A weekend of eating

A rainbow of carrots. Image:  Food52/Instagram

A rainbow of carrots. Image: Food52/Instagram

What are your plans for the weekend? We're in the city this weekend and I'm hoping to go check out the Parnell Farmer's Market. I've been to La Cigale so many times but I didn't know about this alternative until recently – it's at the other end of Parnell and looks to be more produce-focused. I'm always looking a great farmer's market in the city and I'm hoping for good things, this being one of the few things that I just haven't been able to recreate from my New York life (until now, maybe?!)

I'm also brunching with some friends at this charitable café. Again, I've never been there before, and it's just down the road from me! Looking forward to it.

Some good reading for your Friday...

It is hot in mostly un-air-conditioned Auckland right now, and some office workers are being driven to desperate measures. Made me giggle.

I just love Ottolenghi, and these summer recipes look amazing.

Cape Town is about to run out of water. Such a bizarre and scary story.

Minimalism is great and all, but I do believe everyone should own at least one ridiculous thing that they don't regret buying.

I bought this incredible book last year but just loaned it to a friend and it reminded me all over again how great it is.

If you're in Auckland, have you been down to Silo Park this summer? It's such a nice chilled place, especially for being in the middle of the city. This car boot sale of the future looks fun.

Have a lovely weekend!

A few good things

A recurring cold is trying to take me down but I WILL NOT allow it. Except for Friday and Saturday that is, when I spent most of my time cuddled up under a blanket on the sofa, sleeping. I hate being unwell so much but clearly I needed to give in and stop fighting. Napping is very unusual for me, so when I just fall asleep like that something is wrong. There have been some good times though. It's not all doom and gloom. It never is! Hope you've all enjoyed a more successful weekend than I have and have been celebrating a few good things of your own. Happy Monday! 

Felt much better Sunday and escaped to the beach for a walk with my lovely little family. It was gorgeous out! Midwinter sun is such a treat.

Felt much better Sunday and escaped to the beach for a walk with my lovely little family. It was gorgeous out! Midwinter sun is such a treat.

Auckland from on high. Cranes cranes cranes, as far as the eye can see.

Auckland from on high. Cranes cranes cranes, as far as the eye can see.

A bit of contrast – the city from down low. Amelie loved watching this bird from the safety of her makeshift picnic blanket.

A bit of contrast – the city from down low. Amelie loved watching this bird from the safety of her makeshift picnic blanket.

Friday reading

It's Friday! The weather is horrendous here and all over New Zealand. My in-laws are meant to be coming up from Hawkes Bay for the weekend but have already had to delay their journey by a day. Fingers crossed there's no snow stopping them tomorrow!

Hawkes Bay during better weather times.

Hawkes Bay during better weather times.

Cosying up and reading seems a very good way to get through this – and below is a great list of reads for those of you who are keen. There are also some cool things going on around Auckland this weekend, though, like the last few days of The Body Laid Bare at Auckland Art Gallery, and the first weekend of Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Auckland Museum. The Remuera Bastille Day Festival sounds fun too. Ideally, you'd make a whole day of it and start at La Cigale for pastries and coffee (tip: coffee at La Cigale itself is rubbish, stop at Red Rabbit on your way up). before heading along to the festival, then spend your evening at Augustus Bistro or Paris Butter making friends with du pain et du vin. That's how I'd do it, anyway.

On with the weekend! And here are some fun links...

Man Repeller bought a shirt on Instagram. (The story is not about the shirt.)

Is anyone else watching The Block? Jane Yee's recaps are laugh-out-loud funny, whether you are or not. 

Contemplating the future of work is so interesting. Could your job work in a flash organisation?

I bought these pants and am now eagerly awaiting their arrival. Apparently they look good on everybody.

When should kids get their first mobile phone? (If Amelie had her way, at nine months!) There doesn't seem to be an easy answer...

Oh, I love cookbooks so much. (True story: nearly bought the first one on this list in LA but decided it'd be too heavy to cart around. Regrets, I have them).

Speaking of cooking, you can't go past a great grilled cheese in winter. 

Have a great weekend! Let me know if you end up eating French food. Or any great food, I'm not here to discriminate. x

 

 

Long weekend in Hawkes Bay

This autumn we got away for a few days to beautiful Hawkes Bay – the first time we've done that drive with Amelie! I was nervous but it was totally fine. Two stops on the way down and two on the way back, one planned and one unplanned each way. Oh and one somersault into the back seat by me while we were stopped in traffic! Amelie does not like being caught in traffic, but as I keep saying to her, she lives in Auckland and she's just going to have to get used to it. 

Cycling the Hawkes Bay trails.

Cycling the Hawkes Bay trails.

Hawkes Bay was absolutely lovely. The weather was perfect, and we got some decent friend time in. The whole reason we were there, actually, was because some of our friends who live in Australia, and have their own little bébé two months younger than Amelie, were over for a holiday and asked if we could make it down – so happy we did! Another of our friends came up from Wellington, and we all caught up over wine and platters at Elephant Hill – fitting, as we worked out it was the first time we had all been together since our wedding, over six years ago. Obviously I'm a bit biased, it being our wedding venue and all, but Elephant Hill is just so amazing. Such fantastic views, food, and wine. 

The elephant at Elephant Hill!

The elephant at Elephant Hill!

Amelie enjoying cuddles with everyone at Elephant Hill.

Amelie enjoying cuddles with everyone at Elephant Hill.

H1 and I also got out for not one, but two little adventures on our own – cycling some of Hawkes Bay's trails and dinner at Bistronomy. Amelie's aunt and grandma looked after her while she napped one day, leaving H1 and I free to cycle out to Puketapu Pub for a late lunch. It felt so great to be back on the bike, especially as I got to ride my gorgeous yellow behemoth (the Hawkes Bay bike, as it currently is known – it lives with the in-laws as it just makes no sense in Auckland, but it's such a beautiful bike and I do miss it.)

Amelie testing my bike before we headed out.

Amelie testing my bike before we headed out.

Handsome husband outside the Puketapu. Cycling with this guy is the best.

Handsome husband outside the Puketapu. Cycling with this guy is the best.

The following evening, H1 and I put Amelie to bed as normal and then left her under the watchful eye of her grandparents while we went out for dinner at Bistronomy. Another strong recommendation – next time you're in Hawkes Bay, do try to squeeze dinner in here. We shared plates (of course – is there any other way to eat now?), starting with chicken wings with Sriracha mayo and pork skin with mushrooms and mushroom mousse. The chicken was the winner here – super full of flavour and not heavy, even though it was deep-fried. The mushrooms were amazing, so I was very happy to see them pop up again in a side dish with butternut squash and feta. We also had snapper – light, fresh, delicious – and a beef short rib that had so much going on it tasted almost dirty. In a good way...but there was no way I could have had a whole plate of it. Sharing was wise.

Then dessert...even though I have a sweet tooth, dessert is rarely my favourite part of a meal, but this came close. We ordered the simplest thing on the menu (chocolate ganache) which came out as five perfectly round little balls. On the outside, they had extremely light pastry dusted in sugar – almost like an incredibly narrow surrounding of doughnut. On the inside was the promised ganache, which was dark and sweet and slightly spicy. So, SO good. 

So yes, in short, go to Bistronomy.

We also took Amelie swimming with her cousins – so much fun for everyone! – and H1 got in some proper cycling, while Amelie and I went for a walk in the sun to pick up coffee from Bay Espresso (best coffee in Napier, and it's always nice drinking local coffee when away on holiday). On that walk I even got a fleeting feeling that I could live in Hawkes Bay. I actually couldn't of course – I need the city! – but I'm very glad I'm lucky enough to have family there so I can visit regularly.

A few good things

It's been a nice week around here, for the most part. Teething + separation anxiety + trying lots of new food = some rather trying moments with the bébé, shall we say, but all is very well for the most part! Amelie is a bundle of fun (when she's not yelling at me) and only gets more so. We've worked out that she's usually in a good mood if she's out and about, so we're getting out of the house a lot – yay for the mostly nice weather we've been having! 

Coffee at  Elisabeth  in Kingsland. This place does desserts and they look phenomenal – very keen to return for a treat one day!

Coffee at Elisabeth in Kingsland. This place does desserts and they look phenomenal – very keen to return for a treat one day!

These two are becoming best friends and it's so lovely to watch.

These two are becoming best friends and it's so lovely to watch.

These gorgeous persimmon twigs are from our local florist,  Jasmine   Flora Design , who always has the most amazing flowers.

These gorgeous persimmon twigs are from our local florist, Jasmine Flora Design, who always has the most amazing flowers.

Playing with family in the sun in Parua Bay.

Playing with family in the sun in Parua Bay.

Bought this the other day and now my house smells amazing – it's the  Parakeets and Pearls  home fragrance.

Bought this the other day and now my house smells amazing – it's the Parakeets and Pearls home fragrance.

I read this interesting piece on the end of capitalism the other day. The whole idea that capitalism may not survive alongside new technology is so interesting to me; it means some big changes for policy (and technology maybe)? The intersection of new technology and policy is where my main interests lie, so it was particularly relevant to me, but it's a very good read regardless. I'm looking forward to checking out the book.

In other technology/art news, this made me laugh and laugh. The changing world does seem to inspire some great art. Did anyone else find the idea of Simon Denny's piece at the Venice Biennale a couple of years ago quite amazing?

Finally, if you're in Auckland the Metro Top 50 Restaurants list came out recently (aka the Bible). So nice to see some new places on the list! It's been rather stagnant the last few years. It does mean that I've now only been to a shameful 17 out of 50 though – I would say I will work on that but the baby means it's not as easy as it once was. Nevertheless, I paid a visit to Pasta e Cuore the other night and it was magnificent. Can highly recommend!