This week’s small pleasures #165

This past week saw me travel to Hawke’s Bay, eat some good food, enjoy some sunshine and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. There were quite a lot of small pleasures this week, so yes, one could say it was a good week in many ways.

First up, as you may have seen on Friday, a day when the sun shone, I walked to the Lady Norwood Rose Garden for my lunchtime walk. Here are a couple of blooms spotted on my walk.

The pink…
..and the creamy yellow

As usual, there were quite a few food related small pleasures, which in my opinion is no bad thing. On Tuesday evening I ate at The Mission Estate winery, enjoying scallops with a Pernod and parmesan cream and ‘grilled ratatouille tian’. All very lovely and a real treat as well.

On Thursday, we went to one of our favourite restaurants in the city, Field & Green for a special event with the Martinborough vineyard, On Giants’ Footsteps. The idea behind the evening was to showcase three different pinot noirs produced from the same grapes by three different wine makers. We were welcomed with a glass of the vineyard’s pinot gris and settled down to study the menu and hear about the vineyard and the wines it makes. We had a different wine with each of the course, and it was interesting to taste the differences in the three wines. I opted for the smoked tarkihi soufflé (a type of fish) with a leek and chive sauce, followed by duck livers cooked in masala and served with toast and then the mushroom tortellini, with crisp sage, truffle oil and lots of parmesan. Karl had the duck breast which was cooked perfectly. For dessert, we were served a tamarillo sorbet. It was an interesting evening with good food and wine and just a bit of a change from our standard Thursday pizza!

With Karl now away, on Friday I made myself a bowl of my favourite preserved lemon pappardelle with pine nuts, feta and mint from My Name is Yeh. On Saturday I had the smoked salmon toast at Squirrel, and on Sunday I made myself a proper weekend breakfast with eggs, rye bread, fresh orange juice, strawberries, and, of course, tea. There is no need to be boring when cooking for one!

The week hasn’t all been about food and flowers though. On Saturday, I went to the theatre to see ‘Meeting Karpovsky’, a revival of the play to celebrate Sir Jon Trimmer’s 80th birthday. Sir John was a dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for many a year, and could be said to be a ‘national treasure’ A two handed piece, it was both poignant and funny, and Sir Jon showed his dancer’s past in his movement and grace. It tells the story of Sylvia who in her past has seen ballet performed on many stages over the world. The play is set in her attic, which is filled with her daughter’s unwanted possessions and photographs of Sylvia’s favourite ballet dancer, Alexander Karpovsky, who she has seen dance 127 times. One day Karpovsky “appears” and teaches Sylvia to dance and to look forward to the rest of her life. A lovely little piece, put together with care, it was a nice way to spend the evening. Oh and the audience sang Happy Birthday to Sir Jon at the end!

Meeting Karpovsky

Finally to Sunday and a day of cleaning, clutter cleaning and biscuit making. I made these lemon lavender shortbread cookies from Love & Lemons Every Day Cookbook. Delicious and very more-ish, I’ll be taking a box to work.

Converting the recipe!
Lavender and lemon cookies

What were your small pleasures this week?

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

The image at the top is of a bleeding heart vine in the Begonia House, Lady Norwood Rose Garden.

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


    1. They plant is a bleeding heart vine I believe. Quite beautiful. I think when you are on your own it is important to make an effort, and it also means I can eat things my husband is not so keen on!

      Liked by 1 person

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