The ‘sweetest’ spots in Wellington

We’ve sampled many a curry, cocktail, craft beer and dessert while we’ve been immersing ourselves into the Wellingtonian culture but this post is all about the sweeter things in life.

First up: Louis Sargeant. Oh my, this place is The Best. My boss took our team here for a treat and it knocked my socks off. This delightful orb of a pudding was called ‘Glamour’. It was a concoction of violet and blackcurrant jelly and white chocolate wrapped around a delightfully light and fluffy mousse centre. Garnished with unicorn dust (aka silver foil), Like A Boss. I likes me some silver foil.
At any rate it was in the heavenly patisserie counter at the front of the restaurant – also filled with delectable-looking tarts, éclairs, croissants and other wildly distracting treats. Just go there. Right now.

Louie SargeantThe verdict: 4.5/5 for taste, Frenchness and overall awesomeness.

The place: Louis Sargeant, 146 Featherston Street, Wellington.

The budget: Something for everyone. You could spend $10 on a cake to takeaway. Or a lot more.


Next up: Hippopotamus

I took my mum here for a special girly high tea outing and she was well impressed, innit. Arguably more so since it won the global High Tea Challenge today, a mere week after we went. We had the pleasure of sharing our high tea with other literary aficionados, as the high tea was a fundraiser for the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden (go there, it’s great!).

We enjoyed champagne, almond tea, crab mousse in adorable wee jam-jars, spoonfuls of a hazelnut mousse, beautifully clean-cut sandwiches and a mouthwatering assortment of choux pastries, hand-crafted chocolates and classic fruit tarts. Plus a macaron to finish, naturally. It was a beautiful afternoon with impeccable service, perfectly balanced flavours and general good cheer.

My mum was just delighted by the whole experience, so I’d definitely recommend it for a special occasion. I’m disappointed that my photo doesn’t really do the feast justice. I was so excited to eat everything that I wasn’t focusing my camera properly. Whoops.

Hippopotamus High tea


The verdict: 5/5 for taste, ambience and overall experience.

The place: Hippopotamus, 90 Cable Street (in the Design Hotel),  Wellington.

The budget: On the pricier side – best for a special occasion!

Artisan marshmallows and cheesecake? yes please Loretta!

So my ‘London expat’ blog has been reincarnated as a ‘Kiwi repatriation’ blog: I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front while we got settled back into Godzone but the good news is that Wellington is a foodie heaven!

I mean, the Welly Walks app even has a food trail. Talk about drool-tastic.

Anyhow. It was a cold winter’s night and we just wanted cheesecake. Easier said than done: my boyfriend and I spent a good 20 minutes browsing online menus of all the Wellington establishments we could think to Google. It turns out most places do dessert but very few openly serve cheesecake.

Which prompted this sad little Tweet into the void (I’m only sharing so you can enjoy the embarrassment of my 1 lonely retweet):


With radio silence on the Twittersphere we decided to walk the length of Cuba Street in search of cheesecake.
First stop: Fidel’s. We love Fidel’s. They were serving cheesecake, but on closer inspection they only had one slightly dry looking piece of baked cheesecake. Unconvinced, we pushed on, wondering if we would regret that call later.

Next up: Laundry. No luck.

Then Ombra: they had a strawberry cheesecake listed but that wasn’t enticing us enough so we continued.

Logan Brown would have been lovely but we weren’t dressed for the occasion.

Then we hit Loretta, a place we have had many a fine brunch at. My brain stopped functioning once I spied a double chocolate cheesecake (blending both white and dark chocolate) and handmade passionfruit marshmallows on the menu.

Yeeeeeeharrr!! We were in business and took a window seat immediately.

The cheesecake was delicious, albeit a bit too big (even between us we couldn’t finish it which is saying something). The marshmallows were the standout performer though. Delightfully fluffy but holding their square shape, they had a delicate hint of passionfruit that had me coming back for more. The hot chocolates were pretty damn good too.


The verdict: Loretta, we will be back. Your weekend eggs are amazeballs and your dessert game is on par too. Oh and the decor is super funky so we felt very trendy 😉
181 Cuba Street, Wellington.

How to: have a cheese-only dinner in London

I like to eat. I like to eat cheese. I like to eat lots of cheese. And sometimes, that’s all I want for dinner. You got a problem with that? Sorry, I get a bit crazy sometimes: “J’adore le fromage!”

So when my boyfriend and I wanted to treat ourselves to a different kind of date night, I emailed Vivat Bacchus in London Bridge with a proposition. I’d heard about their famous ‘cheese room experience’ but I feared it was more of an ‘after-dinner’ or ‘pre-dinner’ kinda thing: or even worse, that they might let us select some cheeses to take away but that would mean WAITING TIL WE GOT HOME TO EAT ALL OF THE CHEESE. Outrageous.

Clearly I needed to clear a few things up before we ventured there, because we didn’t want dinner. We just wanted glorious, stinky cheese.

Thankfully, Vivat Bacchus weren’t fazed by this request at all and we scored a ‘dinner’ reservation for 7.30pm that night. On arrival we were seated in the main restaurant, and ordered a glass each of lovely pinot noir and port to sip on while we waited for the cheese room to become available (it’s in hot demand – only a few of you can go in at once with the special cheese expert).


  • It stinks to high heaven
  • It’s glorious
  • It’s a bit chilly but you’re so busy drooling you won’t notice
  • The cheese expert will ask what you like and give you teeny tiny samples to help you decide which cheeses you’d like on your custom platter. All of them are Good.
  • Each cheese portion costs roughly £5, so we asked for a £25 platter of 5 varieties: a stilton, a stinky, vacherin-like soft cheese, a fruity, wine-infused pecorino, a chevre infused with ash, and a soft, herby, spreadable cheese. I can’t recall the names of any of our cheeses but it was a hella good combination

Once you’ve made your selection, you go back to your table and wait patiently while they build a beautiful, customised platter of nuts, fruit, dips, honeys, bread, crackers and all sorts of goodness carefully selected to enhance the flavours of the cheeses you chose.

And you will nom til your heart’s content.

Successful date night, tick!

Mmm, MEATliquor

MEATliquor restaurant has been on my ‘London bucket list’ for some time now.
So when my flatmate decided to host his birthday dinner there last week, I was thrilled – I will leap at any chance to binge on charred meat. Mmm, meat.

We went on a Thursday night and queued for roughly 30 minutes outside, then another 30-40 minutes at the bar. The kind folks at MEATliquor make sure the wait is fun though: when you’re outside they walk up and down with trays of samples so you can salivate over what’s in store for you. And when you’re waiting at the bar, well, there’s drinks to be had and a photo booth to be silly in.

WHAT WE ATE: My flatmates swore blind that ML’s chicken wings are the ‘best thing ever’, which was pretty encouraging. But I’m not really a fan of wings in general so I went for the Swiss mushroom burger (minus the bun, oh wheat I miss you!). Plus a side of chilli cheese fries to share. And 1 stolen wing – for a wing, it was tasty.

THE VERDICT: Holy bejeezus the food was good and definitely worth the wait. I’d eat those chilli cheese fries all over again. If I hadn’t been so stuffed the peanut butter ice cream dessert looked amazeballs.
Go there immediately.

THE PRICE: Mains start from £8, which seems v cheap, but once we added sides and a-few-too-many drinks and service you’re looking at roughly £20-25 per person. So it’s not budget eating but it’s certainly not extravagant.

The MEATliquor Twitter feed states you will ‘come hungry, leave drunk’. Mission accomplished 🙂

Location etc: 74 Welbeck St, W1G0BA, open 7 days from 12pm til varying late hours.






Brunch in Brixton Village

Brixton Village is the place to be seen in London at the moment. The food is tasty, the culture is vibrant and the hipsters are a-plenty.

I am not cool at all so I didn’t discover the delights of the Brixton food scene until very recently. We trekked south of the river on a windy Saturday just before St Jude hit England.

Overwhelmed by the very many food options, I resorted to a Twitter plea along the lines of ‘Help! What should I eat?’. Luckily my co-workers are food geeks too and I received several enthusiastic tips within the space of ten minutes. Yay for geekery! I was feeling a bit hungover tired and overwhelmed by the crowds so we nabbed a seat at ‘the mexican place’ and ordered up large.

El Panzon mexican

To start, we shared a platter of tortilla chips with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Portion size isn’t an issue here – the platter was nearly overflowing onto the table. The tortilla chips were fresh, crunchy and delightful but the salsa was lacking in kick.

Our second starter (ooh naughty) was the fish tacos, adorned with regular-spice-level- sauce. Wish I’d gone for the ‘fuck I’m dead’ sauce as ‘regular’ should have been labelled ‘bland’. I’d heard rave reviews about these tacos and while they were lovely, I was a wee bit underwhelmed for some reason. They weren’t as zesty or tangy as similar dishes I’ve had before.

For a main I got stuck right into a pulled pork burrito with all the trimmings and hot-level hot-sauce. The meat was tender, the fillings were juicy and generous, but again, I wish I’d gone for the ‘fuck I’m dead’ sauce as the meal just wasn’t giving me the spice kick I was after. I mean, Mexican street food in a foodie jaunt that taunts you with it’s claims to spiciness? Can do better, El Panzon. The basics are there but the extras aren’t.

The verdict: 3.5/5

In a sentence: Nice, but give me a £6 Chilango burrito any day of the week: tastier with ‘zingier’ flavours and spicier sauces. Of course, now I want to go back to Brixton Village and try ‘the crepe place’ and ‘the seafood place’ that were our second choices. I’ve been reliably informed that El Panzon’s soups are ace.

Location etc: El Panzon, Brixton Village Market, 1 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PR, London


Listening to: Burn by Ellie Goulding