Saturday 8 July 2023

Admiring Miramar

  With thanks to Visit Wellington for this famil

For once, leaving Wellington airport, I turned right instead of left, to spend some time exploring the peninsula suburb of Miramar (since I now have family there). It turned out to provide the perfect combination of exertion and reward, the latter mostly, I'm happy to say, edible. It's a hilly neck of land at one side of the entrance to the harbour, and there are some steep climbs up its slopes, through both bush and pretty suburbs of wooden villas. On a good day when, famously, Wellington can't be beaten, the views are excellent - unfortunately (but also predictably) this wasn't one of them, though the misty, moisty conditions produced a moodier picture which was still attractive.

Spreading the love, we collected a very good almond croissant from the Shelly Bay Bakery (which isn't actually in Shelly Bay) and then an excellent coffee from Swimsuit, and headed off on a walk that included enough steep bits to both cancel out the breakfast and earn the lunch we had at Scorch-o-Rama, in Scorching Bay (which wasn't scorching, but cool and silvery). I really liked the menu there, which was full of genuinely funny jokes, viz the vegan dish: "No animals were harmed in the making of this, unless Chef chopped another digit off. No? High three!" The food was yummy, too.

Then we carried on along the waterfront, past sandy beaches, pohutukawa, and a fringe of interesting houses, modern and traditional, with turrets and towers. Six, count them, in a row belong to Peter Jackson, so of course there be dragons. It was an interesting route, but long, with lots of steps, so after a rest back home I was ready for some indulgence.

First we went to Double Vision Brewery, in a mildly industrial area, where in the taproom with its big shiny silver tanks the bar serves a very appealing range of drinks. I really like that they're not grim purists, and was very taken by their offering such treats as Cocowbell - a coconut chocolate milk stout, as well as a strawberry and lime cider, and honey mead, plus all the usual ales and lagers. This month's cocktail was Chocolate Mud Slide - coconut stout with Baileys, vodka, chocolate syrup and cream. Sounds disgusting? Clearly, you haven't tried it.

Then we went to Oiko's restaurant for dinner, and had the nicest, friendliest waitress I've ever encountered. She also knew her stuff, and we did so enjoy our tasting plates, especially the chicken skewers and fish sliders. The sesame-crusted halloumi was a bit too delicious though for the family atmosphere, especially when it came to the last morsels - that's the downside of shared dishes.

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