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The Spring Festival is currently on at the Wellington Botanic Gardens – and that means tulips! Last year my mum was down for World of Wearable Arts and we went and saw the tulips, and so when Jase suggested a walk in the sun on Saturday I knew just the perfect place for a wander! I also got to play with my other camera lens, which I barely use (it’s a bit fiddly changing lenses all the time, so I tend to keep it on the 18-55mm).

Here are some of my snaps:

Now I don’t want you to think all we do is eat – but we do eat out a fair bit. And I like to snap our favourite places – the Chocolate Fish Cafe being one of them!

This cafe used to be located at Scorching Bay, but sadly closed in 2007 due to rising rent and compliance costs. Last year, the iconic cafe reopened – but in a new location – at the Submarine Mining Depot Barracks at the former Shelly Bay air force defence base. I love it because it gets the sun, you can look back towards the bays (hey, spot my house!) and the city, and in summer they have big beanbags that you can spread out on the lawn.

Due to the barracks having no kitchen, the Chocolate Fish guys had to improvise – and now everything is cooked on an outside BBQ. Everything they serve is BBQ’ed and served between two slices of bread. YUMMO. Also because they have no kitchen facilities – everything is served in recyclable packaging – paper plates and coffee cups. Sweet.

Definitely one of my fav’s!

Stoked. Ran 5k on Sunday morning before breakfast. Check it out – I even have EVIDENCE (this is why I love Nike+. Jase was like “are you SURE you ran 5k?” – yeppers. Nike+ says so!).

(yeah ok, that dip in the middle was where I had to walk for a bit to get my breath back! I was DYING).

And what about the wind sculptures? I skipped this one totally:

And made it all the way to this one:

Hello 5k run, you snuck on up on me!

Maranui Cafe, a quirky, 1940s-style cafe situated in the clubrooms of the Maranui Surf Club. is meant to be one of the best cafe’s in Wellington. Of course, no one mentioned this to me – until the cafe burnt down last year. Jase and I were gutted that we had never been able to experience this wee Wellington gem.

Maranui Cafe Fire

When we heard the cafe was reopening in June after being restored (much fundraising was done by local cafe’s and the surf club), dining there was definitely on our to-do-list. We knew that it’s popularity meant it is always packed…so our visit had to be carefully planned and timed!

This morning the weather was awful – howling with wind and the house was being lashed by heavy rain. What better morning than to head out for brunch and try Maranui. Surely no-one else would venture out in this gastly weather, and if we got there early…wrong! The place was humming, but after table jumping we managed to get a great seat right by the window where we could watch the crazy weather at Lyall Bay.

View of wild Lyall Bay

We tucked into scrummy eggs and bacon and coffees – which we thoroughly enjoyed. The service was fantastic and the nautical decor is great. I can definitely see why it’s touted as one of Wellington’s best!

I found this poem on the Maranui website and thought it summed it up perfectly:

If you’ve ever been walking along Lyall Bay
In the bright shining sun on a hot summer’s day

Or could a storm be brewing and blowing a gale
Your poor teeth chattering and skin turned pale

There’s now a place you can head for a cuppa
For tasty snacks and freshly cooked tucka

Old Maranui now has a cafe inside
Her bright red doors are opened up wide

Seven days a week our life savers make
A sumptuous selection of Wellington’s finest cake

There is no question we are certain to say
The Maranui Cafe makes the best coffee in the bay

And served to you by Matt and his team
Of friendly surf staff and baristas supreme

So put on your shoes or jump on your bike
And be sure to bring along someone you like

We always like to see somebody new
And don’t forget to sign the member’s book too

Maranui Cafe
7 Lyall Parade
Lyall Bay

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