Winter comes and the world can seem to slow. But not in Wellington!
While bears may hibernate, Wellington seems to thrive in Winter even more, as people book for events around the city, seek out new venues and enjoy leaving their homes for a well-deserved meal somewhere delicious and new.
I have been busy around and about the city to find the most interesting, and delicious things to eat, see and know about. Now all that remains is for you to try them too!
1. TRY: Teppan Hayashi at Press Hall
If you like fresh sushi, pickled cucumbers and rice, rice and more rice, you have to try new Teppan Hayashi at Press Hall. Walk up the stairs on the outside of the hall to the mezzanine level, or take the lift from the main hall, and you'll be greeted by warm and smiling faces as the Teppan Hayashi team help you get fed.
The kitchen is open to view, so you literally see the food you are about to eat is made in front of your eyes. The chefs cook up a variety of delicious dishes, across a hot plate. Fresh, honest and sumptuous, the menu includes teppanyaki, along with sashimi, tempura, Japanese grilled fish, Japanese wagyu BBQ and different sorts of lunch options. You can relax and enjoy the atmosphere without the same hustle and bustle of the main hall below.
2. KNOW: Wellington Based BioGro ending confusion about 'What's Organic'
BioGro, the country's largest and best-known certifier for organic produce and products, is marking its 35th anniversary by launching a campaign to fix misleading organic labelling in New Zealand (a REAL bugbear of mine). The BioGro logo has become the most recognised organic logo in New Zealand. BioGro now certifies and accredits over 750 producers, farmers and manufacturers across New Zealand and the Pacific. The aim is to educate consumers about the importance of choosing certified organic products and to get them into the habit of looking for the BioGro organic certification logo. This is something that I feel very passionate about personally because I hate being duped by fake labels.
”Over the past three decades, BioGro has been working hard to educate consumers about organics and how important it is to look for certified products," says BioGro Marketing Manager, Robyn Vickery. "However, there is still a lot of confusion out there. With no official regulations governing the organic industry, it is still possible for brands to make organic claims yet contain ingredients that are not allowed in certified organic products.
“Organic regulations encompass more than just the labelling - without regulation, it is possible for a product to use the term organic on their packaging, even if it's far from the truth. Not only is this confusing for consumers, but it's also of concern to the hundreds of certified organic producers that invest a lot of time and effort to ensure their products are genuinely organic."
To celebrate the anniversary, BioGro has also created special Gold and Silver logos for the companies and brands that have been certified for 25+ years and 15+ years. 197 New Zealand businesses have been awarded anniversary logos, including Paraoa Bakehouse, SeaLord, The Better Drinks Company, Zespri and Trilogy. A full list of the licensees can be found here.
For updates on the BioGro 35th anniversary and the World of Good campaign, like the Facebook page @BioGroNZ or follow BioGro on Instagram @BioGroNZ. More information on BioGro can be found at biogro.co.nz.
3. SEE: Duck Death & The Tulip
If you have little ones in Wellington, or just generally are a person who loves good theatre, I can't stress enough how fab the Circa Theatre show 'Duck, Death & the Tulip' is. I had heard good things, having read the rather macabre book myself, and also noted that the play it was celebrated at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: it is the winner of An Outstanding Theatre Award (2014) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Duck, Death & the Tulip by acclaimed writer/illustrator Wolf Erlbruch, is a beautiful children's picture book which is for everyone, shedding light on the nature of death, for all creatures and beings. It is a book all can fall for: indeed, my older flatmate introduced me to the book when I was 24 and I loved it. Here, Death is played as a kindly older man, who rather than the sinister figure we imagine death to be, simply follows Duck around. When Duck grows frightened at the prospect of death, Death says to the duck something along the lines of "I won't hurt you. Life takes care of that!" It is one of many chuckles in the play. The play is true to the book, from the story and script, right through to the costumes.
While watching this perfectly formed 45-minute piece of storytelling, I couldn't help but feel that it was so healthy for us to talk to ourselves and to children about death as an inevitable fact of life. So often, death is seen as evil and cruel. And of course, that is the case in many situations but for most death will come when we are old and weary.
Philosophical thoughts aside, I loved the puppetry of the show, expertly created by Sue Hill and Nicole Cosgrove. The hauntingly lovely music is composed by the legend that is Gareth Farr, bringing the story to life. The chemistry between the characters is spot on and in general, it was a wonderful show I really loved. Go and see it at Circa Theatre - on until 21 July.
4. EAT: Try warming pie from Pickle & Pie is ready for your belly
Today Matt and I were looking for somewhere to eat and we nipped into Lombard Lane where Pickle & Pie is. In the middle of a Wellington Winter, what could be more hearty but a splendid pie of the day?
Pickle & Pie reminds me of a Melbournian style eatery, all neat tiles and deli vibes, although it is a self-professed take on a New York style delicatessan. It serves up seriously good treats and eats, such as sesame seed bagel with Lox, Matzo Omlette and the best Ruben sandwhich in town, it's no wonder that Al Brown has been spotted in here! Their bread & butter pickles are also to die for.