Want to know the hot spots in NZ? Here’s a quick run down on the cool places to eat, drink and stay!
This is a fabulous, chic little boutique hotel in Auckland. It was built in 1841 and was Auckland’s first hotel. Now it’s had a facelift and botox. It’s very 1950’s/60’s inspired interiors. Each of the 25-room rooms are all individually designed. I had a room that was a duplex. Thankyou very much. Downstairs was my very own bar and private sitting room for entertaining guests. It was a pity George Clooney was in Venice. There is also a lovely restaurant and a very cool bar where we downed a few cocktails after fashion week. Oh and there is a designer pillow menu (for the room not the restaurant) if you are fussy about things like that. Lovely. ( that’s the view from my room below left).
We had a most delicious lunch here overlooking the lovely Viaduct Harbour. Fortunately this cool restaurant is just a handy short hobble in stomp-a-licious heels to the fashion week shows. It was a very relaxed lunch. I think that was partly due to the lovely New Zealand wine. Or could have been because that morning we were treated to an amazing facial at The Langham Hotel. (Gold is applied to your face: I wanted to put it in my pocket) .
You can understand why I was drawn to this restaurant. I feel I am almost related to it. We headed here for an amazing dinner after The ‘World’ Fashion show (where transvestites in glitzy gold opened the show). Clooney is in an old industrial warehouse that’s been transformed into a very cool 60’s inspired dining room. The food was seriously delicious. Every dish was art directed. I could marry it.
O’Connell Street Bistro
We had a quite a divine lunch here. Yes, lunch. I got used to eating 3 course lunches very quickly. So did my waist. We had the private dining room. The food was fabulous. I had salmon which was cooked to perfection. Yum.
This is very beautiful island from Auckland. Think bright blue water, pristine beaches, lush wine country. It was ‘discovered’ by hippies in the 60’s. Not any more! You can get there by ferry. We went by Helicoptor. Of course. Question: what do fashion editors wear for a helicopter ride to a winery in the (muddy) country? Answer: After agonizing for days I was in my uniform of heel/booties, a blazer and chinos. We were issued with life jackets. I don’t do yellow, as you know, but the jackets had a handy little belt which I styled jauntily to cinch in over my jacket. (hanging slightly to the left). The ride over the city of Auckland and then to the Island was absolutely incredible. (That’s the view under my foot. OMG). I could get used to this life.
We landed at Stonyridge Winery. It’s a very pretty place. The bright green grass actually hurt my eyes after dry old Sydney. We sat in front of an open fire for wine tasting (hic). Sensational. Of course we were starving after all that jetting around so we then headed over the fabulous Mudbrick Winery. We devoured an incredible 3 course dinner in a chic loft overlooking the glorious view of the sea. At this stage the chinos were getting snug. Elastic waist harem pants were looking very attractive.
Bularangi Harley Tours
After doing a few of the shows at NZFW including Trelise Cooper and Stolen Girlfriends Club ( see below) our fearless tour guides decided to organize chauffeur driven MOTORBIKES to take us on a tour of Auckland. Whaaat?! Can you imagine trying to get a gaggle of fashion editors on the back of Harley Davidsons? (It’s raining! We might crash! Eeek Helmut hair! Etc). Question: what to wear? Answer: The coolest leather biker jackets and gloves provided. I had a cushioned Jason recliner seat and a handsome driver who told me to hang on anywhere I wanted to. Hmmm. We drove for about 2 hours all around lovely Auckland ending up on top of one tree hill ( which doesn’t have one) to check out the amazing view. Best. Fun. Ever.
Amora Hotel Wellington
After days of eating, shopping and fashioning it was time to leave Auckland. I sat on my suitcase begging and pleading it to zip up. Tried to do the same to the muffin top. We jetted off to Wellington. A most spectacular city with amazing scenery. Think Sydney does Norway. We stayed at the Amora hotel which has pretty fabulous views over Wellington Harbour. My room was huge. My bed was huge. To match my hips.
I have to recommend this chic little casual café in Wellington. Divine food and fabulous coffee. And right near the stunning harbour, the Museum of New Zealand and the shops. More fabulous NZ cuisine. More fabulous NZ wine. More NZ shopping. Fabulous.