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By Heather• 21 Sep 2016
What’s a girl without World of WearableArt™ Awards Show (WOW®) tickets to do?
Swan around town pretending, of course (told my mother a vivid imagination would come in handy one day!).
The WOW city dressing theme this year is ‘sparkle’, so first I went on a David Jones Jimmy Choo expedition, then headed for a sparkly pre-matinee eat.
I figured the Intercontinental Lobby Lounge’s new high tea should fit the bill, and it's conveniently near the WOW venue. A cunning plan.
Before I even got to tea I discovered that the Intercon have upgraded their day spa (open to casuals), and are designing sparkle packages for WOW – such as a manicure with a complimentary glass of sparkly bubbles. Now that's a detour worth taking!
So after your pinkies are all sparkly, you’ll be able to float into the warm and cosy Lobby Lounge to enjoy treats from Marie Currie and team (two rr’s, no radium here). In the blink of an eye you’ll be enjoying TWG teas out of Cristina Re luxury teaware, and wondering if the Maserati out front is for you also (apparently not, I was disappointed to find).
You’ll then be presented with layers of deliciousness, which need to be enjoyed slowly, as they are many and plentiful, with surprise flavours and textures here and there. For example, the burst of lemon icing on the red velvet cupcake, the biscuity textures of the gateau opera square or the popping candy inside the chocolate lollipop.
Other items are just pure tradition – a scone with strawberry jam and cream, egg and cucumber sammies, salmon and cream cheese bagel – and should be savoured for exactly those reasons. All were flavourful and well executed, and neither of us felt over-sugared or over-creamed at the end (yes I did share!).
My advice is to book this as a late lunch, and if the Lobby Lounge gets booked out (or you’re just a high tea addict), check these delish ones out too:
For my sparkly dinner I visited Jano, as I love what Pierre and the team do there, and the charm of the old cottage.
Jano’s WOW pre-show menu operates from 22 September, as do the others below, so the images here are from the standard menu, given I was on my mission a little early.
Entrees on this visit were a new carrot, honey and feta dish, and pheasant three ways with celery, chestnut and a beef consommé. The mains were beef with porcini, potatoes and silverbeet, and Jano's Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) festival winning dish.
Pierre likes to showcase each main ingredient three ways, with different textures and cooking techniques (pretty impressive given the tiny kitchen), so whatever you choose will be interesting and beautifully presented.
If you don’t want to spoil the WOAP dish surprise (Pierre says he'll keep it on for a few more weeks, so you've still got a chance), skip to the next section. If you do, read on.
He'd been playing around with acids and bases in the kitchen (safely of course!) to see what colours and textures he could create, when he struck on this red cabbage dish. You’ll see below the unadorned dish, the starting bottles on the table (cabbage puree, an edible base and edible acid), the cabbage puree mixing with the base (blue), then the acid (red), then combining to create a purple fizzy broth. Chemistry baby.
The broth is then poured still fizzing, around cabbage done three ways – a prune tuile sheath around shredded cabbage, hazelnuts and parmesan, sitting on a cabbage and prune marmalade and fondant, and topped with parmesan cream. This dish showcases what can be done with a vegetable normally considered boring or just a nightmare from our childhood.
For WOW, you can enjoy a set four course meal at Jano including a ‘sparkly surprise’ amuse bouche, or you could just pop by for a course or two off their standard menu. Either way you need to declare which menu you want at booking, and go early so you can savour.
Tempt your taste buds with the full list of WOW dining offers.
To celebrate WOW®, Wellington is sparkling in more ways than one. From shimmering shop windows and pre-theatre menus, to life-sized treasure boxes and sparkling cocktails, there are plenty of ways to be WOWed in Wellington.
Lux are also adding to the WOW sparkle this year with a Glade ‘weird nature’ show from 30 September to 9 October at Clyde Quay Wharf. The show is free, but you need to book as numbers are limited.
All I can say really is, WOW.
Georgia recommends some favourite Wellington beers to quaff during the colder months.