I wish I was in Wellington. Dining on its incredible food scene, and drinking up the wonderful nightlife that has always thrived. Wellington is a city of curves and culture, and I can't wait to get back there.
Where to eat
At Tomboy in Mt Victoria, the cakes and baked treats are as beautiful to look at as they are to eat. This cafe and cakery is famous for its doughnuts - there are classic, custard cream and lamington options, but pop in on Fridays for a pork-belly sandwich. tomboy.nz
offers contemporary fine-dining, in the heart of the city. Everything is made from scratch and in-house - grab a mossy green bench seat in the moody dining room, and try chef James Pask's sourdough with whipped beef fat, grape sorbet with kawakawa, and a dessert of black garlic, passionfruit and bitter chocolate.
offers small plates featuring flavours from around the Pacific - roasted oysters, snapper kokoda and tuna poke - and creative cocktails such as the hangi - with lamb-fat washed rye whiskey and roast kumara skin.
Where to drink
Where to start? Perhaps at The Ascot , where they serve natural wine curiously paired with hot dogs (free range or vegan). At Heyday Beer you'll find craft brews and good greasy options such as loaded wedges and fried chicken. They host regular events such as pub quizzes on a Tuesday, and they'll deliver a flagon right to your door as well. heydaybeer.com
There are even more odd food combinations to delight in at Crumpet , where you can dine on said baked goods while choosing your seasonal cocktail from a flavour wheel. crumpetbar.business.site
And finally to The Library , a book-lined space off Courtney Place. There are cosy nooks and crannies to choose from, smartly dressed staff, and a menu of desserts and cocktails (and dessert cocktails) that make it the perfect final stop. thelibrary.co.nz
Where to stay
On Lambton Quay you'll find the Park Hotel , a tidy spot done out in pale woods and modern pastel tones. Downstairs is Sterling restaurant, with a woodfired oven and a good selection of local wine and craft beer. You'll also find a burger joint on site. parkhotel.nz
For a little French flavour, Sofitel is located near the Wellington Botanic Garden, which weaves its way into the hotel's interior design. This heritage French brand always offers sophisticated luxury - here the sofas are plush velvet, the wallpaper is brocade, and the service, c'est parfait. sofitel-wellington.com