The weather is heating up pretty quickly in Auckland and that means Silo Park will be opening soon!
This development area is right down on the waterfront and was previously a bunch of silo’s known (unfortunately) as the Tank Farm. Over the Rugby World Cup, Silo Park was developed for markets, free concerts, the best children’s playground and a free cinema. It’s an awesome place to picnic, is open all year round as a free space in Auckland, but over summer it’s opened for markets and concerts and I can’t wait for the cinema season to open!
They play all sorts down here, last summer there was Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the Blues Brothers and all sorts. It’s free, there’s food and drinks for sale or you can bring your own. It’s best to get in early, sign up on the website to find out which films are on when. I’m so excited, it’s opening again soon everyone!
Lots of Aroha,
Image: Mine from 8th march 2013 at Silo Park
When one looks at the fashion world, we never particularly think of Auckland, or even New Zealand as the fashionista city of the world. Barcelona, Milan, Paris, London and New York are typically what come to mind.
But there are some great wee designers in the City of Sails and with New Zealand Fashion Week just been, we’ve got a lot to celebrate!
- One of my personal favourites is Jetset Bohemian, an amazing store based in Grey Lynn whose shop is a treasure trove of visual delights.
- Belle and Beau is another favourite. Based in Albany, north Auckland, the organic fabrics and casual fit is well suited to Auckland’s weather and the laid-back nature of most of its women. I adore her poncho for layering on those trans-seasonal days.
- For retro cute, super sweet and something a bit different, head to The Yellow Brick Road Boutiques in both Parnell and Ponsonby.
Come on guys, support the local designers and wear it with kiwi pride!
Lots of Aroha,
Image from Jetset Bohemian’s Facebook page
These days, Auckland has no shortage of outstanding cafes and restaurants to dine at. But we’re all on tight budgets these days and dining out for dinner can get rather pricey, however brunch can cross the boundaries of delicious food on a great budget.
When I lived in London, my dear sister and I used to visit Peter Gordon’s restaurant, Kopapa for brunch regularly – we couldn’t really afford to dine there for dinner. The English don’t typically do brunch like we do here in New Zealand, so finding a decent place was like finding gold. Kopapa was a like a slice of Auckland in the giant metropolis of London and made us feel at home. With this in mind, you can imagine my excitement when Peter Gordon announced he was opening a new restaurant, The Sugar Club in Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. I definitely had to check it out…
Sitting on the 53rd floor of the Sky Tower, The Sugar Club is based on all three incarnations of The Sugar Club that Peter Gordon had previously set up across the world. The menu had his signature fusion cuisine written all over it and reminded me fondly of Kopapa and those brunches in London. But first, the view. Being situated in the tallest building in Auckland definitely has some advantages. We headed up on a wintery Saturday morning, in the Sky Tower lift. The service is impeccable, the view is outstanding. You can see from Rangitoto Island all the way to the Waitakere Ranges.
The Canadian ordered bellini’s for us both (it was nearly noon…) and had the chorizo hash. Eggs were perfectly poached, duck fat roasted kumara had the right balance between crispy edges and fluffy middles and the chorizo was sourced from the best in town. I had the sweetcorn blueberry fritters – you don’t visit the godfather of fusion and order plain. They were delicious, made with cornmeal instead of flour and had the right blend between sweet and savoury and were delightfully fluffy in the middle. These were accompanied by a salad of avocado, rocket, macadamia nuts and roasted grapes tossed in a pomegranate dressing. What a flavour smack! I didn’t particularly want to share, but the Canadian is brilliant at coaxing food from my plate.
If you have guests from out of town and want to show them the view from the Sky Tower – this I would highly recommend, just check the weather forecast first!
Lots of Aroha,
Image from heartofthecity.co.nz
It’s September 2013, spring in Auckland. It’s a little bit cold, a little bit miserable and the Canadian and I decided to have a weekend away in the city. As we both live on the Shore, we thought we’d book a nice hotel and plan to lounge, eat, drink and be merry in this wonderful city we live in.
The number one issue we had was which hotel do we book? We both actually live in Auckland, don’t ever stay in hotels in our own city, so knowing ones are great is a problem that never really occurred to us. Until now… Without much investigation or research (and to treat ourselves) we simply booked the Langham. Tucked up the top of Symonds Street on what is possibly the busiest corner in town on a Friday night, we approached the Langham.
Formerly called the Sheraton, the Langham is a five star hotel in Auckland, owned by Langham Hotels International. These guys do opulence and golly gosh, they do it well. The foyer is grand, the chandeliers impressive and we both know the numerous restaurants and wine bars inside the hotel, are of top notch variety.
Super fancy, amazing in every inch of the word and such a luxurious weekend… A great way to spoil yourselves!
Lots of Aroha,
Image: The Langham Foyer from the Langham’s facebook page
For the last seven weeks, I’ve been doing Meatless Mondays. One day a week where I’m a vegetarian for the day. At first I started because I wanted to add more vegetables and protein in to my diet. Now? Thats a perk but I can also afford to buy higher quality and higher welfare meats for later in the week.
It has meant I’m now more aware of what I put into my body on a daily basis. I’m now more constructive with my meals, thinking about the balance of the plate, rather than simply what I’m having for dinner.
For more Meatless Monday’s ideas go to www.meatlessmonday.com – some of the recipes on here are delicious!! I’m a big fan of the Thai Rice Bowl Salad.
Lots of Aroha,
Image: Thai Rice Bowl Salad from Meatless Monday’s
Here are the 5 Loves for this week…
- Omelettes for lunch – I’ve made differing variations on this Jamie Oliver Recipe pretty much every day. Filling and healthy (if you don’t go over board with cheese), they’re the perfect lunch at home. Favourite combo so far? Asparagus and gruyere cheese!
- Splore 2014: The offical facebook page shares a different artist nearly every day – what a way to promote awesome music for free and to explore talented musicians you may never had heard of.
- Orleans in Britomart – newly opened, this adorable jazz and blues bar has some of the best live jazz in the city and an amazing selection of whiskey to boot! Curl up out of the wind and the rain on a casual Tuesday night.
- The Hobsonville Markets: Not the best day for it but Saturday morning, this local community put on a farmers market. I picked up some deliciously fresh groceries, beautiful tulips and a couple of chutneys to enjoy next week… Watch this space!!
- Evening walks along Long Bay Beach: I am lucky, this beach is my local. But nothing beats going for a wander along that beautiful bay at dusk to help clear your head after a stressful day.
I learnt that Hobsonville Point has a weekend farmers market in an unused Airforce hanger, making it perfect for unpredictable weather situations. I’m loving all the markets that are popping up all over Auckland on weekends and after 90 minutes of a challenging Bikram class this morning, I thought I’d check it out. They’re great places to meet the people behind the food and products. Not to mention, they’re a fabulous way to support the local makers and bakers that put their heart into their business.
I picked up a freshly made juice, some of my weekly groceries and some beautiful fresh flowers for my kitchen. What a great way to start the weekend. In the full swing of summer, I can’t wait to stop in and grab a picnic before heading to the west coast beaches!
Lots of Aroha,
You see I find breakfast to be the most troublesome meal of the day. I know I’m supposed to eat whole grains, fruit and protein to jumpstart your metabolism for the day, but health goes out the window when jam and english muffins appear in the cupboards. I do realise I am lucky, I work from home so don’t particularly suffer the time constraints of someone who travels to work. This means I have the option to get creative with breakfast and yet lately, have been suffering somewhat of a breakfast creation slump.
Enter Eleanor from Petite-Kitchen.com and her wonderful recipes! I made her brown rice potato bread yesterday evening and it is divine. Naturally gluten-free and lightly toasted with avocado, tomato and a sprinkling of pepper. She is a wizard in the kitchen and a true wholefoods inspiration. I will definitely try her other breakfast recipes – once this loaf runs out…
Petite Kitchen is a beautiful food blog and I adore it for the culinary inspiration it brings.
Lots of Aroha,
Image: from petite-kitchen.com
Spring in Auckland means some of the most temperamental weather around, making it difficult to plan activites or even believe what the weather man says half the time. Running or going for walks in the wind and rain is not how I enjoy my exercise. So this morning, I wandered to my local hot yoga studio for a session of Bikram Yoga. Studied in a hot room, Bikram is designed to warm your muscles up before stretching them deeper and longer than you normally could.
For me, it’s a great way to wake up in the morning, challenge your body and mind to something and then prepare yourself for whatever the day brings.
Are you an all-day-grazer as well? The kind of person who snacks all day long and never really eats a big ‘proper’ meal? Or do you often wonder what to serve when friends pop round for a cuppa?
Enter Paneton and their amazing freezer ‘ready to bake’ range. I’m not the kind of person who has the pateince to make my own crossiants, or miniature quiches. And yet, these guys have taken all the hassle out of that! Own by a French couple, Dominique and Celia, their ready to bake range are authentic French pastries that you can finish off in the oven at home.
I adore their ham and cheese pastries for a mid-afternoon snack or their vegetarian quiches when friends come round, both with tomato relish. These would be great for picnics too!
Paneton is a little piece of France that waits in your freezer
Lots of Aroha,
Images: My own from my morning tea on 26th September 2013