Fisherman’s Plate looks like your regular run-of-the-mill takeaway. They have a long standing tradition of serving fish and chips, and they have an extensive Vietnamese menu. I was going to just go with my usual pho, but decided to take the path less trodden.
We had salt and pepper squid with green tea soba noodles and Vietnamese salad. It was to die for, absolutely stunning. The soba salad was warm, plum sauce sweet, tender, lightly seasoned squid, fish sauce salty, had a peanut nuttiness, had some red cabbage colour, and fresh herbs for punch. This dish is a true revelation. We ordered two and I would be happy to eat it all day. This restaurant is a hidden gem. It may seem tame from the outside, but do yourself a favour and jump right in. It will be the best Vietnamese you’ll have in Wellington.
Once you reach the top of the Wellington Cable Car station, you follow your ears to the sound of coffee grinding. Beyond that, your nose sparks curiosity and you wander to a little store beside the Kowhai Café to the Victorian Perfumery.
The parfumer there is wonderful. His knowledge of scents and the distilling process is extensive. He takes you on a little tour through the perfumery (at no cost) and offers you some of his concoctions to smell.
They’re real. They’re not the cheap synthetic perfumes you find in abundance these days. His perfumes are sweet, with depth and memory. He mixes some for the ladies, some for the gentlemen and some for certain occasions. It’s honestly a trip down memory lane, and he is great for conversation about what each smell reminds you of. Fresh Flowers, barks and leaves- he is inspired by nature to create perfumes that need only a dab to last a full day on the wearer. My mother, who gets migranes from strong perfume, was awash in memories from yesteryear.
I had no idea it existed until I was up there, but I promise you won’t regret the trip.
The Cuba Street district is very interesting. It’s not as specialised as I thought it would be, I expected there to be dedicated Cuban shops or the like.
What I did find was a trail of interesting little plaques that inform the traveler of the history of the district. The buildings there are architecturally creative, the murals are hidden arena the night markets are dressed bustling. Good for a render short stroll, a bite to eat and a taste of Wellington.
The Wellington Botanic Gardens are a real treat. Just a minute or so from the Wellington Cable Car, it’s a perfect place to stroll or have a picnic. We caught the cable car up to the top, then wandered down the hillside gardens all the way back to the city. The gardens are well maintained and lush, especially the ferns and ancient trees. There’s a wonderful playground for the kids to run wild in and plenty of benches to just soak in the ambience. Tiny little birds flit in the under brush, and dart between the education centres and greenhouses. I really enjoyed the glasshouses and their colourful blooms. This makes for a pleasant afternoon.