Posts from January 2014

Think outside the Can for Sunday's Game with Wild Game Chili Recipe

For Sunday's game, think outside the can with this Wild Game Chili recipe by way of Cold Spring Tavern (Santa Barbara) from A Century of Restaurants (Andrews McMeel, October 2013) by Rick Browne.

Wild-Game Black Bean Chili

Makes about 1 gallon

3 ½ cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 ½ pounds mixed chopped or ground venison, buffalo, and rabbit meat (see Note)
1 ½ pounds poblano chiles
1 ½ pounds yellow onions
12 ounces tomatoes, diced
¼ cup chili powder
2 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, for serving
Minced jalapeños, for serving
Sweet or sourdough French bread, for serving


In a large pot, soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and add fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours, or until tender. Drain.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the meat until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a dish but leave the pan on the heat. Sauté the poblano chiles and onions in the pan for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Combine the beans, meat, onions, chiles, and tomatoes in a stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the chili powder, cumin seeds, and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 1 hour.

Ladle the chili into bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of jalapeños. Serve with sweet or sourdough French bread.

NOTE: You could use pork or chicken in this dish. But the wild game adds the rich taste that has made this one of the most popular dishes at the tavern.

(* Reproduced with permission from A Century of Restaurantsby Rick Browne- published by Andrews McMeel, October 2013...3 Kinds of Chili photo).

Africano Cake Rolls with Pasta di Nocciola Hazelnut Paste from 'Southern Italian Desserts'

Second excerpt from Southern Italian Desserts, Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily (Ten Speed Press, 2013) by Rosetta Costantino with Jennie Schacht.

Africano chocolate-hazelnut cake rolls

Makes 12 cake rolls

9 ounces (255 g) semisweet chocolate (40 to 55 percent cacao)
1 cup (240 g) hazelnut paste, homemade (page 192) or store-bought
1 cup (125 g) confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons mild-flavored honey, such as clover or orange blossom
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (50 g) cake flour
16 ounces (454 g) dark chocolate (55 to 60 percent cacao)
3 tablespoons safflower or other neutral-tasting vegetable oil
6 ounces (170 g) white chocolate
1/2 cup (75 g) finely chopped raw pistachios

SIDE Africano image p 35

To make the filling, melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan, just until you can stir the chocolate smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and cool to 88°F (31°C), or until it feels neither warm nor cool when you touch a drop against your lip. Stir in the hazelnut paste until evenly combined. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar, mixing to completely incorporate it. Let the filling stand, uncovered, until it is thick and spreadable, like a thick nut paste, while you make the

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) with a rack in the center of the oven. Line an 11- by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; butter and flour the parchment paper.

Beat the eggs, sugar, and honey in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for 15 minutes, beginning at medium speed and increasing to high after the ingredients are blended. Sift the flour over the top, about one-third at a time, gently folding after each addition with a large spatula to completely incorporate the flour without deflating the eggs more than necessary.

Use a small offset spatula to spread the batter in an even layer over the prepared pan. Bake until light golden all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Lift out the cake on its parchment paper and transfer it to a flat surface with a long side facing you. Trim away the crusty edges on all sides of the cake, then cut the cake into four equal sections, about 4 inches wide, marking the cake on both sides and using a straight edge to cut it evenly. Turn the cake pieces bottom side up.

Check the filling: If it is thin, stir briefly over a bowl of ice water, taking care not to slosh water into the bowl, until it is thick and spreadable, like peanut butter. While the cake is still slightly warm and pliable, divide the filling evenly among the four cake pieces, then spread it evenly over the surface of each piece. With a long side facing you, roll one filled cake tightly away from you into a long roll. Continue to roll the remaining hree pieces.

Transfer the rolls, seam side down, to a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm the filling. Trim the ends from the rolls to neaten them, then cut each roll into three equal segments. Return the individual rolls to the lined baking sheet, seam side down.

To make the coating, melt the dark chocolate with 2 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water in a saucepan until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat, keeping the chocolate over the hot water to maintain the right consistency for dipping. Dip one of the rolls into the melted chocolate, holding it from one end and then the other to completely cover it, then hold it over the bowl to let the excess chocolate run back into the bowl. Return the roll to the lined baking sheet. Continue to coat all of the rolls. Refrigerate until set, at least 30

Line a second baking sheet with plastic wrap. Melt the white chocolate with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a bowl over, but not touching, simmering water. Put the pistachios in a small bowl. If you have them, put on disposable latex gloves to keep from leaving fingerprints on the rolls. Dip one end of a roll into the white chocolate, then into the chopped pistachios; repeat to coat the other end. Transfer the roll to the newly lined baking sheet. Continue to dip the remaining rolls. Refrigerate until set, 15 to 30 minutes, before serving.

Refrigerate leftover Africani in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Pasta di Nocciola hazelnut paste

Makes about 2 cups (480 g) | Gluten Free

3 cups (450 g) skinned hazelnuts (see headnote)
About 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral-tasting vegetable oil, as needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread out the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until they are very dark and almost smoking.
If you are using a powerful blender, such as a Blendtec or Vitamix, omit the oil unless you find you need it. For most blenders, or if using a food processor, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the warm hazelnuts. Process the nuts to make a smooth paste, occasionally scraping down the sides and pushing the nuts toward the blade as needed to keep them moving. Add a bit more oil only if needed to keep the mixture moving. Be persistent—it takes a little while to get the paste going, but once it does, it will
quickly turn to a smooth paste.

(* Reprinted with permission from Southern Italian Desserts 'Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily' by Rosetta Costantino with Jennie Schacht -Ten Speed Press, © 2013- Photo Credit: Sara Remington.) 

Hard to Navigate Norwegian Air Site and Search for Flights and Fares

After seeing a top banner ad from Norwegian Air, i decided to pay their site a visit.

I gave up after a few minutes when a trial search for New York JFK to Bordeaux (both cities listed as options on Norwegian Air) gave me flights going to Bordeaux but nothing to come back.


Maybe the site was just experiencing growing pains?

Site is also very slow to load.

Velvet Wine Festival 'La Dive Bouteille' Underground 15th Edition, Saumur, February 2-3

Wine and music, what's your perfect pairing?

For its 15th Edition La Dive Bouteille wine event puts on Velvet Gloves and goes underground for 2 days (February 2-3, 2014) in Cave Ackerman in Saumur.

Dive 2014

Cost is 10 Euros per person.

Venetian Red Stewardess from Vietnam Airlines Turns her Back on Me at Copenhagen Airport

When I politely asked stewardess of Vietnam Airlines if she could look my way for a minute while I took her picture, she politely declined and turned her back.

All my pics 106

Is it Venetian Red or Carmine? Elegance up the elevator, Copenhagen, Summer 2011.

Atlanta meets Alaska, Chile Lime Coconut Macaroons from 'Sweet Cravings'

Atlanta meets Alaska in this recipe from Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich (Ten Speed Press, © 2013)

Chile Lime Coconut Macaroons

Easy, Makes about 21 cookies

I first met Brandy, aka Mrs. Alaska 2011, at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Chicago. She was the emcee for a baking seminar I was teaching and, as a nurse practitioner with celiac disease, she was excited and knowledgeable about gluten-free lifestyles. When I found out that she missed her hometown of Atlanta, I started thinking about desserts I could make to give her a taste of home. They like things hot in Atlanta, so I tweaked my coconut macaroon recipe by adding a little cayenne and the citrusy tang of lime zest for some of the sweet heat that she was missing in Anchorage. Be sure to bake these until they are dark golden brown on top: they’ll still be moist and chewy inside, but the longer baking time ensures a crunchy counterpoint. If you don’t want the spicy kick, leave out the cayenne.

43/4 cups / 537 g desiccated macaroon coconut (not sweetened flaked coconut)

2 cups / 454 g sugar

1 tablespoon plus 11/2 teaspoons / 10.5 g coconut flour

1 tablespoon / 10.5 g freshly grated lime zest

3/4 teaspoon / 1.3 g cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon / 2.4 g salt

1 cup / 272 g egg whites (from about 8 large eggs)

3 tablespoons / 58 g honey

1 teaspoon / 5 g vanilla extract

CRAV Chile Lime Coconut Macaroons image p 48 (1)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, coconut flour, lime zest, cayenne, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, honey, and vanilla. Make a well in the coconut mixture and pour the egg white mix into the center of the well. Stir together until thoroughly mixed.

Drop golf ball–sized scoops of the coconut mixture close together onto the baking sheets. Bake until dark golden brown and set to the touch, 22 to 28 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then peel off of the parchment and store in an airtight container. You can make the “dough” ahead of time and freeze unbaked on the baking sheet for up to 2 weeks or freeze in an airtight container once they’ve been baked for a month (if they last that long).

(* Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich -Ten Speed Press, © 2013- Photo Credit: Leela Cyd)

All Aboard Patrol Ship Hachijo for Battleship Curry from 'Japanese Soul Cooking'

All aboard for a taste of Japanese curry straight from pages of Japanese Soul Cooking(Ten Speed Press, November 2013) by Tadashi Ono of Maison O in New York and  Harris Salat of comfort food restaurant Ganso in Brooklyn and The Japanese Food Report...


This is the curry served every Friday aboard the Japanese naval patrol ship Hachijo (see page 50), which we adapted for four, instead of four hundred! We love the curry creativity of Japanese navy cooks. Check out the ingredients in this version: cheese, honey, ketchup, a hit of strong coffee—the last one, we guess, to keep sailors extra alert when the Klaxon blares! When we cooked it up, we were surprised how tasty and complex it came out. The cheese melts into the curry, adding another layer of flavor, and thickening it, too. Add more pork if you like your curry meatier; Japanese cooks usually go lighter on the protein. And don’t forget, navy curry isn’t navy curry without salad on the side and a glass of milk (see page 50).

Serves 4, with leftovers

1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into bite-size cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound medium onions (about 3), peeled and coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

8 ounces carrots (about 2 medium carrots), cut rangiri style (see opposite)

5 cups torigara stock (page 25) or water

5 tablespoons curry powder

3 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce, store-bought or homemade (page 62)

2 tablespoons Japanese Worcestershire sauce (see page 234)

1⁄2 teaspoon ichimi togarashi (see page 235), or 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 medium Idaho potatoes (about 2⁄3 pound), peeled, cubed, and placed in bowl of water

1 tablespoon katakuriko (potato starch)

1 tablespoon water

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

1⁄2 cup grated mild Cheddar cheese (about
4 ounces)

1⁄2 cup brewed black coffee

Steamed rice, for serving


Season the pork with the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Preheat a large pot over high heat. Add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the pork. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until the exterior of the pork turns white. Add the onions, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

Add the stock to the pot. When the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low and add the curry powder, tonkatsu sauce, Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ichimi toragarshi, honey, and ketchup. Mix well to combine the seasonings. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, mixing occasionally.

Add the potatoes to the pot, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. While the curry is simmering, mix together the katakuriko with the water in a small bowl.

Add the Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, coffee, and katakuriko mixture to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes more, mixing occasionally.

Serve with steamed white rice, a side salad (see below), and a glass of milk. 

Curry fires up Japanese Soul for Tokyo Thursdays # 276

(*Reprinted with permission from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono &  Harris Salat, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Food Photography: Todd Coleman © 2013")

Cook Dish from Rio Once Done Shoveling Snow, Feijoada Fritters with Collard Greens

What's easier than heading for the airport to forget about the cold snap?

Cook a dish from a sunny place like this recipe from My Rio de Janeiro (Kyle Books USA, November 2013) by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz , an invitation to travel.

Bolinho de Feijoada do Aconchego Carioca

Feijoada Fritters with Collard Greens

Kátia Barbosa, the chef at Aconchego Carioca, an exciting botequim located near Praçada Bandeira, is playing with the most traditional dishes of Brazilian cuisine and creating new classics. If you are a tourist, you might never have heard of the neighborhood Praça da Bandeira, but trust me, you want to go there. The food being served at Aconchego Carioca is captivating audiences from all over town and fueling the renaissance of a whole neighborhood.I heard a lot about Kátia’s famous feijoada fritters, so when I first tried them, I was full of expectations. Well, let me tell you that this bolinho (fritter) exceeded them: it is a bright twist on our national dish, one that offers a tiny crunchy taste of our traditional black bean and meat stew. Serve with orange sections and a caipirinha.

Makes about 40

1 pound dried black beans (about 21/4 cups), picked and rinsed

4 ounces jerk meat, carne seca (see Glossary), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 ounces pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 ounces bacon, cut into thin strips

1 linguiça (or chorizo), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 bay leaves

8 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of paprika

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup manioc (flour farinha de mandioca fina)

Collard Greens

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces bacon, finely diced

2 garlic cloves

1 bunch collard greens, sliced very thin and blanched

Ingredient Note: Just like feijoada (page 38), you can use different kinds of meat here.Try to include different flavors,like smoked meats, fresh meats,and different sausages.


Combine the beans, jerk meat, pork, bacon, linguiça, and bay leaves inside a pressure cooker. Pour in the water, cover the pan, lock the lid, and cook until the beans are soft and the meat is tender, about 1 hour (start at high; when you hear the pressure hissing, bring the heat down to low and start timing). Remove the steam/pressure, uncover the pan,and cool for 20 minutes. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, put the ingredients in a Dutch oven pan and cook for 3 hours, until the beans and meat are cooked.)

Transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth—do this in batches if necessary. At this point the mixture will look like a thick brown paste—not very appealing, but stay with me, it really will taste divine. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook until just golden, about 2 minutes. Add the bean and meat paste, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it starts to bubble, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste (it will be quite seasoned from the meats) and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, the cayenne, paprika, and nutmeg.

Sprinkle in 1 cup of the manioc flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until the bean puree starts to pull from the pan, leaving a skin on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Sprinkle the sour manioc starch on a cool surface and knead the bean paste with the starch until well combined and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap to keep it moist.

To make the collard greens, in a separate large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the bacon, cooking until just crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, just until crispy. Add the blanched collard greens and toss, stirring constantly, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool to room temperature.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the bean paste and roll it into a ball. Using your thumb, press a cavity into the ball, stuff with a small amount of the collard green mixture, and close the ball, pinching to seal. Lightly press the ball between your hands to form it into a patty shape, making sure the filling is completely enclosed. Repeat with the remaining bean paste and collards. (At this point, the feijoada fritters can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before cooking, or frozen for up to 6 months; freeze in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, then transfer to freezer bags.)

Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 350˚F, as measured by a deep-fat thermometer. Fry the fritters in batches, adding as many as will fit without touching, turning them occasionally with a long slotted spoon. They will not take on a lot of color; they will become just a shade darker after frying. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels. Continue working in batches until all are fried. (The fritters can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge and reheated in a 300˚F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.)

RESTAURANT: Aconchego Carioca, Rua Barao de Iguatemi, 379 Praça da Bandeira, 

(* Recipe from My Rio de Janeiro by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz-Kyle Books USA, November 2013- Food photography by Kate Sears, all rights reserved)

Ocean, Most Sustainable Farm on the Planet? That's What Folks at Ocean's Halo Seaweed Chips Say

I am no scientist or more precisely oceanologist so i cannot vouch for Ocean's Halo Seaweed Chips creators when then claim that ocean is most sustainable farm on the planet.

If nothing else their seaweed chips are low cal, low salt and gluten free.

Bag is compostable

Oceans halo

Seeing sea chips on horizon for Green Day # 266

Previously: Your Old Kitchen Cabinets Become Someone's New Design via Habitat for Humanity 'ReStores'

Otari Wilton's Bush Walk, Coffee at Fidel's, Fergs Kayak Outing, Wellington, NZ, 10 Do's and Don'ts

After 10 Do's, No Don'ts of Burlington Vermont (December 29, 2013), this first installment of 10 Do's and Don'ts for 2014 takes us a world away.

It's a family thing as it was written by my cousine, Francoise, who is a passionate photographer, a passion she indulges in when her job as a librarian allows...She lives in Wellington.


Wellington, the southernmost capital in the world.

The little capital (150,000 people) hugs the rocky southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, looking directly out towards Antartica and faces its fierce southerly winds.

Dotted with old wooden villas and cottages dating back from its colonial past, it’s a handsome city with amazing views from the many steep hills it is built on.

The Cook Straight, gateway to the South Island at its doorstep adds to the city’s wild backdrop of evergreen native bush.


(The city from the Brooklyn hills)


-Spend time at Oriental Bay Beach on a sunny southerly day and eat Eis cream: The “inner city’s” beach you can walk to from anywhere downtown in less than 20mn is the southern hemisphere’s miniature answer to the Riviera. Sheltered from the southerlies thanks to Mount Victoria, it is a glorious heaven when the south coast is beaten by the harsh wind from Antartica. In summer it is just an amazing place to stroll along, from which you can admire the city against the hilly backdrop. Kaffee Eis is a diminutive establishment that can serve you one of the excellent coffees you can drink throughout the city or a delicious gelato style ice-cream you can go and lazyly savour along the beach’s promenade.


(Oriental Bay Beach On Christmas Day 2013)

- Maranui Cafe: This is the centre point of Lyall Bay beach, the south coast Surf & Dog beach where we walk our dog Manu regularly. Set in the old Surf Life Saving Club building, right on the beach, the café was rebuilt a couple of years ago, from a devastating fire that had the café closed for almost a year.

-Cafés in town: According to Lonely Planet’s 2011 Best in Travel book, "Wellington is the country’s most innovative and inspiring city; it might just be the best little capital in the world and it is crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York’’. So where to start? There is of course Fidel’s, at the top of bohemian Cuba street and the fittingly named and themed after the Cuban revolution (unlike the street which gets its name from an early settler ship, the Cuba). The atmosphere is relaxed, the food and coffee good and the eclectic crowd always there. Among my other favourites are, Olive for its hidden walled garden, also on Cuba street.

Olive walled garden

(Olive walled garden)

A little further down, The Hangar on Dixon street where you savour fair trade coffee among bean sacks and the delicious scent of coffee roasting by your side. And finally, the recently open Prefab for its busy sleek and minimalist interior and its wholesome food.

In the suburb of Newtown, another great coffee stop has to be People’s Coffee where members of the local Somali and Ethiopian community have found a little taste of home and gather daily outside the shop when the weather allows. Seriously good and ethical brew in a cool little store!

Ekim burgers

Going back to the south coast and Lyall Bay’s Surf beach, whether you have braved the cold southern waters for a surf or just had a stroll on the beach and feel like hearty food, head to the Ekim burgers caravan for some of the best burgers I’ve had.

-Fresh local oysters: Welllington’s ocean outlook and shipping heritage make it the perfect venue for savouring the best oysters the country produces. Visit the new Charley Noble and order a platter of freshly shucked ahurangi and Stewart Island oysters and savour with a local white wine or beer.

Have a drink and a bite at The Black Sparrow Lounge and Drinkery, the Embassy cinema’s ( the only custom-built 1920's cinema still in use in New Zealand) old orchestra pit lounge. A stylish addition to the historic building fit for a sophisticated yet relaxed moment, before or after a film.

Go for a run or a ride round the bays, starting in town and going all around the Miramar peninsula where you will discover a string of little coves and beaches nestled around the rocky and hilly landscape.


(South coast)

-Whatever the weather, the view is worth the effort. And you’ll always find a sheltered spot from the prevailing Wellington winds where you may want to venture for a swim or a dive (delicious seafood abound on these shores – mussels, crayfish, kina (sea urchins), paua (abalone)). If you are a fan of Peter Jackson’s films, you can wrap up the excursion with a visit to his lair, the Weta cave situated at the centre of the peninsula.


-Walk around the city and enjoy the amazing views from the many hills that form the landscape: the most central is Mount Victoria, which you can start climbing from downtown. It is a very pleasant, if exerting walk up through the bush or round the pretty Roseneath streets overlooking the harbour. Go for a hike in Otari Wilton’s Bush, the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants. The Garden is a unique plant sanctuary and forest reserve and includes 100ha of native forest and 5ha of plant collections. Some of Wellington's oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old rimu. And all that 15mn’s ride from the city centre!


-Back downtown, on a rainy day, visit the Central Library and the City Gallery, both on the Civic Square, a stone throw away from the waterfront which you can always escape to once the sun is back (often within hours).

The Central Library is a large 3 level building that also houses Clarke’s café. Perfect for a quiet read through the enormous and up-to-date collection of books and magazines on all subjects or a cosy corner with a view to catch up on your email. The City Gallery is a small but significant art institution in New Zealand. Located in former Wellington Public Library, transformed into elegant gallery spaces in 1993 by local architects Architecture+. Since then, it has achieved a reputation for innovation and style. Its permanent collections and national and international exhibitions are always worth a visit.


(Central Library)

And once the sun is truly back and you are graced with calm water, kayaking in the harbour thanks to Fergs Kayaks is one of the greatest ways to see the city from the water.


Don't forget to check the weather forecast.

Stay away from Courtenay Place at the weekend (but do eat at Kazu Yakitori & Sake Bar, Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, have a drink at The Library)

Don't come in June.

Don't fly, ferry cross in a storm (if you have the choice)

Don't forget sunscreen, raingear & merino layers

Last, don't think about earthquakes…

Merci, Francoise

(* All photos by Francoise except Ekim burgers and Weta Cave from their respective Facebook pages)