Although Christchurch and Kurashiki are some 5800 miles apart, riding down the Kurashiki river feels almost identical to punting on the Avon. In fact, some may say the two are related (wink wink). According to my Japanese friends, Kurashiki, Christchurch’s sister city is most famous for its incredible art (glass in particular), delicious food and great shopping (jeans in particular). In other words: its Christchurch. Except with a snack shop entirely dedicated to soy snacks (peach, shrimp, matcha, white grape, grape grape and so on), an extensive chopstick store and a denim district equipped with a denim cafe selling everything blue – and when I say everything I mean everything: denim sweet bread, denim burger and denim soft serve. Ewww!
First and foremost, Cafe Rocky Garden is dedicated to the owner’s deceased corgi. Need I say more? If adorable corgi-inspired decor isnt enough to lure you in, then I don’t know what will! Actually, I lie. The french toast is bloody good too. Situated in Katsuta, Rocky Garden camofolouged by the surrounding greeny (aka Mimasaka) is easy to miss but once you find it, it shall forever stand out (just call me cheese).
In addition to my french toast which was super big and fluffly (as all good french toast should be) I ordered a “cinammon latte” which was actually milky instant coffee, topped with sweet cream, maple syrup and cinnamon powder but, it was seriously divine. According to my colleagues they also do a delicious Japanese curry for lunch.
Just had the most amazingly veg-centric brunch at The Caffeine Laboratory situated on the ever so sweet New Regent St. I use the term “veg-centric” as my meal (smashed avo) was a celebration of every vegetarian’s most loved ingredients: avocado, feta, beetroot, poached egg and dukkah – is there a better combo?! Oi! Yes, you there, rolling your eyes, so you’re not vego? Never fear my dear an “add bacon” option is clearly available. Also, calamari with saffron mayo?! One word: Gold! As in, in every aspect; colour, taste and value (saffron being worth its weight in gold and all). It’s all the good stuff here! X
There are as many ice-cream/gelato places in Auckland as there are people and there are a lot of people here, especially in comparison to CHCH. Fortunately, Mother Nature has been in a delightful mood during my little Auckland adventure, kindly turning up the dial on ‘ice cream weather’ to maximum. Now, I’m not the type of gal to indulge in any old ice-cream. Yes, there’s several Kapiti joints around but I can get that back home from the supermarket and the same goes for the million Movenpick outlets. But the homemade gelato from St. Heliers Bay Cafe & Bistro, now that’s worth walking 21.2km for (round-trip). Yesterday, my best friend Natasha who resides in the City of Sails (Auckland) and I walked from the CBD to St Heliers Bay. The journey was tedious. Our legs were sore, our chests were sun-burnt and our throats were dry but we eventually made it and oh boy was it worth it. Sorry, I already said that didn’t I? Natasha ordered two scoops of coconut which for the life of me I.just.could.not.comprehend – I mean, who the hell orders two of the same flavour?! Nevertheless, she reasoned she had never come across coconut ice-cream, always sorbet and because it was just that delicious. I chose peanut butter gelato and berry sorbet after literally trialing every single flavour (I hope you accept my sincerest apologies dear lovely lady behind counter) which tasted exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich except cold, creamy and smooth! Ahhh my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The Gelato at St Heliers Bay Cafe & Bistro is made daily from fresh and wholesome ingredients which completely reflects in the way it tastes. No other words are needed. Just go smoosh your faces into it! X
I’m pretty sure my mum is a regular at Hello Sunday. She claims it’s her favourite café. When I asked her why of all places in Christchurch, she liked Hello Sunday the best, in her broken English she replied: “I don’t know why I’m very happy there”. She then went on to further explain in Persian, that she feels Hello Sunday has the most warm and welcoming atmosphere she has ever experienced.
Hello Sunday is nothing less than adorable. The fresh flowers, the loveable pot plants, the colourful tiles – every detail is very delicate and pretty – no wonder my mama is obsessed. In saying that, Hello Sunday is not exclusive to old women (sorry mum!). In fact, it’s actually rather hip! I mean, their cabinet is filled with paleo cakes and slices, if that’s not trendy, then I don’t know what is! In addition, their staff are super lovely and attentive.
So, if your life is in need of a little/lottle dollop of sunshine (whose Isn’t?!) then I definitely recommend you go today. Or even better, tomorrow (seeing as it’s Sunday – see what I did there?).