Six Barrel Soda Co.

Earlier this year some friends opened a cafe and soda syrup factory. Both the soda and the cafe are really, really good. I think you should go there. They make excellent coffee, and the sodas are the best thing you never knew you needed – I try to always have a bottle of cherry and pomegranate syrup at home now. Plus delicious sliders (halloumi is my jam), soda floats, sundaes, and a bargain weekend brunch deal ($15 for bottomless filter coffee, a soda, and scramble) that I would have tried if I weren’t still busy eating a million halloumi sliders. It’s a really lovely, light-filled space with big communal counters, perfect for writing or reading on your own, or taking over with ALL your friends.

First four pictures by Jason, last three by me on a phone.

Summerdaze

Hello strangers! Been a long time, shouldn’t've left you without a dope beat to step to. I’m so sorry I have been MIA, partly it’s because I’ve been thinking about starting a new blog, something that’s a bit more me now and little less twee. Don’t worry, I shan’t be forsaking all the twee, ya’ll know I still love kittens, I’m just not quite happy with the name of this one.

I have been having a marvelous summer, I’ve ticked off so many things on my Summer Goals list without even meaning to, only about five things left to go! I thought I’d start my return to blogging by sharing my summer instagrams with you.

Wellington: Eating, drinking, Christmas parties, and more recently, gigs. This weekend I went to Fleet Foxes and Beirut – too much fun.

Auckland: Awesome Christmas family time, shopping and strolling in Cornwall Park. All the food.

Raumati: Holidaying in a spacious bach with lots of good people. Rain, sunshine, barbeques, fancy NYE dinner complete with cat’s ears, fluffy neighbour kittens, and I Have Never in the best fort ever.

Nelson: The ferry, a bed and breakfast with a glorious garden full of tuis and friendly cats, beer tasting, magical treehouses. Not pictured: Emma’s amazing wedding! I was too busy helping Jason take the official photos to grab any snaps.

Sorry for such photo-heaviness, I only put up about half of what I wanted to! If you’d like to follow me on instagram, search for kate_mcleod.

Nibbles

Welcome to what I’ve been eating lately!

I made cupcakes for SPCA Cupcake Day at work. They tasted of chocolate, guinness and cream cheese icing and looked like little boats.

Wellington on a Plate happened, and I went to Cafe Polo and munched on this delicious vegetarian burger: ricotta patties, beetroot chutney, hummus and walnuts, with onion rings and truffled fries, woah.

Another time, ages ago, I had their big vegetarian breakfast and it proved insurmountable.

I also had an amazing Welly on a Plate 3 course meal at my fave Floriditas, but it was dark so I didn’t take any photos. So you may instead see photos from my previous two visits.

Not to mention all the lovely meals I’ve shared with friends at various homes. Looking forward to spring, summer and more salads, outdoor meals and cider in the sun.

Snow Excited

photo from our window by ma gurl Kim

It’s snowing all over Wellington, including at sea level! Apparently for the first time in 35 years? I’ve certainly never seen the likes of it round these parts before. The whole city is abuzz with childlike glee, but I’m also making time to whinge about getting through this week of freeze with a cold in an uninsulated house. The reason I feel a cold coming on is probably because of the time I spent yesterday scraping snow and ice off our car so I could throw snowballs at our flatmates. Worth it.

Edit: look at these photos from Wellington Zoo.

Weekends

Weekends are the best. Here’s how I’ve been spending mine over the last few weeks.

My Mum came to visit and stayed in a nearby hotel with a nice view.

She delivered this guy to me!

We ate a lot. Like at Floriditas. I love Floriditas.

And we visited the new Roxy Cinema. We ate there too, but I was too hangry to get a good picture.

We’ve been to Monterey a buttload of times lately. I wrote about it for Gale Force Win this week.

The savoury french toast wins times a million.

We’re enjoying our long weekend so far. Jason gets three whole days off! We’re planning on making pop tarts and playing board games. And I got new shoes.

I took them for their first outing today, to Plentifull Deli for coffee and lunch. It’s just around the corner and I am in love with it. Everything I’ve tried from there has been top notch, and is super reasonable too.

Hope your long weekend (if you have one) is going as swimmingly as mine!

What Kate and Margaret ate

My Momma came to visit Wellington for a very short visit, and as usual we ate our way across the city like little piggies.

We started at Floriditas.

Summer fruits tea and a glass of delicious sav.

I had haloumi with beetroot, mint, capers and toasted flatbread.

Mum had a frittata.

We shared a chocolate orange lamington.

That night we ate at Fratelli, but it was too dark for photos.

The next day we went to Ernesto for brunch.

Mum had poached eggs on homemade hashbrowns with bacon and hollandaise (so good).

I had brioche french toast with poached apple (too sweet for me).

Later that day we shared corn, spinach, ricotta and chilli quesadillas at Gotham.

Then she flew back to Auckland. Bye Mum! Thanks for spoiling me!

Guest Post: Sarah Von’s Love Letter to New Zealand

Huge thanks to Sarah Von of Yes and Yes, for bringing her positivity, wit and adventurous spirit to Lovelorn Unicorn today!

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Now, I’m not a real kiwi. I’m only an honorary one, having spent a year and a half there earning my M.A. at VUW. But I would be honored to someday call myself a New Zealander and I really can’t stop singing the praises of Aotearoa to anyone that will listen. There are approximately a million reasons you should visit the land of the long white cloud, but I’ll try to limit myself to ten.

1. The total and complete lack of bullshit
A Kiwi will not tell you that your outfit is cute when it’s not. They will not suggest getting a drink together and then forget about it. They will not screen your calls and avoid you but then come to your wedding for the open bar. The average New Zealanders’ candor and lack of pretense is fantastic, refreshing and kind of makes you want to ask the entire country for their input on that new guy you’re seeing.

2. The shocking and ethereal beauty
Everybody knows that New Zealand is gorgeous, right? I mean, they filmed a movie based in a fantasy world there. But New Zealand occasionally seems to lose track of how amazing it is – like that girl that got hot over the Summer and hasn’t figured it out yet. The mountains that surround the highway leaving Wellington (just your average, ordinary, run-of-the-mill Kiwi mountains) would warrant huge “Scenic Overlook” signs in any other country.

3. Wellington
Do you have a soul mate city? My heart is divided between Berlin and Wellington, and I think the latter might be winning. It’s the cultural and governmental capitol of the country, it’s got more cafes per capita than NYC, great boutiques, hip citizens and you can walk nearly everywhere. Really, it’s enough to make you look past the hurricane-level winds.

4. You might see Jemaine and Bret
For realz? I saw Mr. Flight of The Conchords himself *twice*: once behind me in line for a movie and once eating a corn dog in the food court of Reading Cinema. And these funny men aren’t the only ones you’ll spot! With Peter Jackson in town, you’ll surely see other famous folks, and since it’s such a compact city you might just run into rockers who are hanging out after their show. My former flatmate saw Fergie on two separate occasions, all tiny and eyelinered and trying to hide in her hoodie.

5. Vogels
Vogels is the best bread you’ll ever eat – half English muffin and half wholewheat treat, it’s perfect covered in butter and a paper thin slice of smoked cheddar. You’ll also love Frank soda and pavlova, the kiwi dessert that’s the love child of a meringue and angel food cake. Kiwi cuisine is some of the most delicious you’ll ever try – fresh, diverse and interesting. I cannot, however, vouch for the whitebait. I’m afraid that’s an acquired taste I will not be acquiring.

6. Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking is not recommended in America. Or Canada. Or really? Most countries. And to say that it’s ‘recommended’ in New Zealand might be something of a stretch, but this little country is safe enough, and traveler-centered enough, that hitchhiking with a friend is totally doable. A kiwi friend of mine spent her 18th Summer hitching her way around the South Island and picking cherries!

7. A crazy diverse population
New Zealand is home to only four and a half million people but a large percentage of those people were born elsewhere. The streets of Auckland and Wellington are lined with Malaysian, Indian and Chinese restaurants and you’ll hear every language under the sun at the Sunday veggie market. The country seems to a great job of integrating all these cultures; Wellington hosts a great Chinese New Year’s party and the country does a great job of acknowledging Waitangi Day.

8. The Cultural Phenomena of the O.E.
In America, you’re considered a world traveler after a three-month study abroad program in an English speaking country. Or if you’re *really* intrepid, maybe you spent a summer backpacking around Western Europe after you graduated. But kiwis? The travel bug is so thoroughly ingrained in New Zealand culture that they’ve got a proper name for it: ‘The Overseas Experience.’ Travel agencies tout even offer O.E.s as packages – to the Americas and Southeast Asia and obscure Eastern European countries. Instead of viewing travel as a questionable hole in your resume, employers view globe trotting as valuable life experience. Imagine that!

9. Kiwi Ingenuity
Is something broken? There’s a good chance that any good kiwi can fix it, and they can probably fix it a roll of 8 gauge wire. There will be little fussing, no complaining and there probably won’t be any self congratulation when it’s fixed, but it’ll be fixed nonetheless. Kiwis are some of the most capable, inventive and simultaneously modest people I’ve ever met. They climbed Mt. Everest and broke the land speed record, you know!

10. New Zealander English
For the first month that I lived in New Zealand, I spent a good portion of my time concentrating on the mouths of the Kiwis that spoke to me and smiling and nodding when I had no idea what they were saying. Eventually I caught onto the fact that ‘cuppa’ was a cup of tea, ‘sussed’ meant ‘to figure out,’ ‘pissed’ meant drunk (rather than angry) and ‘shout’ meant buying drinks for everyone, not yelling. I’m afraid I may have had an embarrassing interlude in which a professor asked me who shouted in America for birthdays and I primly told him that we didn’t usually celebrate by yelling at each other. But I later came to love Kiwi English and now I’m very much that annoying American who’s always going on about my ‘flatmates’ and ‘uni’.

Why do you love New Zealand?