Today, 3rd July, is my birthday. Here, of course, in New Zealand, it is the middle of winter, but growing up in the northern hemisphere, my birthday marked the start of the school summer holidays. It’s still a bit strange not to have strawberries, but there again, it is a good excuse to enjoy cups of tea and cake!
With my birthday being a Monday, we went out for a celebratory dinner on Sunday, starting with a cocktail at The Library on Courtney Place. It’s a great bar, up a flight of stairs, and as the name implies, lined with books. It is definitely a place to visit should you be in Wellington. I had the Party Time cocktail – fresh thyme and raspberries in a raspberry liqueur and topped with sparkling wine. Tasty if rather sweet.
We went around the corner to the new(-ish – opened in May) Bastardo on Tory Street for dinner. Karl had the Beef Crudo to start, which was finely sliced raw beef on a bed of mascarpone with Jerusalem artichoke chips which got the thumbs up. I had the Octopus Pizzaiola with tomatoes, provolone and oregano, and was not disappointed. For mains, Karl had some amazing (so he said) pork meatballs on a bed of polenta. I opted for the gnocchi, with blue cheese, walnuts and mushrooms, which was rich and delicious. I would say you should go there hungry as the portions are generous. I’m not usually a desert person, but could not resist a mini lemon meringue pie along with my espresso, while Karl had a grappa with his. The deserts come out on a trolley – love the retro idea – and are all small, so if you just want a little something, then you can.
I woke up on Monday to a lovely gift from Karl – a silver pendant shaped like a fern leaf. I took today off, and started tidying up stuff in the bedroom. This is something I find therapeutic, and managed to have a good sort through of things, and although I don’t feel quite ready for a capsule wardrobe yet, I did feel that I don’t need to buy any more clothes! I met Karl for lunch at the Little Peckish Cafe in town, and had some very garlicky and very tasty spaghetti.
It was then time to make dinner…a sausage and Puy lentils dish from Annabelle Langbein…just the thing for a wet winter day.
And so that was my birthday. In the words of the great Shirley Bassey, you don’t get older, you get better. Totally agree!
Title of post adapted from Oscar Wilde “No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.”
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