Australia & NZ 2011 (29 March)

Being in a single room at the hostel in Auckland meant I had the rare and precious opportunity of working out in my room. After that I went to a nearby supermarket to get breakfast: a banana, an apple and a light berry yogurt. I hadn’t noticed that there was a deli almost in front of the backpackers, I got in there and felt like a kid in a toy store. I wanted to buy everything but couldn’t help myself and got something healthy: a bag of almonds. Aussie almonds, mind you.

Unfortunately, we only stayed for a day in Auckland. We got in an Air New Zealand flight to Wellington, and because it was a short one we only had a very light snack. Light as in grams, not as in calories. Options were a bag of vegetable chips, a cookie or a bag of lollies. Vegetable chips was a very ambiguous definition, but it still sounded like the least unhealthy choice. They were made out of cassava flour, canola oil, sugar and salt, just four ingredients and no mysterious chemicals. I also had an awful coffee with milk and some water.

In Wellington a bunch of us stayed at a hotel a block away from the famous Cuba street, the Kiwi version of King Street. Cool cafes and pubs, multicultural restaurants, bohemian vibe, it had it all. Everything but Cuban restaurants, ironically.

Alexis, Matt and I had lunch at the Bristol Hotel. They offer $10 meals at lunchtime (12 to 3 pm) but unfortunately we were late for that. The pub has the classic vibe to it, with lots of wood involved.

Bristol Hotel

Bristol Hotel

I was happy to see the interesting beer selection on tap. Because I’m not very familiar with Kiwi brews, I asked the girl for a nice ale. She poured a bit of Speight’s Gold Medal Ale in one glass and a bit of a pale ale in other for me to try. The Speight’s was more of my taste, we got a jug to share.

Bristol Hotel - Beers on tap

Beers on tap

Bristol Hotel - Jug of Speight's Gold Medal Ale

Jug of Speight’s Gold Medal Ale ($13.50)

To eat, Alexis ordered the smoked salmon fettuccine (smoked salmon & mushrooms tossed in a light garlic cream sauce), Matt the teriyaki pizza (marinated chicken, spring onions, capsicum, sweet chilli sauce & topped with sesame seed) and I the Moroccan lamb salad (spicy lamb, tomato, cucumber, red onions, olives & a mint yoghurt dressing). The meals took a while to be delivered and they didn’t arrive together.

Bristol Hotel - Smoked salmon fettuccine

Smoked salmon fettuccine ($16.50)

Bristol Hotel - Teriyaki pizza

Teriyaki pizza ($17.00)

Bristol Hotel - Moroccan lamb salad

Moroccan lamb salad ($15.00)

All of the dishes were pretty average. Typical pub food. I didn’t try the pasta, my salad was not very interesting and Matt’s pizza had that thick sweet bread-like crust I don’t like at all (I still had a few pieces because my salad was not enough). On the bright side, the beer and company were great.

During lunch, one of the worst bloggers nightmares became true: my camera started failing, the lens wouldn’t come out completely. I managed to get it working after a few attempts but I knew something was really wrong.

I went for a post-lunch walk. My main intention was getting something for the following breakfasts but I couldn’t help myself and got into a few other shops. My quest took me to an awesome organic supermarket, Commonsense Organics, which had everything from fruits and vegetables to supplements, awesome cheeses and deli meats, and healthy baked goodies.

Commonsense organics

Commonsense organics

I wanted to buy everything but I had the limitation of not knowing where I would sleep that night, that “small” detail would be sorted out after the public talk and party. That meant that I couldn’t buy the organic non-homogenised milk I was craving. Instead, I bought a few apples, pears, and a coffee yogurt (plain yogurt with a sweet coffee topping), which I ate straight away. The yogurt was smooth and creamy, the coffee wasn’t bitter at all and its sweetness complemented the slight tartness of the yogurt perfectly.

I wanted to take a photo of the yogurt to remember the brand but my camera had died completely. Trying to figure out how to solve the situation for the rest of the tour, I went back to the Buddhist centre. The lecture and small party were great. I had a couple of beers (Gold Mac this time), plus a couple of panini (cheese & hummus, and salami & sun-dried tomato).

Bristol Hotel
131 – 133 Cuba Street
Te Aro 6011
(04) 385 1147

Commonsense Organics
260 Wakefield Street
Te Aro 6011
(04) 384 3314,0,8874470355833680700&ll=-41.29048,174.782331&spn=0.006295,0.006295&iwloc=A&output=embed
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