Staycation Part 1

As I head out down the driveway I get a few grumpy barks from Frankie. She is not impressed that she is being left behind and is making sure I know it. (I really must find a holiday I can take them on!)

This weekend, Daniel and I decided to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary with a Staycation. So today, we are off to Wellington city.

Daniel is working till mid afternoon, so I decide to head in early on the train. It’s a rare, still Winter’s day. The water is so flat. Boats peacefully bob up and down in the harbour as a small swell in the water gently laps against the wharf. Seagulls are out squawking, effortlessly gliding through the air. Wellington has put on a great day.

Wellingtonians are out enjoying a drink at the many waterfront bars and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to soak up the last of the afternoon sun. The waterfront is a picturesque place enjoyed by many. People are out walking or running, on scooters and bicycles, having a chat in the sun and walking their dogs.

As I stroll by Kaffee Eis , I can’t help but call in for an ice cream. When I lived in Wellington CBD many years ago, I probably enjoyed this far too much, but it has been a long time since I have had one and my feet lead me straight up to the queue. It looks like a lot of other people have had the same idea. When I get to the counter, more than half the flavours have sold out. There is a passionfruit one though and that suits me just fine.

I enjoy the sweet creaminess of my gelato looking out across the harbour while listening to a busker. Sunshine, ice cream, music, views. A simple pleasure and time well spent.

I check in at QT Hotel. I love this place. Every wall and corner is filled with art. Sculptures, paintings, fashion, even a motorbike. It’s quirky and exciting. I take my time heading to our room, taking in all the colour and forms.

After a bit of a nap and soak in the bath (It’s a staycation after all, it’s meant to be relaxing) we head down to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, The Hippopotamus.

At the Hippopotamus we are transported to a French court. Bright colours, luxurious textiles, and chic style, this place is a feast for the eyes. And to top it off, we are able to enjoy great views out across the harbour, watching the city lights twinkle off the ocean.

I am excited to see truffles on the menu. The first time I had truffles was a couple of years ago in Italy. I indulged in them, fell in love with them, and haven’t seen them on the menu anywhere since. So there are no guesses here as to what I will be ordering.

My entree is a gorgeous, silky smooth pasta in a delicately creamy sauce with huge shavings of Perigord Black Truffle from Christchurch. My mouth is watering long before my entree even arrives as I can smell the truffles in the air. This meal does not disappoint. It takes me back to Italy.

My main is a feast of Winter foraging. Pumpkin, chickpeas, kale, kumera, parsnip, herbs, radishes and more, come together to beautifully celebrate the delights this season has to offer.

Next is dessert. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and whenever we are out for dinner, it’s always the first section of the menu I look at. Before I even look at the entree’s and mains, I already know what I am going to have for dessert. I had decided on the signature dish, a deer milk gelato with honey comb and a few other things. Now here’s a funny story. I am feeling rather full at this stage and as Daniel tells me he is planning on ordering the same thing, I ask if I can share his. He reluctantly agrees. I head off to the bathroom and not long after I return, dessert is brought out. Just one plate, but I note that it looks like a rather generous portion. Turns out Daniel had told the waiter that I wanted to share his dessert and could we have a larger portion brought out on one plate. Very sneaky. But this kind of backfires as I have a few mouthfuls and decided it’s not really my thing and he is left to eat it all.

Happy anniversary Daniel.

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