Wednesday, February 3, 2010

cooking up a storm in downtown wellington

Eating out in this city is a delight. Creative spaces and interesting cuisine plus great coffee and a genuinely warm feel for hospitality. Reminiscent of Melbourne ... the options are interesting and individual. Not generally a fan of the stark, pared-down establishment on the whole - too often the menu seems to be so much the same old, same old, pricey and not terribly rewarding. Above is an image of Sweet Mother's Kitchen - the bar. This Louisiana style cuisine and ambience was just right for a cold wet, night in Wellington. Instantly felt at home here and started with a "little boss" cocktail" -- gin, absynthe and lemon topped up with bubbly. The glass was also little so I was not knocked off my feet. Great chicken dish with cornbread and dirty rice... and Black bean Quesadillas were great too! Shared a bourban and pecan pie... as you do! Cosy place...highly recommend it if you want a casual but fun place for a meal. Music was fabulous too! You'll find it at Courtney Place.
Cuba St - Fidel's cafe was another excellent find. Blowing a gale outside when I went here...the hot food and great coffee went down a treat.

Midnight expresso - a legend on Cuba St
Loved this cafe on Cuba St - the Olive Cafe. In fact I went there twice as it had that home away from home feel - great ambience, excellent menu, quality and prices, and an outstandingly good art collection on the wall that does change and works are for sale. Everything about this cafe as far as I am concerned worked ... it ticked all the boxes on the ideal cafe list in my imagination. I love the way a really good cafe can allow you to feel more a part of a city - less touristy - more part of the fabric of the creative life of a place. The overheard conversations and the papers and magazines one scours, the bits and pieces on walls and shelves...they give clues to the soul of a place, of a city, if the cafe is alive in that way! The large posters are for sale that were displayed on the windows. There were about 6 designs  - wonderful, fresh looking artwork that added another layer to the atmosphere somehow.

When I asked if i could take photos in the cafe I was overheard by one of the owners Karen Krogh who sat with me and talked for a time. I told her how much  admired the art and the way it had been hung and she explained that initially they had been taken a more casual approach to what went up, but in time it seemed important to become more particular. This more curated approach has been a great decision as I see it - the work was exciting, varied - but not a hotch-potch. If you click on these images they will enlarge so you can look more closely. Karen is a working architect and the aesthetic at Olive is very strong and simultaneously livable and uplifting. More  places like this please....and thanks to Karen and co at Olive for great hospitality. I didn't feel like such a stranger in town after visiting here!


Anonymous said...

Sweet Mother's Kitchen sounds like somewhere I'd very much like to eat.

Sophie Munns said...

Hello there G & L,
Thanks for popping by and yes... Sweet Mothers Kitchen was a find worth sharing - hope you get there sometime.
By the way... I was delighted to be able to download your special festive image. I printed it onto card and my niece was the appriecative audience - I gave it to her as I knew she would love it.
Love what you do... fantastic and intriguing!

Sanne said...

i love the graphic style in combination with the materials and colors, i wish to have a place like this somewhere near...

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Sanne,
I can imagine you would love this cafe.....and the graphic work.
very impressive you magazine story...fab photos. Well done Sanne!