh when I hear the name Toulouse, as my French-Canadian tutor used to say “that’s where the All Blacks go to lose!” Hardy ha ha. Ahem that was some time ago. 

Our GPS had the most dire French pronunciation that made us laugh, however it always too us directly to a restaurant address for lunch, as you know that’s a priority for me. Thanks to Rick Stein and luck on our side, we got the last table outside, with no reservation, in the sun, at Au Pere Louis- winebar/restaurant.

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