This week’s small pleasures #287

There has been some atrocious weather as I mentioned on Saturday. With hailstones battering the decking for a short period on Sunday afternoon just as I was starting to put this post together, it really felt like winter had arrived. I also had a really sore throat, but the RAT I did was negative, and the symptoms didn’t get any worse, so fingers crossed I was just over tired from being woken up each night by either a hungry cat or thunder storms.

As a result, this week small pleasures were mostly indoors: getting a haircut, buying some new candles, finding time to read and cook and, of course eating. With this all in mind, dear readers, I hope you don’t mind, but this week’s small pleasures are all related to food, and there were lots of ‘good eatings’ this week.

First up, on Tuesday evening we headed over to Noble Rot for a special evening of food and wine. Two vineyards were represented, Dry River based in Martinborough and Rippon near Lake Wanaka. Presentations on the wines given by Wilco Lam from Dry River and Nick Mills from Rippon, were both entertaining and informative. We were given two tasting glasses with each course so we could taste wines of the same grape and vintage from each producer. This was so interesting and really helped us to appreciate the different wine growing regions. At our table, we were seated next to Nick from Rippon, and so heard other tales of wine growing and his life. The food was excellent – the menu is below. For me the highlights were the ora king salmon sashimi and the 30-month aged comté crème brûlée, though the beef pictured below was also excellent. All in all a fantastic evening of good food, good wine and good company.

On Wednesday I fortified myself before the hairdresser with excellent eggs Florentine with added mushrooms, served on hash browns at Neo Cafe. Why I hadn’t been here before is a mystery, but I will definitely return. Good food and friendly service too.

In the shopping basket this week was a red cabbage, that I have made into a slaw with apple, carrot and spring onion. There was spinach again, a fennel bulb (not sure what I will do with it yet), some red onions, a celeriac, mushrooms and more tamarillos.

This Saturday’s baking was a batch of drop scones, Scotch pancake or pikelets – what you call them depends where you come from! So easy to rustle up, they make a nice treat on a winter’s day, served with tea and a little drop of jam (more of that raspberry and rhubarb I bought the other week).

Finally, on Saturday evening we headed over with some friends to the newly opened restaurant, Kisa. The hummous and smoked aubergine dip were really good, and I also enjoyed the cured market fish (which I had tasted before taking a picture as you can see below) and white bean salad. Unfortunately there was a bit of a mix up with part of our order, but the food was good and it might be a good idea to go back on a less busy evening.

What were your small pleasures this week? Here are some other blog posts from a few fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life. 

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


  1. New Zealand has a wonderful array of wines, I’ve never had a New Zealand wine I didn’t enjoy, you are lucky to have so much choice. All the food at The Neo Café looks delicious! Happy cooking and eating!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My small pleasures include a long telephone call with my faraway daughter, seeing the first smudges of colour on the horizon this morning, and nearing the end of the blankets I am knitting for two granddaughters living in Norway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rain and a sore throat (I’m sorry!) clearly didn’t keep you from a lovely week of beautiful things. I’m particularly enchanted by two photos: the close view of the tea-and-scone in the feature photo (I adore your shots from directly above) and the magical wine glasses and place setting.

    And thank you for your very kind words about my post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No need at all to apologise for sharing your beautiful week with food – you know me, I am fascinated with the lovely produce & creations that grace your table!

    Glad your sore throat did not prevent a good week of eating. I am so so so taken by your feature photo – the styling, the simple lines & colours, the rising steam from the cuppa, the inviting bite of the pikelet. And that tray of produce I look forward to viewing every week: those once unfamiliar names which I now know because of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh thank you for your kind words Ju-Lyn! I’m so glad you enjoy seeing th produce tray each week. I love buying it and eating it so it is nice to share. Enjoy the days ahead!


  6. Hi T&K,
    Your posts always leave me wanting to try some new food item.
    This time, I’m going to find and play with a celeriac root. I’m pretty much a fan of roots and somehow managed to miss this one – well forever so I’m going to have to fix this.

    Harder – would be the desire to try some of the Wellington restaurants. You always get the most elegant photos – they should be giving you a meal or two for the lovely promotion you give them.

    Glad that sore throat proved to not be much of an issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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