Last weekend the clocks went forward here in New Zealand. Spring has finally Sprung! Whilst the weather is still yet to really get on board, the longer days are here and the sun is sure to follow. Gone are the nights cuddled up inside not really doing much, it’s time to get out there, have some adventures and throw yourself into some new experiences. Here’s what I’m lusting over this Spring…
I bloody love a good day-date. Mostly because 99% of the time they include brunch, booze and some kind of activity… My fave things. Especially now the weather’s getting warmer there are so many good opportunities for an epic day out with your BF/GF/BFF. My Boyfriend and I work opposite schedules; I’m a 9-5er whilst he’s in hospitality managing the bar over at Grill Meats Beer (head down there if you’re in Wellington for the best burgers IMHO). He recently – after lots of puppy-dog-eyes from me to his manager – got his roster changed to get Sundays off. Yay! This means we can actually be like normal couples and have a day off together! Last Sunday was our first one and boy did we kick the new date-day tradition off with a bang! We set the alarm early with the plan to head to the Harbourside Market for some breaky. Pouring rain. Oh well, nothing could dampen our spirits so we hopped in an Uber to Egmont St Eatery.
After a delicious breaky and a not-so-delicious Bloody Mary (more on that later), we were ready for Sunday Funday to continue. We headed over to Bin 44 for a bottle of wine, then Dockside for some velvety AF Espresso Martinis (they’re not on the menu but if you ask you shall receive)… a boozy theme was certainly developing. Then came the best bit – this was meant to be a surprise but my BF just couldn’t contain his excitement – Golding’s Free Dive for their event with Garage Project and SPCA… beer and puppies!!! THE BEST! I can’t put into words how fun it was, but I’m sure you can picture it for yourself. Next weekend’s date-day is going to have to be a LOT more reserved (both my bank account and head were in a state of shock on Monday), but over the next few weeks I’ve got so many things I want to do:
- Walk up to the top of Mount Victoria. Yes, it’s shameful we’ve not done this yet but I’m using the excuse of us not having a day off together until now
- Head to Newtown for lunch at Bebemos. We’re still yet to venture as far as Newtown and I’ve heard great things about Bebemos
- Head out to one of the bays. Maybe pack a picnic and just spend a day soaking up the sun with some nibbles… and maybe a bottle of prosecco or two
- Take the cable car and wander around the Botanical Gardens. Perhaps I’m just getting older but this just sounds so dreamy
- Go rock climbing by the Harbour. We passed the centre on date-day and it looks like so much fun, perfect for a day out
A bit strange having a Winter sport in my Spring lust list but hey, I’ve got skiing on the brain! I went to Queenstown last month with a bunch of friends and went skiing again for the first time in about 10 years and I totally forgot how fun it is. It’s literally the perfect mix of all the best things; adrenaline, amazing scenery (especially in Queenstown, they don’t call them The Remarkables for nothing!), adventure, amazing food (hello fondues and Fergburger), and even better wine. We stayed in an amazing Air BnB which was just stunning and in an excellent location a 5 minute walk into town. A week filled with cosy fireplaces, mountain views and cloud-like bedding is A-OK with me. Unfortunately it’s no longer on Air Bnb but I think there are lots of similar apartments available. Another skiing trip might not be a reality in Spring, but dreaming of the next one in Winter definitely is…
I am having a real rosé resurgence right now. For me, it’s always reminded me of cheap bottles you would neck before a night out when you’re 17. Classy, I know. I’ve never really been able to enjoy it since, it’s always seemed a bit too sickly sweet to me and not something I’d want to pick over a nice dry white or a deep warming red. This is all until we went wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina and tried the nicest rosé – and one of the nicest wines – I’ve ever had. It was a Malbec Rosé and somehow managed to taste like strawberries and cream without being too sweet. We’d pretty much ordered a bottle after the first mere sniff of its delicious aroma. With Spring on the way, I’m getting ready to hit the rosé hard. Just the thought of a nice bottle in a rooftop bar is making me feel extremely thirsty. I had a great one at The Hop Garden over the weekend; it’s probably the closest I’ve come to that heavenly Argentinian wine since. Unfortunately, I didn’t note the name but it was from Marlborough. The staff there are super friendly so I’m sure they can help you.
Choosing a favourite drink when you’re as into booze as I am is hard. Luckily, no one’s making me choose but, if you really did put me up against it, the Bloody Mary would definitely be a contender. It’s spiky, it’s fresh, it’s delicious and it kicks any hangover’s butt. Bloody Marys are definitely a year-round drink but with Sundays now to be regular date-day, I have a feeling I’ll be sampling my fair share over the coming months. For me, they need a big kick of spice, not much ice and lots of pepper. Unfortunately, at $15 a pop they just missed the mark a little at Egmont Street over the weekend, but the host asked us how they could improve them and was genuinely interested in our honest feedback. Top service. Plus I would genuinely go back to try again if they change the recipe. The beauties at Olive are my fav in Welly so far. Some people get really turned off by the idea of drinking tomato juice, but just try one. Maybe you aren’t one of the lucky ones whose life can be made infinitely better by one sip of that spicy, savoury goodness, but you won’t know if you don’t try.
I have a strange love affair with Burberry perfume. Most of the time I’m loyal, faithful and monogamous but I do have a wandering eye from time to time. It’s never my fault, it’s always because I get a new scent as a gift or I have a gift voucher to use up somewhere it’s not stocked (which is like, nowhere… sort it out Burberry!). However, I always come back in the end. It’s the one, and as long as it doesn’t mind my occasional unfaithfulness, it will be the one forever. I do bring a little bit of spice back to my ‘one brand for me’ relationship by switching between Brit and The Beat, and I’ve just bought Brit Sheer in time for Spring. Crisp, fresh, classic, I don’t know why I ever strayed. Please forgive me Burberry. PS, I got mine from David Jones
Les Mills Body Attack
I’ll start this one off by saying Les Mills gym classes are the best. So good for if – like me – just showing up to the gym and hitting a machine doesn’t motivate you in the slightest. I need structure, a plan, and the knowledge that what I’m doing will produce results (if group fitness cringes you out, try Kayla Itsines’ super successful Bikini Body Guide programme). I’ve been a keen Body Pumper for a few years now but have only just got hooked on Body Attack. The first time I went, I thought I was going to either cry or throw up. It’s hard, it’s intense and there’s not really anywhere to hide. It’s described as ‘High-energy interval training combining athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilisation exercise’ and the group element really pushes you to give it everything you’ve got. Like Bloody Marys, try it once and you’ll be hooked. Yes the arrival of Spring is exciting, but it also means you’ve gotta work your butt off to burn the winter insulation you’ve been gaining in time for Summer and the dreaded bikini. Body Attack, whilst hard, doesn’t feel like a chore or instil dread in me. If you already do Kayla you’ll be familiar with the ‘Kayla anxiety’ you get just before but there’s none of that here. It’s so fun and fast-paced that it’s over before you realise just how bloody hard it is. We’ll all have abs for summer in no time… *puts down chocolate bar*
OK so we’re all excited about Spring but to be honest the weather has kind of missed the memo and needs to join us and sort its shit out. My house is still feeling cold and damp (Mount Vic is the worst for this) so scented candles are top of my list at the moment to brighten up our little home. I love drooling over home inspo instagrams and I scroll through streams and streams on a daily basis but, as a renter (and a lazy/broke one at that), there’s not a lot I can really do to add oomph to our flat. If I could I’d follow all the great renter advice out there – buy rugs, cushions everywhere, free-standing picture frames, but I don’t really have the money for it and don’t know how long I’ll be in New Zealand. The answer? All the scented candles. You can get so many different styles and they range from stupidly cheap (Cotton On do nice little ones which are often on promotion at $5 with any purchase) to super-spenny so you can decide how indulgent you want to be. We recently got bought Lanterncove’s coconut and lime one as a gift (they got it from Moore Wilson’s) and it is divine. I legit bring it with me as I move around the house.
I know, I know, a puppy is for life, not just for Spring/Christmas/any other impulse buy. For me, it’s a lifelong desire and in no means an impulse but, with the weather about to pick up, I know my puppy-yearnings are going to hit the roof. Walks in the sunshine, trips to the beach, cuddles in the garden… I could go on. I’ve grown up with dogs at home and I just can’t wait to have my own. I’m pretty sure about 90% of the communication between my Boyfriend and I consists of tagging each other in photos of dogs on Instagram. Whilst we’re only on a Working Holiday here in New Zealand, it’s really not realistic so, for now, we’ll have to stick to adorable pictures online and petting every single dog I walk past.
Hooray – it’s finally almost running weather! As I mentioned, I’m not the best for simply walking on to the gym floor and knowing what to do. I may not like the treadmill, but getting outside and going for a run is a different story. I’ve been pretty bad lately as moving around the world has meant I haven’t really had a summer since Australian Summer (Christmas) 2014. Not the smartest move, but I moved back to the UK just in time for winter and then headed back to the Southern Hemishphere on 1 June this year… right in time for another bloody winter. Let’s blame my dwindling running regime on that. No excuses now, I’m feeling ready to get back out there and enjoy some New Zealand scenery while I’m at it! If you have any recommendations for some nice running routes in Wellington, let me know!
So if the sun could just start to get on my level of excitement and really bring the goods now that would be great…