Hubby, not prone to romantic gestures, took the bull by the horns recently and declared that we were heading to Wellington for the weekend – no kid allowed. He even jacked up a babysitter (amen for grandparents). I didn’t need to be asked twice. I was there: With bells on. Wellington, despite the bad rap it frequently gets for it’s often undesirable weather, is hands down my favourite city in NZ and I reckon it’s well deserving of the nickname ‘the coolest little capital in the world”. I love Wellington’s energy, the hum of activity and I feel that, no matter who you are, you’ll find your special place in Wellington.
We treated ourselves to two nights at The Museum Hotel. We love it here and, I confess, despite neither of us usually being creatures of habit, when it comes to accommodation choices in Wellington we are not original: We skulk down to Wellington on the quiet once a year and stay, more or less, on the same floor in the same room at The Museum. We scoff at the idea of staying anywhere else. I’m enchanted by the art, the decor, the furnishing, the central location and the service is always top notch. Don’t knock a good thing.
I’d love to say I hit the gym on this particular weekend, swam a few laps in the lap pool, but I’d be lying. We were both knackered. We barely even hit the shops! Nope, we parked up, had lots of bubble baths and munched on anti-low fat buttery croissants and pain au chocolat from Pandora bakery (conveniently located across the road). Oh, and with no tablets/laptops on hand, we went cold turkey on technology and entertained ourselves old school! Get your mind out of the gutter: We watched lots of TV, Grey’s Anatomy to be precise: I discovered seasons 1-7 on DVD at my local DVD store a few months back at I’ve been on a renting frenzy. Pleasingly, Hubby has become a reluctant fan, though secretly I reckon he digs the ‘Calzona’ story line…
As two foodies, our most favourite pastime on holiday is to eat out. With a young kid back home, who is also a super fussy eater, this isn’t something we do very often. Despite having lived in Wellington, and already being in ‘the know’ of all the good spots, I still tend to overwhelmed trying to decide where to eat here: There’s more restaurants/cafes/bars, per capita in Wellington than New York so it makes for an indecisive foodie’s nightmare!
Our favourite coffee spot was The Hangar at 171 Willis Street (the start of the hilly end!) which was recommended by a few of my Facebook followers (thanks guys!). My Hubby is a coffee geek and The Hangar is owned by the same folks as his favourite brand of coffee ‘Flight’ – so it was a must visit. I personally loved the vibe and the industrial roomy decor (think: Lots of concrete with light untreated wood and lots of coffee related paraphernalia). Over a long black Hubby and I worked out how we’d turn the cafe into our home, a game we love playing when we see a space we like. It’s up there with “What would we do” (when we win Lotto). I digress. The coffee was perfection (Hubby had two). The service was friendly and prompt, perhaps surprisingly as the place was heaving, potentially with returning serviceman: It was ANZAC Day and, thoughtfully, free coffee was on order for those that qualified. A lovely touch.
We often visit Sweet Mother’s Kitchen in Wellington and on this trip we popped in for brunch. I had the Eggs Bomba. It was so good, I’m still thinking about it: Creamed spinach, artichoke, grilled tomato, poached egg, topped with hollandaise and served with a toasted baguette. Holy moly. I enjoyed the service too – a gorgeous Aussie girl, fresh off the boat, with hair that was coloured ‘Beauty Foodie’ pink. What an asset!
No trip to Welly would be complete without dinner at Monsoon Poon. I have a long standing love affair with Asia, partly as I have such fond memories of living in Singapore when I was a kid. The Poon’s array of consistency delicious Asian cuisine and their magical furnishings whisk me away to feel like at a super exotic destination: It settles down my wanderluster urgers, well, just a little bit. We finished this evening up with more cocktails perched on bar stools at Hummingbird, in between having cheerful banter with the Eastern European bar man and brainstorming our home renovations planned at the end of the year. Finally – time to just sit and chat. What a luxury!
Lastly, I spent a couple of days in Welly with my boy, a few days before Hubby arrived and we had lovely Mummy and son quality time poking around the city. We thoroughly enjoyed a tour of Weta Workshop in Mirimar – my technology obsessed son was mesmerised by their computer technology and materials used: I have a feeling a ‘seed has been planted’! We went on a tiki tour for lunch and ended up at the Chocolate Fish Cafe in Shelly Bay, at the former air force base. Crikey: Where have I been? This place is amazing! If you are in Wellington with young kids and looking for a quality cafe: Look no further. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the quality of both the food from the cabinet as well as the menu (I had a vegetarian burger and the kid had cheerios on toast). Overall though, it was the child friendliness that had me buzzing: Lots of ride-on toys, tonnes of family friendly space, both inside and out. There’s also a decent range of magazines, beanbags, blankets for cool days, hats and sunscreens for hot days – and with a stunning view of the harbour to boot. There’s also a retro Kiwiana feel to the place that was utterly charming.
All in all Wellington hit the spot. Time out, time to reconnect and refresh. Boy, we needed it. Although my waistline didn’t. But I take full responsibility! Thanks Welly.