A Day Off, Baron Hasselhoff’s And The Beach House and Kiosk.

Yesterday was the first day of summer down this end of the world. In Wellington it started out grey and eventually turned into summer. It was a perfect day for heading over to the south coast of the city and for a bit of an adventure.

I picked up my friend Lily to head to the Beach House and Kiosk. I decided a detour down Adelaide Road with a stop off at a chocolatier’s was in order and I am mighty glad we did.

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Excuse the not very good photo but you get the gist.

Baron Hasselhoff’s was amazing and I think I speak for both of us when I say we left happy. It is a small place with chocolates that amaze. It reminds me of visiting choccywoccydoodah in Brighton. You can see the mind at work making the delightful chocolates. These are not your run of the mill chocolates, they are thought out and considered flavours. They are very different chocolates to I have had anywhere else and I will certainly be treating myself to a box of 6 soon.  While in there we had a good chat with the owner and did rather a lot of trying samples, buying chocolates and eating them right there, it was fun. I loved the Rose, raspberry and pomegranate molasses and was surprised by the liquorice root mallow puff.

After our chocolate stop we headed to the cafe at the end of the road and around by red rocks. The cafe that was here previously had rather a sad reputation and was a bit unloved by locals. It is the first stop for many people who have emigrated here or are on holiday, it was our first cafe in New Zealand. Wellington…… you need to rethink that!

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The cafe has been renovated and is now the Beach House And Kiosk, it is stunning. The views around there are the same jaw dropping views and now the cafe is back to matching the scenery. We both loved the decor and the ambiance. It feels good and is a place I would drive out of my way to visit. The cakes on the counter looked lovely, the service was nice, friendly and Kiwi. The food we ordered was also excellent. Our one gripe was the duck fat spuds could have been cooked and little more.

The old owners of Elements and Zoe, one of the chefs from Elements are running this place. It showed in the food, the menu and I will certainly be back for more.

We shared a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad and duck fat potatoes. Lily didn’t want the pecorino cheese on the spuds so I had mine on the side. Both dishes were lovely and we were left full. The smoked yoghurt with the cauliflower was a big winner. Oh, I forgot, we also fitted in half a doughnut each. That was good too.

Review Of The High Tea At The Bolton Hotel And A Metre Long Pizza Experience With Mediterranean Foods.

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My latest High Tea Society Review At Bolton Hotel, Artisan Restaurant is up and it is a goody. I am currently trying to convince the family to go on holiday to Singapore so I can’t get myself a teapot. Postage from the website may be cheaper but Singapore has so much food to try and the Postie doesn’t.

Last weekend on Facebook I had some great news, I won the special Monday metre long pizza at Mediterranean Foods. Yes, 1 meter long. I was very good and shared with my family and friends. It was very impressive and very good. We got to choose 3 different pizzas to be featured. We had Italia, SicilIa and Chioggia. It fed 5 of us and for $55 I think that is pretty good. The novelty of the huge pizza was easily matched by the great taste. The restaurant and shop have been refurbished and look fantastic.

 

 

Yes, I have had a week that has been all about food. That is every week but this week has been extra foodie with the pizza above and a few changes at work. I started new hours at and this meant a whole hour for lunch. Working in the suburb I work in means I have plenty of choices for lunch. This week I had a very good Palak Paneer with naan bread ($9.50) at The Curry Pot  and Huarache Patria ($13 beef with green sauce) at Viva Mexico. Both were so very good and rather cheap.

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Today I also had pancakes ($16) at the new cafe in Petone, Seashore Cabaret. They were the best pancakes I have had in the Wellington Region, the coffee was also good and I love the decor. I wasn’t expecting the place to please me, but it did.

If you are Tim my personal trainer, I would still give myself 7/10 for my diet. There was fruit and veg involved.

Earthquake Week.

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I had plans to post this week but it hasn’t happened. Concentration has not been my forte and what I have had I have used at work. This has all happened due to the rather large 7.8 earthquake New Zealand experienced last week.

Wellington is a city we choose to live in, we do not have family ties here and we love it. The view above is from one of my regular walks and takes about 15 minutes up a rather steep incline from our house. Look at that view! The boats in the picture were in for a bit, they are other countries Navy boats who were wonderful enough to help in Kaikoura.

Our city is going to lose a few buildings but we didn’t lose any people. Sadly two families did elsewhere and they are in my thoughts. This week has been exhausting and we will experience after shocks for a good while. We will get through.

 

 

High Teas Society And Me.

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A few months ago I got a surprise message on twitter from a fellow former blogger, Lady Loves Cake. The message was asking if I would be interested in taking over her post as reviewer of all things High Tea in the Wellington region for the High Tea Society. The answer was a swift yes.

After a few emails back and forth and pinching myself a few times, I got my first assignment at Martha’s Pantry. As photography was required I invited my birthday buddy and fellow food focused Brit along, Lucy from Wellington Foodies. We are now a High Tea Team.

Our first experience was lovely and at the same time, overwhelming. We ate, we laughed and were made to feel very welcome. After a couple more reviews we are both more confident and enjoying our journey.

This weekend we will be at another venue scoffing our faces and trying to behave. I can’t wait. Thank you Michelle Milton for giving us the opportunity to indulge.

Here are the reviews Lucy and I have sacrificed ourselves for so far. I would like to say to my personal trainer Tim that I don’t eat it all but we both know that is a lie.

 

Martha’s Pantry

The Intercontinental Wellington

The Gear Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

Holding By Graham Norton, Marvellous.

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I love books. I was one of those kids who spent hours looking at my parents book about anything, birds and food were two favourites. A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely evening listening to the wonderful people from Hachette New Zealand talk about the latest book releases.At the end of the evening I got to take a bag with books in it home. One of these books was Holding by Graham Norton.

I have to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this book. I thought I would read it, put it on the shelf and not think much more about it. I was wrong.

I am not a fast reader but I finished this in one week. I spent that week thinking about the people who live in the village the book is based in, Duneen. My thoughts drifted to what was going to happen.

I am not going to go into the tale that unfolds, it wouldn’t sound that interesting. A few paragraphs doesn’t do it justice. It is interesting, the characters are marvellous and the story that unfolds does so gently but with twists and turns.

This book is a perfect Christmas buy, holiday read or something to read when you have a good bit of me time. I will be passing it onto Mr to read.

 

 

 

 

Richard Hammond – A Short History Of The Motorcycle Review And Lunch At Grill Meats Beer.

The sun has arrived in Wellington and it feel like Christmas is on its way. This weekend is a long one in NZ and what a beauty it is turning out to be. Today we have taken the dog to Petone beach, dropped her home and popped out for a very decent burger lunch at Grill Meats Beer. You can see more about that below.

A Short History Of The Motorcycle By Richard Hammond.

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Mr Muffin is a fan of the Motorcycle and has a purple one, when I saw this book available for review I thought it was time to let him has a go at reading and reviewing. With Christmas coming up this may be a good idea for a gift for someone you know?

The book is published in NZ by Hachette NZ.

Mr Muffin says –

A very enjoyable read.
It was like Richard Hammond was on my shoulder reading to me, so if you like the hamster then you will enjoy this.
Amusing, informative and engaging with short chapters making it easy to pickup and just read, i.e. A good toilet book but its really far to nice for that.
Many interesting photos and illustrations
Good for anyone with an interest in motorcycles or even just automotive history.
A great Christmas gift.
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Today I decided we needed burgers, good burgers. We had been to GMB once before and it was time to return and we left very happy we did. The food was damn fine, the service was excellent and we left full of food and smiles.
To start we had the Japanese Fried Chicken with Sriracha Mayonnaise. Me and Mr enjoyed the chicken, Miss was not so sure. I hung onto the mayo like it was my baby, there was no way I was giving that up when I knew fries would soon be arriving.
A good burger is subjective, some like real fancy with all the things, others like the plain and GMB caters for all of these needs without having one of those huge menus. Miss Muffin and I opted for the Classic Beef, she added bacon and I added Cheese. Mr M went for the special of the week as it contained crumbed jalapeños. We were all happy with our choices and I was impressed with the buns. The portion of fries didn’t look like much but was plenty, they were perfectly crisp too.I also added a rather lovely fluffy fried ball of goodness in the form of a Manchego &   Jalapeños Hush Puppy. To keep up with the specials have a look on their Facebook page, it is listed on Tuesdays.
All up, we really enjoyed our lunch and even though we have now used our Entertainment Book Voucher, we will be returning. When the burger urge hits we will be back.

Shared Lunch- Jalapeño Popper Pies?

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Friday was a sad day at work, we said goodbye to a friend. In the grand tradition of our branch we had a shared lunch. Said friend is a spice fiend and rather than do my predictable sweet baking, I opted for something with jalapeños in. After getting lost in Pinterest for a few hours I settled on a recipe for the above pies. They were good and a big success.

I made them the night before, let them cool and stored. Some of my pies burst a bit and while they were still warm I pushed the cheese back in. I will be making these regularly for bring a plate events.

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The original recipe is here and I adapted it to suit me. Now these are not a quick thing to but I did enjoy myself with a Luke Cage Spotify music fest and a dance.

Jalapeño Popper Pies- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: enough for a group
  • Time: 20-30 mins prep, 15-20 mins cooking
  • Print

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

150g cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/3 cup jared jalapeño peppers chopped (we use Delmaine)

1 packet frozen puff pastry with 5 sheets

Lay pastry  sheets out to defrost.

Heat oven to 200°

Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar, flour and jalapeño peppers.

Cut pastry with a fluted 5cm cutter.

Place heaped teaspoon of cream cheese mix in centre of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg/water mix.

Put another circle on top and crimp shut with a fork.

Lightly prick tops with a fork.

Place on a greased baking tray.

Continue until all circles have been used.

Brush finished pies with egg/water mix.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool on tray.