This week’s small pleasures #164

Today’s small pleasures comes to you from Hawke’s Bay, where I am on a work trip. The sun has been shining and it is nice and warm so a good start to the week so far. I’m not sure about last week…there were some good things of course, but it was also the week I discovered the my name was incorrectly spelled on my new passport, that we had quite a bit of rain, that I didn’t get all on my ‘essential to do’ list done. But this post is about the small pleasures, so let’s move on and have a look at them and forget petty annoyances.

Having spotted some edible lavender during our weekend shop, I could not resist picking some up to make Rachel Khoo‘s lemon and lavender chicken for Monday night’s dinner. It is so simple and so good cold the next day when the flavours have had time to develop. After discovering the passport error, I was so glad that I had meatballs to make…and to eat. The perfect comfort food, and Julia Turshen’s simple recipe for turkey meatballs is one I return to again and again.

Monday’s dinner
Tuesday’s cheer-me-up dinner

Saturday of course began with toast at Squirrel, such an essential part of my week! On Saturday evening, I went to see the latest Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production. A new piece, Hansel and Gretel, has been choreographed by choreographer in residence, Loughlan Prior, with music specially written by Claire Cowan (the first full length ballet score ever commissioned from a female composer in RNZB’s history and performed live by Orchestra Wellington).

It was such a fun evening – fantastic costumes and sets by Kate Hawley, wonderful dancing, and some laughter – just a perfect pre-Christmas ballet treat. If you get a chance, do go and see it.

Shaun James Kelly as Hansel, Kirby Selchow as Gretel

On Sunday, I had to fly up to Hawke’s Bay. I was able to catch up with a friend for dinner, and we headed over to Hunger Monger, where I opted for a delicious risotto with squid and squid ink, asparagus, smoked roe and mozzarella. The restaurant is a really nice casual place with good food and right on the waterfront.

Squid ink risotto at Hunger Monger

Today, Monday, has been a lovely sunny day so far. Below are some of the flowers at the institution I was visiting – such a lovely small pleasure on a working day.

What were your small pleasures this week?

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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