Why brunch?

It’s nearly the weekend! A favourite thing to do in the weekend is catch up with friends over brunch. Why brunch? Love that you get the chance for a lie in. It’s got that leisurely feel about it: the weekend papers, more than one coffee and time to chat, and keeps the afternoon completely free to do other things.

Brunch menus might be diverse these days but being a creature of habit nine times out of ten, and even after perusing the entire menu, eggs benedict wins hands down.  A big fan of poached eggs, the dollop of hollandaise, moist hot smoked salmon and freshly cracked black pepper take those eggs to the next level.

If you’re looking for somewhere in Auckland for brunch this weekend here are a few of The Foodie Inc’s favourite places:

Odettes Eatery - Auckland CBD

Smashed Avocado Chili, Rocket, Coriander on Toasted Rye with a Poached Egg

Smashed Avocado Chili, Rocket, Coriander on Toasted Rye with a Poached Egg

Scullery - K'Rd

Mushrooms and Haloumi on Smoked Garlic Toast

Mushrooms and Haloumi on Smoked Garlic Toast

The Garden Shed - Mt Eden

Vege Patch - garden greens, smashed avocado, oven roasted tomato and olives, grilled haloumi and parsley oil 

Vege Patch - garden greens, smashed avocado, oven roasted tomato and olives, grilled haloumi and parsley oil 

Poached egg, hot smoked salmon on potato galette with hollandaise

Poached egg, hot smoked salmon on potato galette with hollandaise

Best Ugly Bagels - City Works Depot, CBD and Newmarket

T.A.B. - tomato, avocado and basil drizzled with lemon fennel olive oil

T.A.B. - tomato, avocado and basil drizzled with lemon fennel olive oil

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle

Weekend Escape

Living less than 500 metres from the beach in Auckland, you’d think heading off to the Coromandel Peninsula for a long weekend at the beach wouldn’t hold the same appeal. But having just spent a long weekend at Whiritoa (between Waihi and Whangamata) and writing this post the old-fashioned way - with pen and paper, while sitting on the deck in the sunshine, jumping in the car and heading out of Auckland at lunchtime on a Friday really does feel like escapism.

Coming over that last hill and seeing that first peek of the ocean... magic!

Long days hanging out at the beach, watching the surfers patiently wait to catch their perfect wave.  Last weekend was all about catching up with friends: lazing on beanbags on the deck with a pile of magazines; a game of tennis first thing, if you could drag yourself out of bed before 8am; and lots of chatter, refreshing drinks and delicious food of course. 

Whiritoa beach looking north

Whiritoa beach looking north

Our friends’ daughter qualified as a surf lifesaver these holidays - what an awesome achievement.  Her younger brother had to settle for being a rookie lifeguard but those duties still included going out on the roam (golf cart looking vehicle) and IRB (boat) and manning the watch tower – how cool is that!

Whiritoa's newest lifesaver - out on the sand and the waves

Whiritoa's newest lifesaver - out on the sand and the waves

Holiday cooking

Its great spending the weekend with someone who enjoys trawling through foodies magazines and cookbooks, as much as I do, looking for dinner inspiration and recipes we could adapt based on ingredients on hand.  Funnily enough driving a mere 15 minutes to the nearest supermarket for a missing ingredient didn’t enter our heads, we were here to relax and enjoy being at the beach house. Saturday night we feasted on mussels three ways - why not three ways, we had time on our side.  And barbequed butterflied chicken with a zesty, herb and chilli mixture stuffed under the skin, salad and homemade focaccia.

NZ Mussels three ways and delicious homemade focaccia

NZ Mussels three ways and delicious homemade focaccia

One of the best things about being away with likeminded friends is the relaxed atmosphere – no pressure to do something or go somewhere if you didn’t feel inclined. We’d go from non-stop chatting and even the odd bit of debate, to almost an eerie silence when you could hear the waves crashing on the beach. The sadness of packing the car up late on Sunday for the two hours drive home is made up for by knowing next weekend is a long weekend too...

Enjoy!

Michelle

 

Fabulous French-Style Fresh Market

Love spending time at weekend food markets and New Zealand has so many fantastic ones up and down the country. Everyone’s relaxed and friendly – some are simply soaking up the atmosphere. For others it’s a weekend ritual, catching up with friends and stallholders while leisurely wandering amongst the stalls doing their weekly shop.

A couple of Saturdays ago we headed off early to Pine Harbour Marina, Beachlands for a nosey at the Pine Harbour Fresh Market - Auckland’s boutique gourmet food market.  The weather forecast was rather grim but fresh coffee and breakfast beckoned, and we were not disappointed. Even Auckland’s fickle weather improved as the morning went on.

With a fabulous grassy space, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic, with loads of room for little kids with bikes, and dogs on leads to enjoy a stroll.  The market stalls, with their black and white striped awnings, look out on to the marina and there are plenty of tables to sit down and enjoy your coffee and pastries.  From fabulous French cheeses, freshly baked breads and sweet treats to Hungarian style sausages to NZ made mayos, preserves, cakes and fresh fruits and vegetables and so much more - there’s even doggy treats too.

Pine Harbour Fresh Market

With boats gently rocking in the background and jazz music serenading you, the French style market is set in a superb waterside location right on the Marina.  It’s open every Saturday 8am-12pm - rain or shine, with plenty of parking too.

Saturday 6 December there’s a Traders Market , including a stylists props sale – perfect for Christmas gifts  and wonderful vintage finds.  And don’t forget the Twilight Market on Tuesday 23 December 4-8pm for those last minute foodie treats.

For more information and regular updates check out pine harbour FRESH MARKET

See you there on Saturday.

Michelle