WINTER TIME

Seek­ing a foodie get­away, So­phie Gray, Food Editor at food­tolove.co.nz, Taste, Food and Na­dia mag­a­zines in­dulged in a week­end at Cordis Auck­land – and was de­lighted.

North & South - - Conversation - SARAH LANG

Atrans­gen­der woman work­ing for a gov­ern­ment de­part­ment that pays her low wages – and makes her con­tinue to dress as a man – is among those who share their sto­ries in Kath­leen Winter’s new web se­ries Min­i­mum. Com­bin­ing in­ter­view footage with an­i­mated se­quences, it’s about women work­ing for low wages in un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated jobs – think clean­ers, bus driv­ers, aged­care work­ers – fac­ing is­sues rang­ing from the gen­der pay gap to racism. “I in­ter­viewed sev­eral se­cu­rity guards be­ing paid shit to do a dan­ger­ous job,” says Winter, an in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor, pro­ducer and fem­i­nist based in Welling­ton. “Half turned out to be solo moth­ers. I didn’t ex­pect that.” With sup­port from the Emerg­ing Artists Trust, she shot doc­u­men­tary footage of 14 women and also recorded their writ­ten sto­ries. Her short film (also called Min­i­mum) led to NZ on Air back­ing for the 10-part web se­ries, to mark the 125th an­niver­sary of women’s suf­frage. From 3 Septem­ber, one episode will be re­leased on­line each day, on The Wire­less and Load­ing Docs web­sites.

Ar­riv­ing on Fri­day night, I was def­i­nitely ready for cock­tails and con­vivi­al­ity, and the Cordis Lobby Lounge didn’t dis­ap­point.

Con­tem­po­rary el­e­gance com­bined seam­lessly with Kiwi hos­pi­tal­ity and in no time I was sip­ping a de­li­cious aper­i­tif made with a lo­cally-dis­tilled rhubarb gin.

Later, hun­gry, and not sure what I fan­cied, I headed to Eight restau­rant, with its sig­na­ture Eight “in­ter­ac­tive din­ing” – eight spe­cial­ist kitchens of­fer­ing grill, seafood, sal­ads, Chi­nese, Ja­panese, In­dian, Ital­ian and de­lec­ta­ble desserts, all un­der one roof. Un­der the guid­ance of ex­ec­u­tive chef Volker Mare­cek, the em­pha­sis on lo­cally sourced, sus­tain­able and sea­sonal prod­ucts was ev­i­dent. Cordis kitchens pro­duce very low waste, too, a fact of which staff are jus­ti­fi­ably proud.

Af­ter my cho­sen oc­to­pus and oys­ters, it was time for melt­ingly ten­der lamb and co­rian­der naan, fresh from the tan­door ovens, fol­lowed by a thor­ough ex­am­i­na­tion of the dessert buf­fet.

Since I re­ally love a leisurely ho­tel break­fast, in the morn­ing I opted for the Ex­ec­u­tive Club which, if you can tear your­self away from the view, serves crisp – yes, crisp – bacon, along with eggs, warm pas­tries, a con­ti­nen­tal se­lec­tion and a daily fresh smoothie. Club priv­i­leges also in­clude com­pli­men­tary snacks and bev­er­ages all day or, like me, you can in­dulge in drinks and canapes.

No visit to Cordis is com­plete with­out ex­pe­ri­enc­ing High Tea by Cordis, and the res­i­dent tea som­me­lier en­sures you don’t con­fuse your As­sam with your Oo­long. When it comes to flavour­match­ing, I al­ways take ad­van­tage of ex­pert ad­vice and the staff were both charm­ing and knowl­edge­able. The food is out­stand­ing, witty and in­tri­cate, but the high­light was a house-blended tea of camomile and but­ter­fly pea flow­ers. Bright blue when poured, turn­ing to vi­o­let when lemon was added, this liq­uid magic con­cluded a marvel­lous meal.

By now a soak in the jacuzzi was call­ing, fol­lowed by a de­li­cious din­ner in the quiet com­fort of my room. Morn­ing found me en­joy­ing ex­cel­lent cof­fee and a de­lec­ta­ble por­ridge that was al­most too pretty to eat – al­most.

The Cordis free shut­tle will drop you within an easy stroll of the CBD eater­ies, and eth­nic din­ing op­tions abound in nearby in Karanga­hape Rd and in New­mar­ket but Cordis pro­vides such a com­pre­hen­sive range of of­fer­ings I found I sim­ply had no rea­son to leave.

1. My de­li­cious lo­cally dis­tilled gin aper­i­tif. 2. Oc­to­pus and oys­ters to start. 3. The foodie’s heaven at Cordis’ Eight restau­rant. 4. A small se­lec­tion from the dessert buf­fet. 5. The seafood bar at Eight restau­rant. 6. Start­ing the day well with an à la carte break­fast and a barista-made cof­fee.7. A high tea dream in the ho­tel lobby.

A new brand by Lang­ham Hos­pi­tal­ity Group 83 Sy­monds Street, Auck­land cordisho­tels.com/auck­land

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