Sunday 9 July 2023

Mostly made up

                                  With thanks to Visit Wellington for this famil

The edible delights continued today with an Anzac scroll from Café Polo that is still making my mouth water, in memory of its sweet, flaky deliciousness. Then we headed (me for the second time) to Miramar's most famous attraction, Weta Workshop. This is where all the magic for LOTR, the Hobbit and so many other fantastical movies is created - honestly, SO many, you wouldn't believe it. We had a super-enthusiastic guide, Sully, who must have seen it all many times before but still seemed agog at the mastery. Which is what it really is - imagination, skill, finicking detail and amazing creativity. We got to see processes, like making prostheses, chatted to a couple of artists, got hands-on with swords and such, heard behind-the-scenes stories, and viewed close-up costumes and props that were truly amazing.

These are supplied images because you're not allowed to take photos there, until the end where we had a go at tinfoil sculpture. Everyone on the tour was enthralled throughout, especially the nerdy types in long black coats who asked particularly detailed questions. 

Lunch was at Arcimboldi, who make an excellent pizza, as you'd expect from the name; and then I was back at Weta for one of their Experiences - today making a bloody wound on my hand. Artificially, of course, with silicone and dyes. It was actually less fun than I expected - our guide this time wasn't as outgoing as Sully, and mostly it was heads-down over our paintbrushes with no talking. The results were fairly impressively disgusting, and some of the others were enjoying themselves - "Can I do my gunshot wound on your forehead?" - but for me it was a bit disappointing (though I hope you're impressed at how old I was able to make my hand look).

Never mind - on to the next treat, which was dinner at the Roxy. This is an Art Deco cinema that was first built in 1928 as the Capitol Theatre. This is the same year the Miramar Film Studios were established, I was surprised to learn, to produce tourism films, much later being taken over by Peter Jackson. It was Richard Taylor's wife Tanya who was behind the restoration of the Capitol into today's cute Roxy. We had their Sunday roast which was nice, but a bit mean with the gravy. Then we headed into the very comfortable cinema to see the latest Mission: Impossible movie - silly, but irresistibly exciting, as usual. And that was that for Miramar - well worth the visit. Would recommend.

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