Monthly Archives: August 2013

Kate & Marilyn rock together

Went to an awesome fashion show last night at Golden Dawn organised by Murray & the team at Showroom22 where Kate Sylvester showed her latest range inspired by the late great MM. Marilyn died in 1962 so I figured that based on the demographics in the room last night I was the only one born then – by a long shot haha. So I grew up being aware of the magic that was Marilyn.

Lee Strasberg, her acting teacher, said about Marilyn…. “she had a luminous quality. A combination of wistfulness, radiance, and yearning that set her apart and made everyone wish to be part of it – to share in the childish naiveté which was at once so shy and yet so vibrant”.

I don’t know much about fashion but I thought Kate captured this essence brilliantly in both her designs and the choreography of the show. I loved it all.

And amongst all the excellent music complementing the show the DJ managed to play a couple of oldies that I knew the words to. Apologies to those around me for my loud singing but it was all such a blast and I got carried away!!

Just the one photo I’m afraid, but older blokes like me have to be circumspect about snapping young women!!


Bring on Fashion Week and watch out for Stolen Girlfriends next Wednesday night.


YQ for sweet brioche at Ripe

So I’ve started with what I thought was a funny headline. Now I have to make sense of it! So there are three parts to this.

YQ is a great new app that means you can order remotely from a favourite store and then pick up. In this case it’s Ripe my local coffee shop/deli. I place my order for a coffee and sweet brioche on my phone. Then I walk 50 metres from my house to Ripe and by the time I get there the coffee and brioche are ready and paid for – the app automatically charges my Visa! Cool eh. There are lots of Ponsonby/Grey Lynn food and coffee outlets listed on YQ. Go for it – it’s convenient and fun. Although you do get some funny looks from people waiting for their order – “oi how come he’s getting his coffee before us”!

Oh and Ripe’s berry & white chocolate brioches are the BEST

What will they think of next?? DIY donuts!!

We had lunch at Foxtrot Parlour in Ponsonby Central on Saturday. Tara Grogan has a great little café going there. Love her pies – I had the thai chicken and Deb had the chicken provencal. Both were so0 tasty and with great pastry – which so many pie makers don’t get right,

But the “what will they think of next” award goes to Tara’s take on the humble donut. Not only do you get to chose the filling you want – choccy, berry coulis plus one other that I forget – but you get the syringe so you can do it yourself. What a fun idea. I didn’t do a very good job with the injecting so I’m going to have to go back for more practice haha.


At a time when cafes and the like have to try and differentiate themselves this is a very novel idea – well done Tara. Now all we need is a steak & kidney pie please!!

This bubble won’t burst

There’s a hot new iPhone app in town. Created by Grey Lynn-based Jenna Hewitt, it’s called “the bubble” and it’s going to make going out a whole lot easier and a lot more fun.

What is it exactly?  Well in Jenna’s words “the bubble unlocks a collective of restaurants. bars. shops. cafes.  our hand picked list is created by a team of kiwis on a mission to be your concierge, so when you do know or don’t know what you want it’s like having a local guru in your pocket that has the answers”.

It’s a great app. Check out the website and download it now.

VOP: Top Ten Travel Tips

Just to finish my posts on the trip to Europe I thought I’d let you have some travel tips:

  1. Buy an Oyster card for London tube (and other rail and bus) travel. Yes I know you all know this one but if I don’t put it in people would say “what about the Oyster card?” Actually I bought a card before I left from RailPlus in Newmarket. It costs a little more but you at least hit Heathrow with card in hand ready to go and don’t have to join the queues!!
  2. iPhone and iPad apps – London Tube; London’s Best Coffee; Translate (great app for French this trip); vianavigo (for Paris metro – better than the “Paris Metro” app); TripAdvisor; Google Maps.
  3. Buy Vodafone’s Data Roaming Bundle for Europe – $50 for 200MB (Zone 2) rather than fiddle around buying and installing local sim cards and worrying about whether your phone is locked or unlocked. Over 4 weeks I used 500MB at $130 which might seem a lot but its hassle free. No brainer! One touch to top up and charged to you Voda account.
  4. Actually the real problem with using your iPhone for on-the-move google mapping or tripadvisoring is the phone running out of juice so take your charger with you and plug in at cafes etc. to recharge as you go.
  5. Excellent dining in the Marais area of Paris at Les Philosophes (28 Rue Vieille du Temple), Bourguignon du Marais (52 rue Francois Miron) and in Montmartre at Le Garde Temps (19 bis rue Pierre Fontaine – very nouveau francais)
  6. Excellent dining in London at The Pantechnicon a gastro pub in Knightsbridge/Belgravia
  7. Excellent dining in Stratford-upon-Avon at Loxleys in Sheep Street
  8. Excellent dining in Bowness-on-Windermere if you’re in the Lake District at Postilion & Jackson’s Bistro
  9. Great coffee at kiwi-owned cafes – Nude Espresso Soho Square in London and Federation Coffee if you happen to be at the Brixton market.
  10. And finally, if transiting at Shanghai you can have a shower in VIP Lounge 69 for NZ$50 if you buy 250RMB (local currency) at the Currency Exchange. Deb did, I didn’t need one haha

Next we’ll be back to good old Ponsonby stuff

Back home………………..brrrrr it’s cold

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few weeks. Couldn’t quite master posting from my iPad. We got back on Saturday morning at 6.30am and after a shower and power nap were at Diz by 10.30am for a decent coffee, eggs benny and a side of mushrooms – heaven.

After 4 weeks of temperatures regularly over 30 degrees C it is hard to adjust to 10 degrees. Still at least we’ve got summer to look forward to.

My last post was just after we got back to London from Paris. We then picked up a rental and headed north to:

Stratford-upon-Avon – not to be missed as a quintessential English town and birthplace of Shakespeare. Fabulous meal at Loxleys on Sheep St; Morris dancing was a hoot – the English version of the haka I guess haha


Bowness on Windermere – a great introduction to the Lakes District; excellent food at  Jackson’s Bistro and Postilion Restaurant & Bar; must visit trip to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm where she brought to life her memorable characters; Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Jeremy Fisher, Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten – there must have been a Rebecca in there somewhere haha. Deb in photo below is standing in Mr McGregor’s garden where Peter Rabbit was born/raised.


The house is incredible – it is as though Beatrix was there yesterday – her hat and gloves are on the table and her shoes are underneath. For many people the trip to Hill Top is I’m sure something of a pilgrimage.

Windermere – we stayed at the Langdale Chase Hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere – a sort of The Chateau meets Lake Whakatipu – gorgeous. Visited William Wordsworth’s house in Grasmere so the trip up north so far had been very literary.

We have really enjoyed absorbing ourselves in the literary history associated with Shakespeare, Beatrix (we’re on first name terms now) and Wordsworth.

To be honest I’ve never been a great fan of Shakespeare as I could never understand what he was saying!!! Of course I am now!!! Wordsworth I generally get – he wrote 200 years after WS and the English was a bit more understandable. Beatrix I get absolutely and remember reading her stories to the children and Oli of course. Deb of course gets the lot!!!!

Sorry just realised how long this post is getting so I’ll give you a break. More to come.