This week’s small pleasures #80

As another week starts, it is time to look back on the small pleasures of the past week.

The weather – mostly

OK – I can’t pretend the weather has been good every day, but we have had some lovely moments of sunshine.  Even when it has been wet, it hasn’t been cold.  I love summer, wearing shorts, not bothering about coats, eating all that lovely seasonal fruit.

Summer skies


After our long train journey on The Northern Explorer, we headed out for dinner in Auckland to O’Connell Street Bistro. I could not resist the oysters, served with white balsamic vinegar with shallots and Hendricks gin and tonic cucumber sorbet.  Following this, we were served a tasting portion of a very delicious chicken terrine. I opted for the pappardelle  pasta with rabbit, applewood smoked bacon, and walnut watercress pesto, and Karl the slow cooked short rib of beef, fondant potatoes, braised shallots, and baby carrots. Both were excellent. There is a good wine list, with wines by the glass, half bottle and bottle. We didn’t want desert, but our perfect little espressos were served with gorgeous dark chocolate truffles. A great way to end the day.

Heaven on a plate

A needed gin and tonic

Sunday was busy with cleaning and preparing Anton’s room to make it a proper guest room.  It was hot and humid, and not really the weather for moving furniture, so a cooling gin and tonic outside was quite necessary, while listening to the tuis and cicadas.

Much needed!
A very noisy tui

Summer eating

Salads, stone fruit, easy meals that don’t involve standing over a hot stove for hours.

Potato salad and spoons

Thanks to Mani over at A New Life Wandering for the original idea.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on



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