This week’s small pleasures #334

It is Monday evening on a day that has been unseasonably warm. Who knows what is going on with the weather, but looking ahead, there are cooler, more autumnal days on the horizon. Putting aside the weather, it has been a busy and fun week with several nice things that qualify as small pleasures.

Eating out

I was so pleased to get back to my favourite cafe, Squirrel, on Wednesday. I used to visit here every Saturday morning before Pilates, but the studio moved, so now I need to make a bit more effort to get there. My lunch on that day was their newest sandwich combo – mozzarella, olives, elaiasalata (an olive based dip), salami, roasted capsicum and salad greens. It was extremely delicious and I felt I really must make a point of going more often as I do like sitting there with my book, and popping next door to Small Acorns for some colourful candles or other treats.

On Friday, I popped into the library to find a book for book club and enjoy an excellent sandwich in the cafe there with chicken, fennel, apple and salad greens. In the evening, we stopped off at Shed 22 for a burger before heading over for an evening of comedy. I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate a burger like this…and have to say it was really good.

Eating in

It hasn’t all been about eating out this week. I made a regular favourite of chicken breasts stuffed with leek, feta and ricotta one evening, ribollita soup on Wednesday, and on Sunday, a cottage pie, topped with a parsnip and potato mash and grated cheese.

Today at work, a colleague brought in some maamoul, a sort of biscuit from the Middle East. Some were filled with dates, some with pistachios and others contained black sesame seeds. They were gorgeous, and I am hoping my colleague will bring me back the special moulds from Jordan so I can have a go at making these myself. The picture was taken in the office so the light and background leave a lot to be desired.

Going out

After our burger, we headed over to the Michael Fowler Centre to see British comedian Joe Lycett as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival. It has been ages since we had been to a comedy show, so it was great to get out and laugh until we cried. A great evening and so nice to see UK comedians touring in New Zealand again. The picture below is the stage set.

A very different evening was had on Saturday, with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s latest production of Romeo and Juliet at the St James’ Theatre. I think Prokofiev’s score ranks as one of the best works for ballet, and this production did not let the music down, with choreography by Andrea Schermoly and sets and costumes by Academy Award-winning designer James Acheson.

Staying in

Of course, there have been cosy evenings at home too, with the candles lit and various series and comedy shows to fill up our evenings. There was a Sunday afternoon on the sofa with a book as well – bliss! Oh yes – and I did catch some of the coronation after I got home from the ballet. Personally, I loved the choral music and Princess Charlotte’s dress and headband.

Simple things

  • Enjoying some autumn colours in the Botanic Gardens (see the featured image at the top of the post of an acer).
  • Receiving a beautiful memorial book created in memory of a very special person who died in November.
  • Counting the days until our trip.
  • Buying some more rooibos tea with maple and walnut – a gorgeous treat.
  • The new copy of Dish food magazine landing in the letter box.
  • Lots of lovely wishes from fellow bloggers to my husband on his professorship.

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. 

Also entered in the weekend coffee share hosted by Natalie.

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. If you want to get in touch, email me on or


  1. Oh it is good to be back to read about good things to eat, make and do. I have been in Cape Town (two days travel down and two home) to apply for a visa to enter Norway. I am glad to be home again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Believe it or not, with us having travelled all the way to Cape Town, the application papers (and all the bumf that goes with them) have now been sent to Pretoria!


  2. It sounds like you’ve had a good, busy week! I’d love to see Joe Lycett live. We’re quite lucky with out local little theatre as we generally do get some good comedians.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have mentioned rooibos tea with maple and walnut a few times, I used to drink rooibos tea in South Africa, but hardly ever see it for sale here ( but haven’t looked hard in tea shops I admit) I’ll try to find rooibos tea with maple and walnut that sounds very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those treats made by your colleague are beautiful and sounds so yummy! I usually love pastries with dates in. What kind of tree is it in the beautiful photo at the top? Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post is making me hungry! 😄 It sounds like a great week. Nothing better than getting to laugh or a relaxed day on the sofa. The tree at the top of your post is absolutely gorgeous. I appreciate your list of small things.

    Liked by 1 person

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