Ornamental cabbages on the streets of Wellington
Wellington is full of surprises.
I'd been a little bit wary of this New Zealand city, known for its ever-changing weather and a wind chill factor that could make an Englishman pine for the warmth of home. But a recent flying visit across the Tasman revealed a cosy yet cosmopolitan city, full of hip shops, great cafes, and amazing restaurants.
Although often playing second fiddle to its big sister city Auckland, Wellington suffers not to any sense of capital city public service blandness. The central busines district, much of it built of land reclaimed from the sea, is reasonably flat and easily accessible by foot. Lambton is the 'classier' end of town, with designer shops, high street fashion stores and the somewhat faded elegance of Kirkecaldie & Stains. Along Cuba Street I found cosy coffee shops, funky second-hand clothing stores and many a restaurant window menu to drool over. And down the long stretch of Courtenay Place were even more restaurants, bars and pubs, covering an impressive range of cuisines for a population of only 430,000.
But my favourite haunt in any town is always the local supermarket. So off I went to New World. Who said sightseeing couldn't be tasty?
Electronic shelf pricing
Talk about out-doing their cousins from across the ditch! I've yet to spot any supermarkets that have adopted electronic shelf pricing in Australia. I did ponder whether the LCD displays presented any problems for the elderly or visually impaired. Protuding shelf talkers alert customers to specials or 'bonus buys'. The prices in smaller font to the left indicate the original price and the cost saving.
These shiny knobbly root vegetables originate from the South American Andes.
I found New Zealand supermarkets (and palates) to be particularly reminiscent of England, with plenty of sticky rich desserts and savouries like Cornish Pasties and pork pies readily on offer.
New Zealand lamb
New Zealand live mussels
Edmonds Cookery Book - one of my favourite reference books in the kitchen
Bro' Bars Love it!
Cadbury Dairy Milk Desserts
Cadbury NZ had a whole new range not available in Australia, with flavours including lemon cheesecake, fudge brownie, boysenberry sundie and banoffee pie.
I couldn't resist buying a bag of these Eskimo sweets, which tasted like banana lollies in flavours of lime, strawberry and pineapple. Like bananas, they were a little chalky in texture but not too sweet and strangely addictive.
De Winkel yoghurts with pear and manuka honey; and feijoa and passionfruit
I tried both and preferred the feijoa and passionfruit which was sweeter. Feijoas, also known as pineapple guavas, are native to South America and taste much like a guava mixed with pear.
New Zealand coat of arms mosaic at the entrance to Parliament House
The Bucket Fountain in Cuba Mall
(locals apparently find it an eyesore, whilst kids and tourists remain fascinated)
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Wellington, NZ - Cafe Bastille
Wellington, NZ - Kai in the City
Wellington, NZ - KK Malaysian Restaurant
Wellington, NZ - Le Metropolitan
Wellington, NZ - Mr Bun
Wellington, NZ - Schoc Chocolates
Wellington, NZ - Simply Paris
Wellington, NZ - Supermarket spree
Wellington, NZ - Sweet Mother's Kitchen
Wellington, NZ - Tasting Room, The
Wellington, NZ - Victoria Street and Waitangi Park Markets
Wellington, NZ - Wholly Bagels
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8/13/2007 08:46:00 p.m.