A wild weekend for food lovers
Finishing breakfast and already thinking about what’s for lunch? Take on the ultimate 48 hours for food lovers
This wild weekend is one for the foodies. It's a mix of food and wine festivals, food markets and gourmet stores and a craft beer or two. It's the ultimate 48 hours for food lovers.
Join in the Visa Wellington On a Plate festivities and head along to New Zealand wine celebration Winetopia. You'll try some of Wellington's must-try dishes, visit a laneway that's full of hidden foodie gems, visit a Sunday market that's held by the waterfront, take a craft beer tour to meet some local brewers and taste their delicious brews and visit Jackson Street, a culinary hub that's home to some not-to-be-missed specialist food stores.
Welcoming you with a feast
Arrive and check-in at Rydges Wellington, where you’ll fall in love with the harbour views from your apartment-style suite. And you'll fall even more in love when you go for a drink downstairs at Portlander, Rydge's in-house restaurant and bar. Portlander takes good food and drink seriously - the evidence? There's a separate menu for whiskey.
For dinner, head out to enjoy one of the special Visa Wellington On a Plate restaurant pop-ups. Egmont Street Eatery is transforming into Casa del Egmont, complete with new staff uniforms and a Spanish-influenced menu, while Field & Green will become 262 Brick Lane with a celebration of the traditional local and migrant food of London’s Brick Lane.
If you fancy an after-dinner cocktail, you're in luck. Wellington takes cocktails seriously year-round, but particularly so during Visa WOAP when bartenders shake and stir creative concoctions for Cocktail Wellington – this year there’s over 70 cocktails and mocktails to choose from.
Start with a caffeine kick
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but you'll be in good hands at long-standing eatery Olive on Cuba Street. Sit in the gorgeous semi-enclosed outdoor courtyard (complete with an olive tree - now you know where they got the name!) and order from the French and Italian inspired menu. The coffee's good, too.
From Cuba Street, it's a short stroll to Hannahs laneway, a hidden culinary gem that's home to some of Wellington's top artisan producers. Things are not what they appear here; behind a door is New Zealand’s first bean to bar chocolate factory, while unassuming windows open to reveal a multi-award-winning peanut butter factory, and up a staircase lives an eatery dedicated to brownies.
An afternoon art crawl
Work up an appetite for your next meal with a wander around some of Wellington's galleries to check out the incredible art on display. Stroll around the galleries on and around Cuba Street, or wander through Hannahs Laneway, Egmont Street and Opera House Lane to check out the street art adorning the walls.
A must-do for all art lovers is a visit to Te Papa to check out Toi Art, two floors of incredible art from the national collection, then pop across to City Gallery Wellington to check out their regularly changing line-up of contemporary art. As you leave, don't forget to give a wave to Quasi, the giant hand sculpture by New Zealand artist Ronnie van Hout, on the gallery's rooftop.
Tick it off your bucket list
For tonight’s dinner, tick off one of Wellington's top 10 must-try dishes. Will it be the paua ravioli at Logan Brown, char koay teow at Little Penang or ceviche from Ortega Fish Shack - or turn it into a progressive dinner and try them all! Ending with a decadent hot chocolate from Scopa - a hot chocolate that's so rich and thick, it's practically dessert.
On the way back to your hotel, why not choose another Cocktail Wellington from Visa Wellington On a Plate to quench your thirst?
A morning of gourmet markets and food shops
Start your Sunday morning by strolling along the waterfront to the Harbourside Market where you'll find an array of local produce, food trucks and even musicians. Grab a coffee and your breakfast of choice and watch as locals buy fresh fish from the moored fishing boats.
Stroll around the waterfront to Wellington Railway Station to catch a train to Petone to visit Jackson Street, home to gourmet food stores selling food from across the globe. Weave in between international foodie delights at The Dutch Shop and South African emporium Scheckter's Deli for the perfect something to take home with you. A heads-up that Scheckter's Deli makes Wellington's best Reuben sandwich.
If you fancy stretching your legs, take a walk along Petone's foreshore to take in the stunning views of the harbour, Matiu-Somes Island and Wellington.
Quench your afternoon thirst
Travel back into the city in time for a refreshing craft beer experience with Craft Beer Tours. You'll be taken to different local breweries to watch the brewing process in action, meet the brewers and pick their brains with any burning questions you have. If you’re lucky you might get a sneaky taste of an upcoming brew. Before you leave, raise a glass of your newly-found favourite local craft beer in a toast to a fantastic foodie weekend.