Visiting the big smoke and all associated pleasures

Instead of being a home bod this weekend we ventured out to visit friends in Auckland. Although we have been in Rotorua for nearly a year, it still fells like a home-coming when visiting Auckland. As well as visiting friends we managed to do some shopping.

Time Out Bookshop in the Mt Eden village is the home of the lovely Lucinda – the sweetest Siamese that ever lived – and an independent book store with a great collection (including terrific cook books).

Bulk Food Savings is a bulk food and organic market with a great selection of flours, spices, nuts and grains. Located in the back car park of the Dominion Road Wendies seems like an odd place to find such a great wholefoods store, but I would recommend seeking it out. As well as carrying a great selection, it is a lot cheaper than many of the other wholefood shops around town. Not all of the product is organic, but it is definitely a good option.

After stocking up on dried foods we stopped by West Lynn Organic Meats and bought a section of organic beef sirloin which was later served with a roast garlic, parsnip puree and a beetroot and green bean salad. The Grey Lynn area of Auckland is spoilt for choice when it comes to exceptional butcheries; I would recommend both West Lynn and  the Westmere Butchery. Both butcheries sport a great organic free range selection. The bacon at West Lynn is as about as good as it gets, whereas the Westmere Butchery is famous for its sausages.

The final food stop in our Auckland romp, and perhaps the most exciting, was the Paris-Berlin Bakery. I have been oogling this bakery online for some time and was thrilled to finally get a chance to visit. Bread leavened with wild starters grown both on wheat and honey mediums, traditional German cheese cake (so good we had to go back the next day to get a second piece for my Berlin bred boyfriend who swears it tastes like home), french pastries, tarts and more. You know a place is good when it is in deep dark suburbia and still has a cue that goes out the door and onto the street. If you live in, pass through or are anywhere near Auckland you must visit this place.

Eat well friends.

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