I shall resist the urge to drone on about the weather.........suffice to say it was fine, besides which my hair often looks like I have walked through a wind tunnel so who would notice anyway? I really love visiting Wellington, it just seems so urban and cool to an Auckland girl, yet compact and manageable for someone who can get lost in a shopping mall.....we stayed at the Museum Hotel www.museumhotel.co.nz opposite Te Papa, it is a good location and I really wanted to try the Hippopotamus restaurant on the third floor.
After an illuminating day at Te Papa, enjoying the penultimate day of the Pompeii exhibition, I was ready for a treat meal, and happily I not disappointed. We started with cocktails in the bar next to the restaurant. Now I am not normally a cocktail girl, aside from the odd G and T, I don't really partake of spirits. Consequently the effects when I do, quietly falling asleep in my chair at a very nice restaurant in Parnell after two Martinis (why did no one tell me they are pure alcohol?), well, lets just say chic isn't the word. However the Moscow Mule, made with homemade Ginger Beer and a touch of plum syrup, now that was worth risking forty winks over my steak for.....I love ginger beer, and last summer for the first time attempted to make my own. I used the recipe from Homemade 2, produced by NZ Gardener magazine, with explosive results. I was sitting quietly tootling on the PC, when a loud bang made me start (made me swear actually).
I thought the cat had finally made it onto the bench (well done Pru!), instead I discovered my dining room walls dripping, with shards of glass spread like Christmas Dec's all over my axeminster. The worse thing was this was only a single litre bottle, of the four that were sitting in the same box, lethal ginger bombs, ready to go at any moment...........what the hell to do with the either three?? Sensibly, I left the room, rang my husband, had a cry, walked back into the room and walked out again. Several years watching CSI Miami (Horatio was in bomb disposal before moving onto forensics, for non viewers) taught me to put my sunglasses on immediately, then armed with the only safety suit I could find (a green gubba bucket over my head, washing up gloves and several bath towels, every bit as effective yet foxy as it sounds.......) I attempted to move the offending bottles onto the porch..........one exploded so violently it sprayed the garage, four metres away. Like I said , lethal. I am however the eternal optimist, and so delisios was this beverage I am going to have another attempt this weekend........in plastic. The clever, chatty barperson (he looked about twelve, but knew his stuff) told me his recipe contained the addition of star anise and lime, which I will certainly be adding myself. He was fairly loose on actual ingredient amounts, except to say he used both fresh and dry ginger. I suspect it was a cavalier attitude towards accurate measuring which got me into trouble last time, so I am working diligently with a recipe from Elizabeth Luard's "A Taste of the Country". I shall post this for you once I am sure it isn't actually potentially also a weapon of mass staining of wallpaper..........after all, I am an experienced professional, let me take the risk.
I shall post next time about the actual meal, which was delightful, and hopefully some pictures. Although I am banned from showing Mr D in the fabbo hotel spa bath, into which I emptied an entire bottle of bath gel. It was a suds extravaganza, just a little face peaking out of a sea of meringue...........I blame hotel holiday silliness, it's a common affliction.