Nifty Nooks: Wellington…

So sorry for my little absence. Life has lacked inspiration lately so I escaped to the city to seek out the energy I was craving. Mix the gritty, character filled, streets of Wellington with old friends whom have so many new tales to tell and adventure driven spirits to help raise you from the ashes and you definitely gain a fresh perspective.

It was strange to be back in the city after seven months to find that not all that much had changed. People had of course moved on and the nostalgia was haunting in every familiar place with no recognisable face but it was wonderful none the less.

On Sunday I celebrated my twenty fourth birthday (which was bloody terrifying let me tell ya) and we all used that as an excuse to drink, dance and eat all we could. I spent a bunch of money but I laughed so much and just felt the light lift me again.

Obviously, seeing as coffee is the key to my existence, I spent a load of time sipping some of my favourite city brews. I forgot how good Wellington does it. I know I spent a bunch of time reviewing places when I lived there last year but I definitely missed out on some hot spots and I even tried some new places this time around. So here we have a wee nifty nooks round up. Do enjoy sweet little coffee beans.

Beach Babylon

Where? 232 Oriental Parade, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011

Beans? Peoples Coffee

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These guys do everything from a classic cup of joe to vegan milkshakes to cocktails. They have main meals and cabinet food galore and the vibe is very retro and carefully cluttered like a lot of digs in it’s loudly alternative mother city. They’re on the beach front and despite the winter tempts we made the most of the delightfully rare no wind of the morning by brunching outside. A classic avocado smash on toast with some yummo vegan pesto was my hangover choice and just writing about it has me craving it again. The soy flat white was top notch too, good smooth coffee and skilled milk work. They use peoples coffee which is quite a standard choice up north but rather less so in Wellington, home of the havana roasters. Still doesn’t beat Flight or Kakako for me but still a yummy one.

Enigma

Where? 6011, 128 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

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This cafe is the heart of my memories in Wellington. From plant pots of chai on a winter morning with my favourite people to late night munchies, mid night out. It’s one of those hubs for the people. I used to escape there back when I lived in the hostel at night to do some writing and grab some alone time. It’s dingy in an underground, hipster, way. Very Wellington. The coffee is pretty standard really but they do a nice coconut milk and they have vegan food both on the menu and in the cabinet. The sweet muffins are real nice and the courtyard out back is a niche little retreat. I really missed that electric no sleep mantra of the city. Everywhere in the Mount closes super early.

Beat Ugly Bagel

Where? 5 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Beans? Havana

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This was a new discovery, despite having been opposite my place of work back when I inhabited Cuba Street. I get the hype now, though I didn’t actually try a bagel (my mates were real satisfied). They use Havana which I’ve never been a cheerleader for but it was a good flat white none the less and I dug the energy of the place. The staff seem to genuinely have fun, shouting the orders to each other and repeating them back, dancing around behind the counter and having a top laugh with one another.

Milk Crate

Where? 35 Ghuznee St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Beans? Rich Coffee

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This spot is where you’ll find my ultimate favourite brew in the whole city. I found it about two weeks before I left back in November and made a huge effort to visit everyday because it was just that good. They’re just off Cuba Street, fronting a clean store that sells pottery and luxury clothing items. It’s one of them clean spaces, industrial looking and home to the less roguish and more pretentious city hipsters. But the coffee is fucking yum. It’s one of those rare spaces where I’ll more than happily nab a long black and enjoy every sip of it. They use Rich coffee, which is a roasters in Newtown, Wellington I do believe. And  it’s a beauty for sure. I hear wondrous things about their food too and I did spot some vegan bits flouncing around in the counter but I’ve not ventured into that territory so I can’t say. Just make sure this tops your list for city centre coffee fixes.

N x

Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

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Again all of these images are collected over on my Pinterest and Tumblr and what not. I’ve also featured one of my favourite instagram accounts @gabimulder which you should for sure check out. As well as beautiful summer scenes, she shoots some wistful feminine portraits too. 

Embrace that messy head and scribble your art on life. Tongue tied you may be but I will give you the ink to honour that explosive gift for written truths. Cursive and print, legible and cluttered. Give me the letters, the words, that common language that wraps itself around my daily deeds and string them together anew with mastery and imagination. Give me all you have in your heart, write me your desires, your secrets, your emotions. Let me in, write me a window, write me a passage through those whirlwind thoughts. I’m here for you, for all that you can design and create for me. I’m hungry for your foreign lines and lofty scripts. Give me verse and prose, novels, just a simple phrase. Give me the puzzle, that is you, prettily packaged on pages of type. Give me the grit and the horror of the world that surrounds us, on the back of a supermarket receipt. A poem on a napkin, the corner tarnished, used to wipe up your brew. Give me the racing action dancing in your eyes through the coffee shop window. Give me myself remastered by your divulging fingers. That elevation of observation you master so well. Give me spills of soul and the jagged, dragged out pain of your denial. Give me rhyme or bland simplicity but just give and give and give, despite that self doubt. I’ll smooth out the crinkles in that bunched up wad of a masterpiece and frame it for the world to see. What you have? It matters. So stop where you have to and write with the tools you grab, be flighty and blunt and dismissive of all that gets in your way.

My little mini mix here is a compilation of some of my favourite lyrics. It’s a bit mish mashy and I just grabbed at the ones that popped into my head first so I definitely left out some of my favourites but nevertheless I hope you enjoy!

Light and Love, N x

Nifty Nooks: Ours

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Where: 195 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 311

The Regular: A large soy cappuccino with lots of cinnamon please! Most of the time (ok every time) I’ll choose a cake too, my favourite is the raw carrot cake but this raw raspberry cheesecake was canny too.

Ours is in the main hub of Mount Maunganui, another clean space with yet another impressive cafe menu. The cafe’s here just really do take their jobs seriously. The couple who own the joint are almost always there working hard, pulling shifts in both front and back of house and once you’re a regular there, they’re sure to greet you with genuine warmth each time you return. I have all of the time for hard working people who beam with the passion for what they do.

The main reason I keep going back is, honestly, because it makes for a good work environment. The coffee is good enough, though not my favourite. It isn’t anything lacking from the beautiful Barista’s, the art and temperature and all that jazzy stuff is always top notch, it’s more the beans themselves I guess. Just not my favourite, but still worth sipping whilst you take in the calm vibe and nab a blooming beautiful vegan treat from their cabinet (pssst…go for the raw carrot cake). I’ve seen this place rammed but mostly it’s a quiet little nook. This is a wonderful thing for people like me who get intimidated by busy spaces but I truly hope it picks up a whole bunch. I hear it only recently reopened under new ownership and it deserves all of the crowds. Trust me.

All the bestest, N x

Nifty Nooks: Pink Lane…

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1 Pink Lane Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DW

I’d been back in Newcastle less than a week, I had no job, the few friends I did have at home were busy living their lives and I had mad cabin fever. Braving the stranger feeling of the bitter northern England temperatures, I bundled up and headed into town, my feet following familiar streets and lane’s scouting for a spot to sit and sulk, preferably with a mug of coffee warming my hands. Continue reading “Nifty Nooks: Pink Lane…”

february

  1. A surprise scrapbook I received in the post from some special humans I had to leave behind in Australia. I’m a sentimentalist so it goes without saying this is one of the best presents I’ve received.
  2. Make-up. A foreigner to my skin, which has had a very lovely year of sun kissed freedom. I like nude by nature, it’s cruelty free, mostly vegan and this foundation is the sheer sort which still lets my imperfections shine through (It’s the Luminous Sheer foundation which I can’t source on the website). I don’t like full coverage, just enough to keep me confident but also keep me, me. The powder is nice too but I don’t really use it all that much.
  3. Coffee Dates with my best friend. I had to go a year without them so this month has been all about filling those missing spaces and investigating what awesome cafe’s my city has to offer. Pictured is Pink Lane Coffee a creative little nook, with a menu and vibe that has me reminiscing about Australia (can you tell I miss it?) I’ll be sure to do a little review of it soon!
  4. A Book and a cup of tea. I don’t really enjoy regular tea (terribly un-British of me I know) but I’ve developed an addiction to green tea as of late. I’ve also been re reading my favourite books to encourage more words and less telly in my life. Hush hush is just as heartbreaking to finish the sixth time around. Yes this is a young adult fantasy, yes I’m a twenty two year old woman, what of it?
  5. Instagram – My favourites this month have been my friend Jody’s – She’s a photographer so her feed is always perfect shots of beaches and travel fun. And also Tia Hendricks for style inspiration and empowering captions.
  6. I have too much time. I HAVE TOO MUCH TIME. With too much time comes too much youtube so here’s a bundle of joyessness to fill your time, if you have too much time, like I have too much time. Time, ya know?
  • Meghan Hughes – specifically the Pizza Talks, her one with Arden Rose just recently was delightful, go Check it!
  • Negative Feedback – I’m Miss. Amateur everything so I’m trying to use this space in my life to learn things. I super love photography so this little Youtube channel is expanding my mind (even if some of it is a little too smarty pants for me). P.s. give me money so I can afford this hobby.
  • Neverland Boys. Co – I like adventures, they do adventures. I like the sea, they film the sea. I like Australian accents, they have Australian accents. It’s win, win, win. Also checkout their blog and instagrams for insane pictures of insane places, it might hurt your wanderlust a bit!

So there we have it, a couple pieces that made my month, inspired me and kept me busy during too many lost days of moping around. How about your favourites? Any book, music, instagram recommendations?

N x

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23.01.2017

Last hugs, last Jetty trip, last supply coffee, last poolside chats, confusion at the airport, deep travel chats, a vague plane journey, the frightening reunion with the city, loud traffic, busy streets, skyscrapers, pollution, clouded skies, cement instead of sand, tarmac instead of ocean, reunions and surprise meetings with old new friends, drinks in secret bars, maze like laneways, rum, rain, exhaustion

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24.01.2017

Alone in the city, anxiety, yummy coffee from the quirkiest cafe’s, sitting by the river looking out to the skyline for the third time, feeling like a new person for the third time, uninspired by familiar store names, cute chats and photoshoots in the Botanical Gardens, skyline views from the top of the memorial building, the first lord of the fries in four months, drinks in overpriced hipster bars, honest chats in tipsy whispers, heavy emotions, stranger sadness.

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25.01.2017

More Coffee missions, acai bowls, bonding more with friends when you didn’t think it possible, art galleries, laughs, Hosier lane, buying new clothes and feeling like an alien, printing boarding passes for flights you don’t want to board, persistent anxiousness, getting ready in the air bnb with the girls, packing up the remainder of my belongings for the last time in Australia, ABC bar, $8 jugs of beer, more reunions, pure uncontainable happiness, selfies, lots of selfies, singing, dancing, a cheeky air grab or two, memorising my favourite smiles, walking the streets, bottle shop blues, too many bodies in our too small flat, crying…a lot, saying goodbye’s…

N x

A Magical place called Coffs…

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Sunset at Sawtell Headlands
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View of Coffs Harbour from Muttonbird Island
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Jetty Beach
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More of Jetty Beach
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and again…
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and again…
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and again
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Frothing…

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Supply Coffee feat. vegan carrot cake
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Park beach
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more park beach
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Hike to sea dolphins…Boambee Beach
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Emerald Beach

Coffs Harbour is a little beach town somewhere between Sydney and Byron Bay. Maybe I’m bias because I called this magical little piece of the East Coast home for four months, when even four days would be more than enough to see everything, but I really think you should stop to check it out if you’re given the chance. Many of the popular East Coast tour companies skip it out, take you from Port Macquarie to Yamba without so much as a nod at Coffs. But you gotta stop bro!

Dem Beaches:

The beaches were my sanctuary after brutally hot days blueberry picking. Jetty beach is a haven, rarely busy unless it’s a school holiday, mostly sheltered from the wind and the waters are clear and still. You get the chance to jump off the jetty or even swim with the wild jetty dolphin if you’re lucky. For waves the surfer types prefer Boambee beach (Gallows) or Park beach, they stretch out longer and the ocean is wilder. Still picturesque and brilliant for tanning and swimming but definitely wavier. A little further on you’ll find Emerald beach with it’s wild kangaroo’s too!

Shopping:
The jetty was my stomping grounds so I’m familiar with that area most but there are fair shopping opportunities up in Coffs town centre, the palms shopping centre has bigger stores like kathmandu and franchises like Boost juice, whilst the surrounding streets are home to more local treasures like the wholesome Happy Frog cafe where you can grab THE BEST vegan friendly smoothies and organic local produce. You’ll also find Wrecked vintage here, a young independent vintage store, with some unique finds as well as home grown designs. Further afield you’ll find the plaza, a bigger mall where you can find chain stores like Cotton on and JB HiFi. And if you have a little more time to spare try out the surrounding area’s for more trendy, aussie style digs. Sawtell and Belligen are home to some nifty spots to grab coffee and mooch in local boutiques and if you plan your visit you can even catch the Bellingen markets which happen on the third Saturday of each month.

Eats and Drinks:

Around the Jetty area you won’t find shops but you will find hipster worthy cafe’s and bars aplenty. By the Jetty, on the Harbour there is a small row of restaurants including an ace burger joint called ‘Attitude Burgers’ amongst other little eateries. Further up by the train tracks you’ll find Fiasco, a little Italian restaurant and bar with the BESTEST staff. I worked here a few evenings a week, enough to notice the familiar faces of happy regulars and to sample one of each cocktail from their extensive, slightly unique, list. It’s great for wines and the manager Al will help you out if you’re a little overwhelmed by their catalogue. Oh and their pizza’s are pretty good too! If you carry on again you’ll come to a strip of nooks, among them you’ll find the cool Coffs locals chilling at element bar, a city type, industrial styled space with hard working kitchen staff (my friend Riva smashes it as a chef there) and super friendly waitresses full of helpfulness. Again you can find yourself an awesome cocktail here and live music on a Sunday night. There are other little gems dotted around element, try Sakura for tasty Japanese food or Old John’s cafe on a Wednesday night for slider’s. Best of all, all of the places mentioned recognise what vegan means and are more than happy to help you out with their menu’s.

Coffeeeeeeeee:

If you’re in need of coffee then Supply on Orlando street is where it’s at. A very new, trendy coffee shop, with fresh white brick walls and lots of open space, you can catch a whiff of ocean breeze from the seating outside or keep cool inside with wifi access. They do the most delicious vegan cakes…like the best I’ve tried. The raw snickers bar is bomb and the tiramisu so indulgent and they’re also made with whole food ingredients so technically they’re healthy…right? I always opt for an iced latte made with their in house mooless milk, a combo of almond and coconut milks, lighter than soy and not as invasive a taste.

A place to call home:

So again this little tidbit is slightly bias but I would full heartedly recommend the YHA as the place to stay. With options of private, family, four bed and six bed rooms it’s a great place for families and backpackers alike. Despite the branding it’s family run so you’ll often catch Bret or his wonderful daughter Rory at reception. The night manager Kate is the loveliest girl alive and if you have a spare minute you should definitely stop at the reception desk for a chat because they’re all more than capable of making your day with a good convo and a giggle or two! The longterm backpackers who work for their stay do a spiffing job of keeping the place all clean and tidy and it’s one of the nicest hostel environments I encountered. It’s also a two minute walk from both Jetty and park beach as well as being in amongst all those cafe’s and restaurants I mentioned. So get excited and book your stay there!

N x