This week’s small pleasures #224

This week’s small pleasures come to you from a week which straddled two years. We all have our views on 2020 and hope for a better 2021, but for now, let’s just look back on the things that made me smile over the last seven days.

First up, there was some good weather in between the showers, and we took a drive on Wednesday around the coast, stopping at Scorching Bay to stretch our legs on the beach and enjoy the beautiful blue skies. The two pictures below, and the featured image at the top of the post (which features a pohutukawa, or New Zealand Christmas tree as it flowers at this time of the year) were taken there. We even stopped for ice-cream.

I’m all for seasonal produce and making the most of it…even if it means shelling a big bag peas, thinking what to do with patty pan squash, or topping and tailing gooseberries to make a compote to have with yoghurt at breakfast. Nectarines are also in season, and I made roast nectarine chutney this week to last through the winter months.

This week saw us eat a cool, lemony courgette salad from Ottolenghi’s book Simple, and a creamy potato gratin to celebrate the first day of 2021 to have alongside beef cooked in beer and those peas. I also treated myself to eggs topped with a tarragon based gremolata at Loretta for a Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) brunch.

On New Year’s Eve I took a walk up Cuba Street, picking up a small calendula and rose face cream from Wellington Apothecary, and found two lovely summery shirts at Chili (one with a cat print!). It was lovely to have some time to browse when things were quiet.

On Hogmanay, we went for dinner at Daisy’s. I couldn’t resist having a couple of oysters to start with, enjoying some pink sparkling wine alongside. For my first course I had an interesting salad combination of strawberries, prosciutto and whipped goat’s cheese which was really delicious and then confit salmon, with green pea, lemon ricotta and little baby radishes, a lovely fresh summer dish. Karl had the pork and duck terrine and steak frites, also given a good review.

Finally, we saw in the start of 2021 with friends, enjoying some champagne and the hope for a good year ahead. In case you are wondering, that is their daughter behind the glasses! There have been a few small pleasures this year already – a trip to Zealandia eco-sanctuary which I will post about on Wednesday and going to the cinema on Saturday to see the excellent Australian film The Dry, which I highly recommend if you like a slow-burner of a thriller.

Anyway, wishing you and yours all the best for 2021. Here are some other favourite things from fellow bloggers.

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. Thanks for mentioning my post, what a lovely surprise 🙂 I really want to see The Dry as I enjoyed the book quite some time ago. All the best to you for 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh, you made it to the beach – how delightful! and you didn’t have to fight crowds to enjoy the sand and the sun!

    The food is, as always, droolicious! I am amazed how you make produce look so delicious in its raw state!

    And thank you for the mention – am so glad you made it to this museum in better times! Hope it will be in good shape when you return for a visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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