Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Posts Tagged ‘Auckland’

Le garde-manger: last dinner in Auckland

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 19, 2019

Tonight we’d planned to eat in, but the hotel restaurant was closed so we strolled up the Queen Street hill to a lovely little French bistro called Le Garde-manger.

We had delicious aperitifs to go with a delicious chicken liver paté: mine was called Pommeau de Normandie and it was made with apple juice and Calvados, and Tim’s was called Aperifigue, because it was flavoured with figs.

For main course, we had the specials: Tim had salmon and I had a confit of duck leg.  And we both had delicious wines, Tim’s a pinot-gris from Alsace, and mine was a pinot-noir from Bourgogne. Service was prompt and friendly, so it was a perfect last night in Auckland.

Posted in 2019 New Zealand, Auckland, Dining out | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

New Zealand Day 8: arrival in Auckland

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 13, 2019

Well, it’s taken nearly all day, but we’re here in Auckland.  Our plans to enjoy a last minute stroll around Napier in the morning were thwarted by rain, but we did manage a short walk along the foreshore.  On the right you can see the Napier equivalent of the Myer Music Bowl, and on the left you can see a colonnade – every column has a memorial plaque…

There is also this rather moving plaque – it’s not credited to anyone, but it’s an important reminder to those of us who visit Napier and are charmed by its architecture and ambience, that we should never forget that the city was rebuilt with courage, by people who had lost everything.

So, off to the Napier airport and the inescapable early check-in and hanging around till take-off, but that was all fine and as we expected.  It was when we landed in Auckland and took the SuperShuttle airport bus that we’d pre-booked and paid for that things went tiresomely wrong.

My advice is that if you are contemplating using this shuttle service, #Travellers’Tip, just don’t.   First there was a lengthy diversion to an industrial area to pick up a passenger who didn’t turn up, the bus then turned around and went all the way back to the airport to pick up another passenger, then we went meandering through the suburbs of Auckland to drop off first one of the passengers, and then another couple somewhere else, and by the time we got to our hotel in the CBD, a 20 minute journey had taken an hour and a quarter.  There was no explanation for any of this from the driver, who didn’t even bother to announce our stop—I suppose we were just supposed to know where we were by some kind of osmosis.  We were really fed up by the whole performance, but I felt really sorry for a young mother sitting behind us, nursing a baby for all that time, and still hadn’t got to her destination when we got off the bus.  Here’s another tip: the word ‘Sorry’ goes a very long way with me.  That’s all it takes for me to shrug my shoulders and put shoddy service behind me.  But we didn’t hear a ‘sorry’ at all.

However, now that we are comfortably ensconced in the Scenic Hotel, we are starting to unwind, helped along by a nice G&T and a very belated lunch of fish and chips in the bar.  There are heaps of cafés and take-away shops nearby and so he’s going to have Japanese and I’m going to have Indian, and we’re going to watch some telly!

Tomorrow we will venture out and be proper tourists again:)

Posted in Auckland, Napier, Travellers' tips | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »