Tomorrow begins that most magical time of the year. The stupid film festival has released my friends from its evil clutches and it’s time to eat, eat, eat. We’ve been covering Wellington on a Plate for a  long time now and I think we’re getting pretty good at knowing what’s what. So here’s our thoughts.

First of all, read our advice from last year the year before last (oops, our lazy bad). Yup, some of the restaurants are closed now, but as always, you want to avoid the places that are putting their regular food on their WOAP menu and charging more for it.

Think global, act local. Try lunches at places near your work (if you work) where you might not normally go. At the same time, on weekends or evenings, maybe try somewhere further afield – WOAP would be a great time to try Topor up the coast for example, or last year’s blue cheese cheesecake in Rata at Zealandia makes me happy to recommend it for a weekend visit – even if you don’t particularly care for birds.

Taking bite-sized bites of WOAP is easier (and cheaper!) this year with things like the DONUT POPUP STORE (we’re very excited about this!), the mothertrucking popup Match Wine Bar, the Garage Project Milkbar with pies and fried chicken,  and the Foodtruck Trailer Park (this year’s equivalent of pulled pork).

We’re pretty excited about the Clash of the Cocktails (and the useful website that lets you search by spirit, though it would be better if you could also search for “anything but shellfish” for the canape) matching. Because one of the WOAP sponsors is the Spirits Council who are so into promoting sensible drinking that they even gave us glassware marked with standard drink sizes as part of the launch swag, it would be very very irresponsible of us to suggest polishing off as many of the cocktails as you could in one night. Unless you deliberately plan out your crawl to go from one end of town to a next drink at the other end, and then back again etc. After all, Lux is on! Time for a good walk around!

As far as events go, I’ll report back from Dining Through the Decades and Aussie Rules. They’ve been going hard trying to promote the Mindfood Producer Awards Dinner tomorrow night so I’d guess there’s a lot of tickets left if you have a big group. Heather has some advice over at Word on the Street about getting in training for Beervana. Are you going to anything? We’re happy to take your guest reviews!

I haven’t even looked at the burgers or Dine menus properly yet (my day job is much busier than in previous years, obviously), though frustratingly I’m stuck out in Thorndon so there won’t be too many lunches for me. But as usual I’ll be looking for delicious-sounding things in places I might not have been to before, or places that I know will be amazing based on previous experiences (aka Ti Kouka). See you at the table?

PS – you should book for the burgers and Dine menus whenever you can. It will make your life less disappointing!