This week’s small pleasures #298

We are nearing the end of August, nearing the end of winter and heading towards spring – at least for those of us who live in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are certainly getting longer, a small pleasure in itself, and the prospect of warmer days, despite all the rain, is surely on the cards. Anyway, to this week’s small pleasures.

Moments of sunshine…and spotted in the Botanic Gardens

We had sunshine on Tuesday, and gosh did that lift the spirits! I was working at home and took a walk after lunch in the Botanic Gardens (naturally!). The weather had caused a large pine tree to fall over, blocking two paths and no doubt smashing into lots of things as it fell. I walked past on Saturday, and one of the paths is now open.

The duck pond is just next to this path, and on Tuesday I was treated to duck synchronised swimming, and on Saturday spotted this duck hiding in the long grass. I love checking in on them to see what is going on.

Of course, the signs of spring are around with lots of daffodils, this gorgeous freesia and the first signs of tulips. The Tulip Sunday event will be after we get back from our travels, so something to look forward to.


So to this week’s food highlights, starting with our second burger as part of Wellington on a Plate’s Burger Wellington. On Thursday we headed over to Scopa on Cuba Street for The A Train burger, which featured fried chicken with Milano salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, sweet roasted red peppers and pesto Kewpie mayonnaise in a rosemary and parmesan milk bun, with Italian herb fries – which you can see below. It was very good, though I confess to not being able to manage all the bun. The chips as I call them since I hail from the UK, were very good. I took Friday afternoon off work, and met a friend for lunch at Tatsushi before going to the hairdresser. I enjoyed the salmon chirashi sushi bowl, and my friend the sashimi bowl: both were lovely clean and fresh. There wasn’t much in the shopping basket this week – just some fennel, green beans, a piece of parmesan and more spinach to use with pasta and the salami for Saturday dinner. We also picked up a bar of Wellington Chocolate Factory’s special orange and basil bar made especially for Moore Wilson’s shop – and very good it is too.

We decided to go for a third burger for Sunday lunch at Ombra, also on Cuba Street. This burger, called club exotique was a wild tahr and pork patty with mascarpone, pickled black radish, slow-cooked potato, nasturtium aioli and cranberry relish. It was fabulous and just that little bit different. Below you can see the outside of the restaurant (and blue sky!), the burger and the cute elephant salt and pepper shakers that were on the table


On Wednesday, I had to go up to Hamilton for the day for work. We were treated on the way up to this gorgeous view of the sun rising, and on the way back, to views of both Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranki as the sun was setting. As regular readers know, I will be off to Vancouver in a couple of days, so hopefully I can do a post from there of small pleasures from that city.

So, 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. 

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

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. The floor above Ombra, in the same building was a strip club called Club Exotique, in the 1970s. The ground floor was a hairdressers called George Janis, and later became an adult store called Peaches and Cream. Oh how the world turns.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the synchronized ducks too, and the synchronized burger eating! Such intriguing combinations of ingredients . . . and I agree about too-big buns. I’ll continue to savor your daffodils and tulips as we turn toward autumn here. Enjoy Vancouver! And thanks as always for the mention and your kind words.


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