Hospitality

First Responders Festival this weekend

The First Responders Festival with live music, outdoor cinema, BBQ and family fun day has been created to celebrate and support our city’s amazing free ambulance service. And what better way to celebrate than with a landmark collab beer!  Two of Wellington’s favourite breweries, Tuatara and Black Dog have created a brew together – The …

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Top chef’s Christmas dinner tips: ‘Don’t practise on people’

Cooking on the festive day can be stressful but owner of Boulcott Street Bistro in Wellington, Rex Morgan, says it doesn’t have to be that way. Rex Morgan, chef and owner of Boulcott Street Bistro, Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Charlie Dreaver His first tip to make the cook’s life easier is to prepare food the day before …

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Wellington councillors push for wider liquor ban

Wellington City Councillors have asked their staff to reconsider saying no to liquor bans in Kelburn and Kilbirnie. RNZ story by reporter Laura Dooney The councillors voted at Thursday’s City Strategy Meeting to adopt a new alcohol control policy, but added amendments during discussion for consultation to be done with people living in the two …

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Beers at the Basin returns (updated: limited door sales released)

Wellington’s largest summer beer event returns to the Basin Reserve tomorrow (Saturday 1 December) with just 50 door sales available. Beers at the Basin is an all-day event (11.00am to 7.00pm) at the iconic cricket venue, hosting 26 breweries and six wineries from around New Zealand, and showcasing over 100 different beer and cider varietals, …

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Wellington Advent Calendar returns – with Mittens

The fame of Wellington’s favourite feline is about to grow with the fearless cat featuring in the 2018 edition of the popular online Wellington Advent Calendar, which launches tomorrow. Mittens; photo by Sam Thacker Mittens, the eight-year-old Turkish angora that has captured locals’ hearts with his tendency to roam the city visiting restaurants, shops and …

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Cuba: super!

The many facets of Wellington’s most iconic street are commemorated in a book that MARK CUBEY commends for mixing up a cool cocktail of history, personalities and food, glorious food. Beth Brash is having a great year. The former manager of Beervana, New Zealand’s biggest beer event, stepped up a rung in 2018 to programme …

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Artfully remembering Mighty Mighty

An online collection of poster art recalls the glorious days of Wellington’s greatest 21st century bar. Mighty Mighty, which took over a long, narrow first floor space in Cuba Street that used to house a Pakistani restaurant, was undeniably the best bar that Wellington has seen this century, and would also be a sitter for …

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Don’t Guess the YES campaign launches today

A campaign continuing the drive to change attitudes and behaviours around alcohol consumption and sexual consent launched today in Wellington. Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Ben Quinn Hospitality New Zealand Wellington branch has joined forces with Wellington Police and the Wellington City Council for the Don’t Guess the Yes campaign, with support from Sexual Assault Prevention …

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British private equity firm signals $2.54b takeover of Trade Me

Trade Me Group says British private equity firm Apax Partners has approached it with a non-binding indicative offer to take it over for $6.40 per share. Content provided by BusinessDesk, “the only business news source you need”. A ten-day free trial is available at https://www.businessdesk.co.nz/ By Jenny Ruth The share price offer is a 25.5 percent premium to Tuesday’s close …

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Blues Club returns to the crossroads

The Capital Blues Club goes back to the corner of Taranaki and Dixon Streets, launching a new home at Jack Hackett’s this Thursday, 22 November. Pip Payne, driving force behind the Capital Blues Club in the early years at what was “Bill Direen’s” bar in the mid 1990s (nothing to do with the iconic avant …

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Fly like a Swan, live in a Garrett: your choice

The WCC is calling for feedback on the future of Swan Lane and Garrett Street. You have 12 days to respond. By Mark Cubey The Wellington City Council want to improve the experience of pedestrians and businesses located in and around Swan Lane and Garrett Street, as part of the Council’s Laneway strategy to improve …

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Sign on for free chocolate tasting tomorrow

Do you love chocolate? Do you want to be a part of making Wellington accessible for everyone who lives here? Wellington Chocolate Factory and Wellington City Council have teamed up to host a free chocolate tasting at the Harbourside Market on Sunday. The catch? You may have to have a go at using New Zealand …

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Eat, drink and be merrily generous

Gather your $2 coins, take them out to a participating restaurant or café this month or next, and become part of DINEAID. Over nine years ago, a small group of caring New Zealand restaurateurs decided to give a helping hand to New Zealanders in need. Since then, the charitable initiative DINEAID at restaurants and cafés has …

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Your top ten events for the weekend of 3 and 4 November

This weekly feature lists a selection of Wellington events accessible this weekend for $20.00 or less (and ideally free). You may want to check previous high five posts for recurring events. And there are many more options in the What’s On, Active/To Do, and Community sections of The Wellington App. The Clyde Quay School Spring …

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It’s all about the plant-based meals on World Vegan Day

Today is World Vegan Day, and as well as delicious plant-based meals on many menus, there is karma in the air. William Sitwell, the editor of upmarket UK magazine Waitrose Food, has resigned after outraged reaction to a BuzzFeed News story on Monday. The article revealed that Sitwell responded to an email from freelance journalist …

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Rita scores trifecta at hospitality awards

Boutique Aro Valley restaurant Rita received three awards at the recent 2018 Felix Wellington Hospitality Awards, as the industry celebrated outstanding hospitality professionals and establishments making a positive impact on Wellington’s café and dining scene. Rita co-owners Kelda Hains (third from left), Paul Schrader (right) and Matt Hawkes (second from right), with the Rita team. …

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Bid for Mojo by Cooks Global Foods falls through

The bid by Cooks Global Foods to buy Wellington-based Mojo Coffee Cartel for $19 million fell through yesterday when conditions weren’t met. Content provided by BusinessDesk, “the only business news source you need”. A ten-day free trial is available at https://www.businessdesk.co.nz/ By Rebecca Howard Cooks had offered to pay $11.7 million in cash, about $2 million in …

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Food rescue milestone as Kaibosh turns 10

Wellington’s food rescue charity Kaibosh is celebrating 10 years of rescuing and redistributing food in the Wellington region. George and Robyn Langlands of Kaibosh in 2009. Photo by  Mike Heydon During that time, Kaibosh has rescued more than one million kilos of quality surplus food, provided 2.9 million meals worth of healthy food to people …

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Wellington restaurants snap up gongs and hats at Cuisine Good Food Awards

Logan Brown won the Long-Term Player award and Monique Fiso was singled out as Future Food Legend during last night’s 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards at Auckland’s Civic Theatre. Logan Brown co-owner-head chef Shaun Clouston (right) with chef Alex France. Fourteen Wellington restaurants were awarded either one or two of the coveted Cuisine Good Food …

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Edible art challenge for WoW prompts cocktail trail

As the World of WearableArt enters its second weekend (with standby tickets still available for most shows), locals and visitors have a number of ancillary ways to participate – and win – including cocktail and retail trails. Garments from the World of WearableArt historical collection are on show at the WOW Hub under the sails …

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Boulcott Street Bistro chef heading to Niue

Rex Morgan, head chef at the Boulcott Street Bistro will notch up a new first in his 32-year career when he heads to Niue for the first time in November, as guest chef at the KaiNiue Food and Wine Festival. Rex Morgan (above) will collaborate at the Festival with good friend Jeremy Rameka (below), the …

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And the fudge slab winner is….

The winner of the gift box of four homemade fudge slabs from our friends at Baileys Fudge Kitchen, from the competition we ran this week on our Facebook page is Maree Drumm, who generously tagged a whole group of people with whom she will be sharing the fudge. Maree, you can find out how to …

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Four fledgling food businesses boosted

Four local food businesses, all with a sweet but healthy angle, were last week’s winners of the 2018 Good Food Boost mentoring initiative programme. The winners – Creative Cooking, Wellington Honey, Esther’s and Half Baked – were selected for their potential to successfully promote healthy, nutritious food that contributes to local economies, reduces waste, and …

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Best burger, dish and cocktail announced for VWOAP 2018

Wilson Barbecue, Field & Green and C.G.R. Merchant & Co were the big winners at Visa Wellington On A Plate for 2018, winning the awards for best burger, Festival dish and cocktail last night. A judging panel of six experts rated five finalists in three categories – Best Burger, Best Festival Dish and Best Cocktail …

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Cheers! Beervana bubbles with record ticket sales

The annual weekend event for beer lovers, Beervana, exceeded expectations for its organisers this year. More than 16,000 tickets were sold, over half to people outside Wellington city. Beervana, a two-day showcase for craft beer and food at Westpac Stadium, is part of Visa Wellington on a Plate, and is now one of the bigger …

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End of an era as Felix closes

Felix Café, which has been an institution on the corner of Cuba and Wakefield Streets for 20 years, has closed. The popular bright orange café was opened in 1998 by Wellington hospitality legend Danny McGrath, who has made a history of running great eateries on corner sites, like Flying Burrito Brothers, Tasting Room (formerly Brava) …

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Your high five events for Wednesday 22 August

Today’s free or relatively inexpensive events – for the children, the parents, the foodies, the musos and the lovers of dark art. Parents and children should be at the Wellington Central Library from opening time (9:30am) for the Baby Rock & Rhyme session of finger dancing and stories, running to 10:00am in the children’s area. …

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Regenerate 8 focuses on food, expands sales to Hutt

The eighth issue of monthly Wellington-based street magazine Regenerate is out now, providing work opportunities for those affected by homelessness or poverty. This issue is focused on food, and Regenerate has received the green light from Hutt City Council to start selling in the Valley. The new Food issue has features on Visa Wellington On …

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Good food gets a boost for a second year [UPDATED]

Entries close tomorrow for The Good Food Boost, which gives Wellington start-up food businesses the chance to apply for a six-week mentoring programme. Photo of pomegranates by Nathalie Jolie on Unsplash Applications are open until 5:00pm on Tuesday 21 August for businesses with the potential to successfully promote ‘good food’ across the region – including a focus on …

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Your high five events for Monday 20 August

Start your week with poetry, cyber security and lots of food. There are two warm-up events today for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on Friday. During Best New Zealand Poems (part of the free Writers on Mondays series from 12.15pm to 1.15pm at Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa) seven poets read their poem …

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Venison loin dish wins Apprentice Chef competition for young Wellingtonian

Twenty-two year old Liam Wilkie, who is perfecting his skills to be a professional chef at the Copthorne’s One80 Restaurant in Oriental Bay, won the ServiceIQ Champion Apprentice Chef award at the NZ Hospitality Championships on the weekend. The award recognises the outstanding achievement of aspiring chefs who craft a professional career by learning as …

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St Johns reopens in style

St Johns Bar & Eatery reopened today for the opening of Visa Wellington on a Plate after closing for an interior refit just after the Jazz Festival. It was already busy at lunchtime today, with returning regulars selecting from the VWOAP burger and Festival menu as well as the new standard menu, all created by …

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Near sell-out Beervana kicks off 27 days of VWOAP

Three of the sessions at the two-day Beervana event have sold out. Tardy beer fans will need to get their skates on to get to the session from 11:00am to 4:00pm today. From today, Visa Wellington on a Plate celebrates ten years of highlighting the best of Wellington’s dining and drinking expertise, as restaurants, café, …

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Zoomy cuts deal with airport, supports Beervana

Local rideshare company Zoomy is hoping to increase ridership with two new initiatives. Commuters frustrated by Wellington’s public transport problems over the last few weeks have been increasingly using taxis, and the services of the best-known rideshare company, offshore giant Uber. But the locally owned and operated app-based company Zoomy, which operates in Auckland and …

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Seven Wellington finalists in nine categories at hospitality awards

The QT Museum Hotel and Jack Hackett’s are each in the running for two National Hospitality Award categories, with nods also going to Fidel’s, Lulu, The Southern Cross Garden Bar, Whistling Sisters – The Fermentery, and Portlander by Rydges. The distinctive lions of the QT Museum Hotel The nine nominations for Wellington hospitality providers at …

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Your high five* events for Thursday 9 August

More free or under-$20 events that you could spend extra money at today. Or go wild and see how far you can get on a Snapper transfer. Or hang out at a bus hub and chill the whines. The Enjoy Art Book Fair returned yesterday for a fourth year running and continues today, tomorrow and …

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The Shack is back, with a new French neighbour

After nearly two months of strengthening work, Ortega Fish Shack is back in action in Majoribanks Street, with a new neighbour, Frenchie. Story and photos by Mark Cubey The Ortega Fish Shack reopened on Tuesday at 16 Majoribanks Street after extensive strengthening work was completed, lifting the building out of its yellow-stickered status. Kim van …

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Ten top chefs flying in for tenth birthday party

Chefs from Melbourne, Australia, the US and UK are coming to town to collaborate with counterparts in Wellington and from other NZ cities at ten special Visa Wellington on a Plate events. Monique Fiso prepares for Hiakai Hāngi Top culinary talent from around New Zealand and the world will visit Wellington next month for the Chef …

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Lido reopens, Olive restrengthens, Bad Grannies becomes Chooky’s

Our weekly look at what’s happening in Wellington on the hospitality scene.   Iconic Wellington café The Lido, now 28 years old, has reopened doors nearly ten months after closing for earthquake restrengthening. The café occupies the ground floor of the historic former Racing Conference Building on the corner of Victoria and Wakefield streets, one …

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