Last Friday’s TGIF wander reminded me of some of the characterful, fun and tasty small venues we have around the city (in this case the Courtenay quarter).

Vinyl u sexy thingFirstly a ‘You Sexy Thing’ mocktail at Vinyl bar.  A creamy chai and caramel creation which hit the spot nicely on a warm summer’s evening. There’s something about all the lp’s around the walls and the 70’s and 80’s music that appeals (maybe due to being a child of the 70’s!), and I do enjoy that the banquettes are warmed in winter. I’m also going back soon for some of their interesting bar snacks (fairy bread and deep fried mars bars). Just because. The only fly in the ointment here, like many places these days, is that the outdoor courtyard is full of smokers, so those of us who don’t smoke struggle to enjoy the open air too.

TGIF BasqueYou Sexy Thing was followed by very tender and tasty tender chicken bombas (paprika battered chicken bites with tangy mayo) and crispy, flavourful grilled aubergine with sesame, honey and smoked yoghurt at Basque . And tasty pintxos from the bar of stuffed mushrooms and Spanish meatballs. Much improved from the last time I was there.  All washed down with a jug of Sangria of course. These guys are heading towards opening a roof-top bar shortly which will add further to Wellington’s landscape (you can read more about that on the Idealog blog).

TGIF SMKAnd then finally across to Sweet Mothers Kitchen for pie.  Bourbon and pecan. Mmmm.  I enjoy that one might be tucked into a space at the bar or on a communal table, and that all the pies are clearly handmade.  There’s usually a good array of American-leaning pie including key lime, apple, pecan, peanut butter and anything, etc.

What more could a girl ask for TGIF?