Megan Singleton stays conveniently central in her search for some of Wellington's finest offerings.
Without the cumbersome responsibility of a car, it was a fly-in, walk-about, fly-out weekend, and my mission was to stick within 10 minutes of Cuba Street.
In a former laundromat on Cuba Street, Matt whipped up his signature cocktail. He was originally served it on Johnny Depp's boat, he told me. What he was doing on the boat he didn't say, but the cocktail was a moreish mix of Mt Gay Rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed lemons with a dash of lime cordial. There are no coin-operated washing machines (which would be a cool touch) but this place has more of a 1970s-era kiwi dining room/bach vibe.
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Tucked between industrial apartments and hotels on Wigan Street, are two original wooden villas - home to a bar on one side of the narrow entrance and a tapas restaurant on the other. If you hadn't heard from a local, you'd never know it was here, and certainly not how good it is. Start your evening here, or stay all night, dining on small plates while being witty and fascinating.
If you fancy being the judge, head to Master Chef judge Simon Gault's Crab Shack in Shed 5. It's been open a year and is so successful they turn over tables multiple times a night. No bookings necessary (or taken), so just wander in and prepare to roll your sleeves up for juicy crab, clams, fresh fish and more. And start with their pomegranate sangria. You can thank me later.
There are weekend and night markets all around Wellington's CBD, but I stumbled upon the Underground Market on Saturday (10am-4pm) on the waterfront. It's a treasure trove of emerging designers selling clothes, handmade jewellery, baking and home wares. My favourite stall was the miniature doll house collectibles including fingernail sized cakes and cookie jars the size of a thimble.
If you needed a reason to go, the third Wellington Fashion Week runs from April 9-13 in Shed 6. Preceding the event, a free outdoor fashion movie will be playing on the waterfront, then the show begins the next night with Moochi opening followed by a ticketed party where air kissing will be expected. There are free and ticketed shows all week, so all clothes horse fashionistas are advised to get in quick.