Well, well, well Wellington (and Wellington fans), what a week it has been!
Honestly, I don’t know how people do it, because in my humble opinion travelling and blogging is a whole different ball game. Last week, I spent Sunday to Sunday in Auckland, working, eating and experiencing all that Auckland has to offer! (I also went to Auckland the Wednesday before for the New Zealand Social Media Awards but that's coming in another blog post!).
Most of you won’t know that I actually lived in Auckland for a whole year when I was 18. I studied at their wonderful Uni, and lived in one of the Student Halls off of Symonds Street. It was the old days of 2008, when Britomart didn’t exist and Tank Farm was the name of Wynyard Quarter. What a time it was!
While I did miss Wellington a great deal, when it came time for me to make some life choices and move back, I found I didn’t want to go particularly. I’d grown fond of the warmer weather and the big city vibes.
I must say, Auckland as a city has drastically improved since then (and, lets face it, I have money which is ace). This time, I have to admit I was looking forward to heading home for hugs with Matt, but shockingly I was quite fond of the time I had and was seriously wondering whether I needed to eat my words. While I won’t be moving to Auckland any time soon, it’s nice to know that it is there for a wonderful ole’ time when you need a break from Poneke. Bring a good raincoat.
- I chose to fly with Air New Zealand. I do prefer using Air NZ over JetStar, simply for the fact that there are no nasty surprises and their App kicks ass. While I am not the hugest fan of the current safety video, I’ll always pick Air NZ over others for their wonderful service and reliability.
- I stayed with my gorgeous friends Gina and Richard in Mt Eden. If you can stay with your buds, assuming they have a spare room or large couch, it really helps. Accommodation can be expensive and quite a hassle to factor into budgets. If you can’t find someone to put you up, I would recommend using Air B ‘n’ B as the next cheapest option. It really is a great way to stay in an alien city and feels more homely that the Quality Inn.
Auckland, you have lifted the game when it comes to food offerings since I was living in you. Here are some of the places that I visited which I’d strongly recommend. I’ll be paying the price for the rest of the month, cos I am as poor as a church mouse (possibly ending up with the same body-shape also).
- Honeybones, Grey Lynn – Delicious, clean eats.
- Ortolana, Britomart – Gourmet Italiano. Makes Piadinas.
- The Store, Britomart – Free and breezy takeaway or eat-in.
- L’Assiette, Britomart – The best fries of all time.
- Armano, Britomart – More Oysters and Pasta, Please!
- Ostro, Britomart – Duck Ragu anyone? – and again, more Oysters!
- Oaken, Britomart – Scandi Style Dining – Pulled Pork Burger.
- Kiss Kiss, Mt Eden – Asian fusion meets Jem and The Holligrams.
- Ponsonby Central, Ponsonby – All you can eat.
- UberEats, Everywhere! – Food on Demand.
I was lucky enough to sneak myself into a few amazing fashion shows for New Zealand Fashion Week 2017. Held down at the ANZ Viaduct Centre, highlights included Huffer, Federation, Hailwood, the opening party and getting a selfie with Jacinda Ardern. I also got to meet a hero, Kelly Thompson who crazily knew who I was and was super sweet. I also loved spending time with editor of Wellington Woman magazine, Lauren Mann. She’s a force of nature and a great gal. I was working during the week, so unfortunately I only managed to catch a handful of the shows which were on offer. Those I did see however, were wonderful! Special shout out to Not For You and Katherine Victoria from Wellington.
Most of my expenditure revolved around food but I loved walking past Smith & Caughey each morning who were handing out free gifts for New Zealand Fashion week. It was a total highlight of my time in Auckland, so they get a special shout out. If you want to browse Kiwi designers, most have a store down in Britomart these days, or, if you’re after something a bit fancier, slip into Dior, Gucci or Louis Vuitton on Lower Queen Street.
I was useless and simply got an Uber everywhere. I seriously do not want to look at my credit card and add up how many time I paid to be driven around. Other options include buses and taxis. Walking is only useful to an extent in Auckland.
Rise Hot Yoga and Pilates is a yogi’s dream. A beautifully presented studio, curated to perfection, it is worth getting sweaty for. Blogger Carmen Huter put me onto them and I enjoyed a relaxing flow class on my Saturday morning. They also serve hot tea after class which I adore.
The Best Thing?
Seeing people I like and deepening our respective friendships. I loved catching up with Danijela from Healthy Always and Carmen Huter and also spending some more time with Sasha Borrisenko and my lovely mates from work, Courtney and Tim and Alice. People are everything. Oh, and I have to admit. I was into that warm weather!
So while my heart will always be in Wellington, Auckland - Imma let you finish...you're really quite swell. (Also, major discovery - I am NOT a SERIOUS fashion blogger in the tradition of Chiara Ferragani - have realised that I like the behind the scenes and people who are creative - but besides the odd Instagram I don't have the energy to try and smash the fashion world at almost 28 - I'll leave that to the good folk over at Serendipity Ave! But New Zealand Fashion Week - depsite this personal shortcoming - you can have me back anytime!!)