Well, it’s all on tonight. If you’re not exhausted after seeing the rugger at not-the-Cake-Tin, listening on National Radio to performances by unlikely permutations of small animals, hearing the pipes calling at the Opera House or seeing some obscure up-and-coming band at what I think is still called Indigo, then Sandwiches has a party night for everyone. Electroluxxe is billed as “TechnoElectroRockHouse”, thus pretty much covering every genre other than dub, jazz and country. You know how it is: you’re with a bunch of people, all with different tastes in music, and no-one can agree: someone likes 80s New Romantic, another one goes for dirty punky electro, someone else likes indie rock and some sad bugger (probably me) prefers 90s techno. So Electroluxxe comes to the rescue with a play list that includes the likes of Duran Duran, Peaches, Bloc Party and Carl Craig. The word “mashup” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Those with especially capacious reserves of energy (and cash) could then explore the most decadent dishes and deranged decor of culinary Wellington or try to track down the latest mystery bar. Here’s a hint: one of the commenters has already got it. Here’s another: this is possibly the only bar to have actually become classier when it was taken over by Brian Le Gros.

Miserable Jafas?

Today’s Dominion Post carries an insufferably smug article headlined “The lonely misery of living in Auckland“. Like all good journalism these days, this story is based almost entirely upon Google: in this case, the news that a Google Trends search for the word “misery” shows that Aucklanders search Google for this word more often than […]

Overseas experience

This weekend, if you can tear yourself away from free bacon sarnies and aren’t too busy having a bit of a look-see behind the scenes of Wellington’s art powerhouses, pop into the Overseas Passenger Terminal to get a glimpse of its proposed transformation. There will be a public open day on Saturday from 10am to […]

Giblets, grooves and the guards themselves

Many Wellingtonistas have already discovered the goodness that is Kazu: an oasis of dark wood, mind-bending rice-based beverages and unmentionable innards on sticks, tastefully hidden away from the Courtenay hordes. In the unlikely event that beef tongue and chicken cartilage aren’t enough to tempt you up the staircase, Radio Active’s The Jewel School will be […]

On the Grid

It’s official: after a hard-fought campaign, Wellington has beaten Baku to be included on the rounds of the “decadent travel guide” Gridskipper. They’re looking for tips, recommendations and “kiwiphilic thoughts”, so feel free to send in your rants and raves about the coolest, dodgiest and craziest things going on in town. Things like itinerant fractal […]

Are you game?

Next month, there will be an unusual collaboration between urban gourmets and huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ types. The Fish & Game NZ Wild Game Bird Food Festival, which runs from the 8th to the 28th of May, encourages hunters to bring their prey into participating restuarants where their catch can be transformed into gourmet dishes. The […]

Bunny boiling

Shadows grow longer, leaves turn to russet and fall to the damp earth, and an autumnal chill settles upon our fair city. So what better time to celebrate the new life and fruitfulness of spring?

Yes, Easter is upon us, so we should prepare ourselves for serious contemplation of the greatest miracle of all. Chocolate.

The good people at Truffle are always ready to help celebrate the abundance of nature, or at least the edible portion of it, and they have some special goodies for the season. Bags of Piedmontese chocolate eggs by Venchi are a snip at $14.95 for 135 grams, and they’re also stocking some special items from Wellington’s favourite alchemists of confectionery, Schoc. Those with a farmyard fetish can pretend that they’re in a Cadbury’s ad and gorge themselves on chocolate rabbits and poultry, while aesthetes might prefer the one-off hand-painted hollow eggs. In the same vein as their Christmas bars (real gold, frankincense and myrrh), they offer Easter chocolate bars flavoured like hot cross buns. What sorcery is this?!?

Poster for Sheba's Dirty Thirties CabaretOf course, when one thinks of Easter, one thinks of cabaret. No? Must just be me then. But it seems that others think the same way, since on Good Friday Sandwiches will be home to “Sheba’s Dirty Thirties Cabaret”. Anyone who’s seen one of Sheba’s cabaret performances (such as at last year’s Midnight Burlesque) will know that “dirty” won’t be an exaggeration.

For those who prefer a more sedate cabaret experience, Eateria de Manon (by all accounts the best French restaurant south of Majoribanks St) is having a tribute to Edith Piaf on Sunday night. For $55 you get a three course meal and live music from local Piafophiles Sans Souci. I’m not sure what will be on the menu for the night, but they are known for such dishes as squash and pork trotter soup, brioche-crumbed lambs brains and squid stuffed with wild goat. While those of a sentimental persuasion can ooh and ahh over cutely gamboling easter lambs, isn’t it nice to think that some of us will be eating their brains?

Down the toilet

The little side street at the Taranaki Street end of Courtenay Place has been due for big changes for a while, and now it all looks like it’s finally happening. In June, work will start on closing the street and turning it into a pocket park: more details will be released by the council in a couple of weeks. Also, the long-abandoned toilet block which has been the subject of various suggestions over the years (including, hilariously, wetarium and sexual health museum), will undergo a more predictable but nonetheless welcome transformation. Ian “Ferg” Ferguson will convert it into a wine bar by doubling the underground space, lining the walls with wine racks and adding an outdoor drinking area on the roof. This work will also start in June and is expected to open by Christmas under the name “Wine Cellar” (WC for short, of course). If only the walls could speak!

But the first change that we’ll see here is the opening of the first downtown Wellington branch of Burger Fuel. That explains the loud drooling noises emanating from Wellingtonista towers. There’s no official word on the opening date, but construction work looks well advanced, so I’d guess that it’s just a few weeks away. Mmm, booze, burgers and a sunny park: that’s got to be better than a turning lane and a handful of car parks.

2THICK2 Spell

According to a Creative New Zealand survey (3.5MB PDF) that was released last night, Wellingtonians are over 50% more likely than the average New Zealander to regularly attend arts events. Census data shows that Wellington City has the highest proportion of households that live without a car. So obviously, Wellington is the natural place to […]

Idea city

Who says that Wellington is devoid of intellectual debate? Certainly not the people behind the 7×7 Ideas Forums, who organise regular presentations where 7 people each get 7 minutes to promote, demonstrate and discuss their ideas. There’s no indication on their website of who will be speaking during this series, but the previous series (some […]