Brunching Adventures: Sweet Vanilla KItchen

When looking for a place to live, distance to the nearest coffee/ brunch place is a key factor for me.

Imagine my delight then, while exploring the streets of Lower Hutt, I stumbled upon Sweet Vanilla Kitchen. So one Saturday morning we decided to venture there to try it out.

sweet vanilla kitchen lower hutt

After ordering food and coffee, we decided to take one of the tables in the back room. Little did we know this was where the kids toys were located and although good for keeping children occupied bad for those wanting a calm and quiet meal.

sweet vanilla kitchen

The drinks came quick and we were left to talk about the art on the walls and what room in the converted house we thought this use to be (I still think the lounge). The food finally arrived and boy did it look good. Ad had ordered the daily special of pancakes with banana and a salted caramel sauce. The pancakes were amazingly fluffy and the sauce very rich (maybe too rich for that time of the morning).

salted caramel pancakes

I had ordered off the menu board and went for sweet as well. Banana bread with fruit compote and greek yogurt. It was something a little different from what I normally get but I was not disappointed at all. The only slight change I would have made is serving the fruit warm rather then cold.

Banana bread

The food selection was large and varied (mince on toast everyone) and in my perspective seemed to have something for everyone.

Sadly we didn’t end up finding a place in Lower Hutt, but we did finally manage to find one in Petone, which offers even more choice for brunch!

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There’s no place like home

I’m suppose to be getting a tattoo… My sisters have matching ones. My original idea was that I’d get half on one heel and half on the other so that in the end I could click my heels together three times and wish I was home…just like Dorothy.

They say there’s no place like home and I’d agree. Despite all the wind and rain, despite the occasional fights with siblings, there is really nothing like being home in Wellington….Which is why it is no doubt my favourite place in New Zealand.

Spruce Goose Lyall Bay

And Cafes all along the water

From the beach, to the bush, to the Inner City. You’re never really ten minutes away from any of it. There’s so much to see and do, with more things popping up every day. It’s no wonder I got a lot of things to catch up on since I’ve been away.

Which is why I’ve decided to come up with my own Wellington Bucket list.

Currently there’s not much on it ie. It’s still a work in progress but the nothing I love better then being a tourist in my own city.

So let me know if you have any ideas of things I should do. I’m thinking a ride on the cable car, Somes Island and the new Te Papa exhibit have to be in there somewhere.

This has been added to the #BrunchClub #BlogGreatness link up. This months theme is Favourite Part Of New Zealand. Make sure to check out #BrunchClub if you want to join in next week.

Dining out at Chow

A lot of things for me seem to start with a tweet and dinner at chow was no different.

If you’re in Wellington, on twitter and like eating then you’ve got to enter #datenight. I didn’t win #datenight but I did win dinner and a show.

Unfortunately for me, traffic meant I didn’t get there on time to take full advantage of the all you could eat offer and bar tab they put on for me and Ad but we tried to make the most of it.

Since I was driving , I got to indulge in the nonalcoholic drinks menu which I found great. The amount of choices you had (that wasn’t just the usual coke, lemonade, juice) meant that even though I was drinking I could have something special made just for me. Blue cheese wontons

The food list was just as good and I found lots of different options that I could have. I needs up choosing 5 small plates from the menu which I shared with Ad while he got a curry just for himself (he wanted something meaty). Each dish was delicious on its own but I found the spiced tofu to be the highlight for me.

Chow Wellington

Sadly we didn’t get time to have dessert so I’ll guess I’ll have to go back to sample some. Not that I needed a reason anyway since their cocktail list is calling my name (on a night I don’t drive of course)

20150226_202600

I’d like to thank Chow for an amazing meal. Despite being busy, we found the service to be great and very attentive. After dinner we were also treated to a show that was part of the Wellington Fringe Fest. It wasn’t something I would have picked to go and see but I’m glad I got the chance to go.

Chow can be found at 45 Tory St, Te Aro, Wellington 6141

Brunching adventure: the Spruce Goose edition

As wild as Wellington weather can be, some mornings dawn and they are perfect. No clouds in the sky, the sun shining bright and with just the slightest breeze to cool you down.

spruce goose menu

This calls for brunch by the beach and what better place to visit the The Spruce Goose in Lyall Bay. Located fairly close to the airport (the other side of the runway) and right across the road from the beach it’s the perfect place to sit if you want to do a bit of plane watching or check out the surfers

wellington airport spruce gooseSpruce Goose Lyall Bay

You’ve got to be quick if you want to nab a seat outside especially on a nice day, and we were lucky enough to grab a table upstairs just as it was freeing up.

We were quick to get served and it didn’t take long to choose the big breakfast and a coke for him and the vegetarian big breakfast and latte for me. Mine was delicious, I only wish I could have had another pumpkin sausage as that was the star of the plate for me instead of the giant pile of spinach I did get.

Spruce Goose Vege breakfast

The only other thing I wish is that the coffees were a bit bigger! 

flat white spruce goose

It wasn’t my first time visiting The Spruce Goose and it definitely won’t be my last. The service there is always good despite always seeming to be busy. The coffee is also excellent even if I do complain it’s to small. I haven’t been for a main meal yet but that’s next on my list to visit for.

Spruce goose wellington

Brunching adventure: dining at Drexels with #Brunchclub

On a cold wet morning, if there’s one things that’s sure to get me up, it’s the thought of coffee and brunch.

Me and a bunch of other bloggers that is, as this month we caught up for #Brunchclub at Drexels, located at 32 Waring Taylor St, Wellington, 6011

Arriving at Drexels, late after a mishap with my phone that morning, it was a lot easier then last time to find the group. Among the group were the familiar faces of DaniGeorginaHannahMorganPip who had been at the last #brunchclub, as well as Emma and Kahurangi who I’d met at the Zomato foodie meet up and a couple of new faces including Alice and Zarette

Normally I’d be the first one to go for bottomless coffee, but knowing I had another lunch to attend meant instead I opted for a flat white, which was just what I needed. When it came time to choosing what to eat, I knew I wanted something sweet, but what… Waffles, pancakes or French toast and then was the question of what to have with it! 

Drexels french toast

drexels berry compote

The options seemed endless as I finally settled on French toast with a berry compote ($5) as extra. Then I had to choose the size. Half, one or two.. Again with the prospect of lunch afterwards I settled for half and I’m glad I did. The portion was huge! One giant piece of French toast with a generous dollop of whipped butter, then the added berry compote. It was fantastic. I was full without feeling like I needed to roll home afterwards. 

Drexels food envy

Unfortunately for me, after arriving late I need to leave early to get to my lunch date, but it was great being able to catch up with everyone again and meet new faces. I can’t wait to see where next months will be and perhaps this time I won’t have to rush off so soon!

Dining out at Chameleon Restaurant Wellington

Have you ever had a meal and afterwards thought to yourself that it would take a lot for another meal to live up to it? I did.

Intercontinental Hotel Wellington Chameleon autumn menu

Thanks to Zomato, I was invited to dine at the Intercontinental Hotel Restaurant, Chameleon Wellington, for its first (of hopefully many) foodie meet ups to sample their new autumn menu.

infused Gin

As soon as I turned up I was handed my first drink for the evening, the most delicious gin and tonic I’ve had (the gin had been infused with cinnamon, orange and lemon rind  and rosemary). Sitting down I found myself reintroduce to Dani, who I’d meet at #Brunchclub, and introduced to Emma, Kahurangi, Mariee. Soon after the rest of the group, BlairTallulah, and Rachel arrived.

After talking business (read: blogging) and getting introduced to our hosts for the evening, we were invited to our table, where we each had our own personalised menu. It was great to see that each individual dietary requirement was able to be met, from gluten free to vegan and my own vegetarian menu.

Amuse bouche

Amuse Bouche

Before our first course we were treated to an Amuse Bouche. I received seared  tofu with blood orange on a chicory leaf. Looking suspiciously like lettuce, I expected to leave at least the chicory leaf on my plate. But woe and behold, the whole mouthful was gone almost as soon as it arrived (after photos of course)

Plate One

The first plate was avocado tartare, cornichon, roasted saganaki, beetroot chips, coriander juice paired with an Ata Rangi Dry Riesling. After having declared my love for avocado just earlier that day I was delight with this course and I think it might have even been my favourite of all three.

sweetcorn fritter

It wasn’t long before the second plate was brought out to the table, this time sweetcorn, couergttte, kumara fritters with chili jam and sour cream paired with a Craighall Chardonnay . My favourite of all the wines we had all night. This course was really when you begun to see the thought they put into creating different plates that everyone could enjoy.

four cheese gnoochi

Our third and final plate was four cheese gnocchi, crisp leeks, green olive and fresh tomato tapenade, olive crumb paired with either a Ata Rangi Pinot Noir or Syrah. I often find with four cheese gnocchi, the taste of cheese to overpower the dish greatly but this was the perfect mix and even though I was becoming very full at the point, I managed to finish the plate full.

It’s important to note that Chameleon want to move away from the notion of appetizers and mains and instead offer plates. This means that every plate you order is the same size and the same price (except for sides)  and you could have as many or as few as you would like. 

pina colada dessert

Our last plate was of course a sweet one and we were treated to a dessert of pina colada coconut yoghurt mousse, rum pineapple and coconut sponge.  What a perfect way to end the evening.. Or so i thought.

petit fours

Cue the petit fours and coffee. The only bad thing was I had to share!

And so ended one of the most amazing meals I had thanks to Chef de Cuisine Paul Limacher and to Wine Maker Ata Rangi for supplying the wine matches on the night. The service was great and the food even better.

Ata Rangi wineKitchen Cameleon

I was invited to dine at Chameleon as a guest of Zomato, however all views are my own honest opinion.And if you’re own zomato make sure you follow me!

Popping my #BrunchClub Cherry

One of my favorite things about blogging is the sense of community that it creates. 

brunch menu

So when I heard about #brunchclub I couldn’t wait to attend one. I had previously been to a afternoon tea in London and the feelings were the exact same. Would they like me? Would I recongise them from their blog?Would they think I was a stalker considering how much I knew about them from reading their blog?  Just to name a few.

I didn’t need to worry thought. After finding the right table I soon sat down and found myself immersed in conversation. It’s always good when you know, if in doubt you can talk about your blog (which we did of course!)

It was held at Loretta in Cuba  Street, Wellington.  As soon as I walked in I was taken in by the timber and steel fixtures. Browsing the menu, my options (even as a vegetarian) were plentiful and when the food did finally come out I had a major case of food envy (isn’t that always the case?) I ordered Green Eggs (with no ham) and they were good. Bread was delicious and fresh and the eggs were perfectly cooked. Since it was brunch there was no way I couldn’t order a Latte and it was so good I got another. It’s definitely somewhere I have to go again and this time I’m thinking crumpets… or waffles.. or the eggs again?

Lorettas interiorLoretta Green eggsLoretta Flat WhiteLorettas

Make sure you check out these other bloggers who I had the privilege of meeting at my very first (and not last ) #BrunchClub.

Auie            

Bridget            

Dani

Georgina

Hannah

Larissa

Morgan

Pip

Rhiana

Rochelle

Tallulah