Sorry Auckland, you are pretty fabulous but it’s Wellington that’s captured our imaginations and felt like a better fit during our year in NZ.
In our final week in this cracking little capital, and taking inspiration from Neat Places, here are a few of our fave spots…
For weekend brunch:
Fidel’s – it’s worth the wait at this cafe on Cuba Street, for their original breakfast menu, including baked spanish eggs, grilled halloumi and burritos. We stumbled across this local institution on our first weekend in Welly and have made many visits since.
For Saturday night drinks:
In this city, you’re absolutely spoilt for quirky craft beer bars – the American dive bar Golding’s, the inside-outside of the Hop Garden and the bustling Little Beer Quarter – are all great places to enjoy an NZ brew.
Rogue and Vagabond is one of our favourites for their curly fries, wood-fired pizzas and of course the beer/wine list. On Saturdays they have swinging bands that get people dancing. They are also home to Bruce the beloved bulldog and bar mascot.
For food shopping:
Every Sunday, the waterfront comes alive with the stalls of Wellington Harbourside Market. A humming hive of farmer’s fruit and veg, local musicians and international food stalls. Great place to stock up for the week.
For film watching:
Lighthouse on Cuba comes a close second to the majestic Embassy cinema, a fitting host for film premieres. We fulfilled an NZ dream by seeing both Conchord’s Bret and Jemaine there. Bret as an audience member of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Jemaine at the opening night of What We Do in the Shadows – frankly the finest vampire documentary I’ve ever seen.
For a date night:
The Library Bar on Courtenay Place is a classy joint that you escape into and could be anywhere in the world. They have an extensive cocktail menu and wonderful musicians that artfully add to the atmosphere. On 2 for 1 Tuesdays you can expect to wait a while for a table.
For a bit of theatre:
Circa has two performance spaces in gorgeous old building on the waterfront. In my ‘official capacity’ as Wellington sub-editor for Keeping Up with NZ, we’ve reviewed a few shows at Circa. The opening nights attract a traditional, older theatre crowd but their programming is on the money. A highlight for us was Equivocation; a comedy in which Shakespeare rewrites the gunpowder plot.
You can also find somewhere for all of the above at the waterfront, without a doubt our favourite part of the city.
It’s with heavy hearts that you bid you farewell, fair city. I hope that we’ll visit you again one day.