Mini-break

New eater­ies, brew­eries, bou­tiques, el­e­vated art­works and cable car rides make for an ac­tion-packed week­end in Welling­ton.

Good - - CONTENTS - Words and pho­tog­ra­phy Carolyn Ent­ing

Wan­der­ing the won­der­ful sights of Welling­ton

Rid­ing in a pri­vate cable car can’t be com­pared to a zi­pline, thank good­ness, but zip­ping up the side of a steep hill in Wadestown with Welling­ton Har­bour be­low you is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

As a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the cap­i­tal and ex-pat Welling­to­nian I usu­ally crash for the week­end with fam­ily or friends. But on a re­cent trip I thought I’d mix it up a bit for my mini-break ex­pe­ri­ence and headed on­line to see what I could find.

I found what I was look­ing for on book­ing.com – Acapella B&B. It’s one of more than 300 prop­er­ties of vary­ing types listed in Welling­ton, from apart­ments to home­s­tays.

What at­tracted me to Acapella B&B was its spec­tac­u­lar har­bour views and the fact that the only ac­cess is via a cable car ride. It proved to be a lux­u­ri­ous spot to sit with a drink and watch the pas­sen­ger fer­ries make their way south. It was tempt­ing to just put our feet up here for the whole week­end but we had a list of new ‘must see’ spots to tick off, so down the cable car we went.

Arty farty

Toi Art at Te Papa is a spec­tac­u­lar new art gallery space that spans two lev­els of the mu­seum. The first thing you do when you en­ter is look up at Michael Parekowhai’s mam­moth life-size model of an ele­phant float­ing near the ceil­ing on trans­par­ent stilts. Then, once your gaze low­ers, your eyes rest on a stun­ning dis­play by Colin McCa­hon at the cen­tre of the room. The great thing about Toi Art is that beloved works from the na­tional col­lec­tion by McCa­hon, Rita An­gus, Ralph Hotere, Gor­don Wal­ters, Goldie and Got­tfried Lin­dauer are now back on dis­play. These iconic works can be viewed along­side con­tem­po­rary works by Parekowhai, Lisa Walker and Pa­cific Sis­ters.

Te Auaha Gallery (65 Dixon St) is also a new gallery – its de­but ex­hi­bi­tion is a col­lec­tion of works by vis­ual arts and cre­ative tech­nol­ogy grad­u­ates.

Foodie town

Hav­ing worked up an ap­petite we headed to Monte Cervino (66 Tory St). An Ital­ian-style bistro headed by for­mer Mat­ter­horn head chef Sean Mar­shall. The restau­rant was buzzing. My taste­buds de­lighted in tuna crudo served with figs, basil, blood or­anges and pro­sciutto. I was also im­pressed by the fact you can or­der a half-glass pour of wine.

Ear­lier, brunch at Poneke by Mojo at Clyde Quay Wharf (the re­cently re­fur­bished Over­seas Pas­sen­ger Ter­mi­nal) sat­is­fied with smashed avo­cado on toast, fol­lowed by great ser­vice and a de­li­cious cof­fee that you just ex­pect in Welling­ton.

It is also worth check­ing out Press Hall – a new fancy food court in the for­mer Press House on Willis Street, which brings to­gether a stel­lar col­lec­tion of eater­ies,

in­clud­ing: Tommy Mil­lions pizza,

Nam D Viet­namese, Sou­vlaki at Acrop­o­lis, The Lab, Bao Boy, Yoshi, Fratelli Pasta Bar, Mad Mex and Aroha.

Walk­a­bout

The won­der­ful thing about Welling­ton is you can walk ev­ery­where and ev­ery turn will take you somewhere in­ter­est­ing.

Wan­der­ing up Tory Street af­ter lunch to visit home­ware store Mag­no­lia, I dis­cover Kow­tow Cloth­ing’s new pur­pose-built store next door on Col­lege Street. Made us­ing eth­i­cally sourced ma­te­ri­als, the shop counter is even a work of art, laid with Gi­don Bing ce­ramic tiles.

Across the road on the cor­ner of Jessie Street, Gypsy Kitchen has also opened an in­nercity premises – rave.

An­other gem is de­signer bou­tique No. 16 (16 Jessie St) – a beau­ti­fully cu­rated col­lec­tion of the lat­est pieces from Comme de Gar­cons, Junya Watan­abe, Issey Miyake, Dries van Noten and Ann De­meule­meester, just to men­tion a few.

Next on the list is Ghuznee Street, just a few min­utes walk away. New fer­mentery Whistling Sis­ters Beer Co is on the cor­ner and matches a se­lec­tion of Welling­ton’s best craft beers with its menu.

Iconic in­de­pen­dent cloth­ing store The Ser­vice De­pot has also moved to Ghuznee Street – here you’ll find la­bels NOM*d, Jimmy D and Her­riot. Across the road Ena Bou­tique has just cel­e­brated its sec­ond birth­day and stocks its own la­bel as well as beau­ti­ful leather bags crafted lo­cally by Yu Mei.

Af­ter a day of fine art, food and fash­ion I head to Courte­nay Place for a fi­nal in­dul­gence – a fa­cial by leg­endary sk­in­care guru Mar­garet Hema. Book­ings are es­sen­tial. Her treat­ment room is upstairs, tucked away from the noise of the busy street and a sanc­tu­ary. An hour later I step out to greet the world with both skin and spirit re­freshed.

Much to do The views from Acapella B&B, top left, are so spec­tac­u­lar you won’t want to leave; Above, Ena Bou­tique on Ghuznee St is the place to go for Yu Mei bags; Be­low left, ‘Share The Love’ by Janet Lilo at Toi Art, Te Papa.

Monte Cervino The new Ital­ian-style eatery that’s caus­ing a buzz, and its pop­u­lar tuna crudo dish.

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