Category: Cafe’s I’ve enjoyed

Checking out cafe’s in Auckland. Only the ones I like make it onto my blog. This is about positive reviews, not negative ones, therefore, if I don’t enjoy, I don’t write about it.

Back to Best Ugly Bagels

You couldn’t keep me away.  On Saturday I dragged the family to Best Ugly Bagels.  I needed a perk up as I was feeling rather down, as I’m sure most NZlanders were after the sucky time penalty that would have put us out of the misery we have had to endure.

It wasn’t particularly hard to get the man and small ones down there, they are pretty much up for a free lunch out anytime (meaning I was paying)

Image 4The 15min trip was to get us some pies (thanks Scratch) for our gourmet taste testing with the Aussies, but also I’d made a promise to a man I would return.  Scott the Manager to be precise, and i’m not one to leave a promise unfulfilled.

Image 3 Image 1What did we go for: TAB; Yodi, JC, Clover and Butter up.


‘TAB’:  Tomato Avocado and Basil with rocket, drizzled in a lemon infused olive oil.

‘Yodi’: Pastrami, Swiss, Habanero mustard and pickle.

Children 1,2 & 3 were the easy ones with:

‘JC’: Jam and Cream Cheese

‘Clover’: Honey

‘Butter Up’: plain old butter.

So how did they stack up?  I thought they were yummy even though the youngest, often nicknamed ‘The Grinch’ refused to try half the Clover or Butter Up.  The other 3 people willing to eat inhaled theirs with the second child fighting with his dad to finish the girls leftovers off.

I’m convinced mine was better than his (Yodi), especially with the delicious lemon infused oil dripping down my chin, but he tells me that is merely a matter of opinion.

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For me the coolest thing about this place (after the scrummy bagels) was the atmosphere.  It was busy and filled with trendy, happy looking people all out to enjoy themselves while catching up with their buds.

It had such a cool vibe, buzzing with energy.  Does that sound strange?

It’s really hard to explain it…hopefully you get my drift.    When I left I felt upbeat, and I’ve gotta point out there were families there as well, so we were not the stand outs.


Before we hit Ugly Bagels, we managed to sneak a peak at the Food Truck Garage, however I’m going to be completely selfish and that one for a childfree evening with my lovely man one night soon.

Sa x

City Works Depot – Spoilt for Choice

IMG_0921This morning we paid a visit to Scratch Bakers based in City Works Depot.  I took my lovely Aussie mate, or maybe I should say she took me, she drove.  Unfortunately this experienced Aucklander sent her the wrong way, oops, I mean she knew the way better than me and how many years have I lived in Auckland!!!

About Scratch Bakers;  Scratch Bakers, part of the Teed Street Larder in Newmarket, another establishment I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, has been here for 4 months.  These guys do all they’re baking in store out the back.  Lucky for us we were the only people hogging their one and only table, however there was a steady stream of people coming and going.  Some corporate types pulled the beanbags out the front and plonked themselves down, suits, dresses and all.  I’m thinking they prob saw D and I with the kids and decided outside on the beanbags was the safer option.

IMG_0920While the baby birds had a fluffy each, we had a coffee.  My baby bird was persuaded with a delicious chocolate biscuit that I proceeded to eat most of in my true glutinous style.

On display in the pie warmer there was most beautiful sumptuous looking homemade pies.  Flavours such as duck confit and rabbit spring to mind, sorry can’t remember the others but I know they must be yummy.

I’m trying to talk ‘he who earns most of the money’ into an early morning visit with the small ones on Sat morning before the crowds arrive, I want to grab a couple for Sat night dinner.   Hmm I’m sure if my Aussie friend wasn’t having a sumptuous dinner date at the Sugar Club (am I allowed to say that?), I could convince her and hubby to join us.  Next weekend maybe?

IMG_0934Afterwards I was encouraged to go for an explore and wondered off to lurk around Ugly Bagels and The Food Truck Garage.  I caught a glimpse of the food truck chef guy through the window as he was filming.  As tempted as I was to gatecrash, I’m just not that ballsy enough.

Check out these awesome outdoor chairs at Dry and Tea for hair styling.  If I wasn’t lunching at La Fourchette tomorrow this scruffy looking mum would be seriously tempted to pop down on my one day off for a tidy up.


Wonder if you could leave these chairs out all night??  Do you think they’d go rusty?


IMG_0932Over to  Best Ugly Bagels.  I’ve been hearing about this place for ages, especially through my sisters bestie, apparently works at the ad agency next door (Is that right Cheryl, the Manager told me so?)

Because I’d already stuffed my face with Charlie’s cookie at Scratch I made a promise to come back and in return they gladly let me take a photo of the baker and manager.

it was very cool in there with its industrial styling, the usual cool lights.  Scott the Manager (correct me if I got the name wrong) was friendly and was happy to fill me in on the details, but I’ll save that for another blog on another day.

So yes tomorrow, we’re off to La Fourchette for lunch tomorrow, I’m looking forward to this one.

Sa x

The great Cro-nut Obsession!

IMG_0039It all started a few weeks ago at end of the netball season celebration.  “Have you tried a Cro-nut” Jo, one of the other mums asked me.  “A what??”, I asked in bewilderment?

Well it turns out, in true Scott and Jacqui style (of the Kohi Cafe, Bar, The Store, Takapuna Beach Cafe, Richmond Rd Cafe, Rosehip Cafe, Otolyana blah blah dynasty) they have started producing Cro-nuts, a donut-crossiant hybrid (or so i’ve been told).

Taken I believe from a guy in the states, who has even trademarked these lightly sugared creations.

I’ve been discussing these beasties with Kevin and Janet at my local workday haunt, Volt Espresso.  Kev had been trying in vain to get Cro-nuts (or as my spell checker wants to say ‘crop nuts), but the producer just kept selling out. Kevin didn’t give up though, he carried on his efforts in order to satisfy his loyal following.


IMG_0038It didn’t take long, he must have bugged the hell out of them because lo and behold on Monday night, what should I see on facebook?  Only Kevin putting it out there they would have these babies in store in the morning.

Me being attached to my iPhone, received the notification and immediately requested one to be put aside for me.  So this morning, there it was waiting for me all bagged up (along with 52 other ‘requests’ to put theirs aside, and I thought I was special!!).

So what do I think?

On first impression I did kinda wonder what all the hype has been about, I mean it looks just like a sugar donut.

But when I cut into it I could see what they mean about the hybrid of croissant (said with a french accent, he he).  There was a tiny bit of a vanilla type of cream stuff on the inside, not a fat inducing amount as I had imagined. My visions of my arteries being clogged up and globs of fat racing through my blood dispelled when I saw a tiny bit no more than tablespoon if that amount ooze from the donut, oops forgive me “Cro-nut”.



What did it taste like?

At risk of sounding wanky, it actually reminded me of the old school donuts we used to get.  You know the long, cream filled ones (real cream, not mock) that were dusted with icing sugar.  When they were fresh they were beautiful.

Ahhhh, memories of me at primary school, friday lunchtime, bought lunch day, a donut and a pie.  True bliss….no wonder I have issues with saying no to fatty foods as an adult!

My only regret I have i that I shared it with the kids, should have saved it all for myself!

Tonight ‘he who earns most of the money’ and I are off to Depot for dinner.  I’ve got sliders on my mind, and we could do with a night out just the two of us.

I’ll take some photos, though I’m sure you all have probably tried Depot at some point, but just in case you haven’t…….

Sa x


Mojo…and not just mine



So this is the latest cafe I managed to find the time to stop at for a bite.  I can see a serious pattern starting here, I’m eating away my renovation funds aren’t I?

IMG_0883I do it all for the sake of my art!  Scoff, cough, splutter!  Tosser words right!


It’s not the food that pulls me into these cafe’s, it’s the interior design.

Check out these cool features, the beautiful colours, just the general feel of being thrown together, though I’m sure there was some systemized planning that took place.



I went into Mojo a week or two ago for a birthday lunch for ‘he who earns most of the money’…unfortunately that morning I had left my wallet in my other handbag and he was forced to pay.  But hey, it all comes out of the joint account anyway!

The coffee was great, food was pretty good, I had pork belly, I think he had fish, it was the atmosphere of the place that I liked most of all!  A buzzy vibe was going on….

Most of you know Mojo owner’s have 5 cafes in Auckland, 4 in the CBD and 1 in Newmarket plus they also are in Wellywood and Dunedin.

Would I go back?? yes, the girls working there were sweet and eager to fill me in on a bit of background, oh yes, the coffee was almost as good as Volt next door!

Sa x

Check out some of their cool fit out…. 



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Today was a busy school holidays day….

My Dad decided we needed an adventure, so we trundled off on the bus from my house into the city to catch a ferry across the seas (for a whole 10 mins) to Devonport for Fish and Chips on the beach, or better known to non-kiwis Fush and Chips!

IMG_0047 IMG_0048Just after we jumped off the bus at town and were dragging 5 children down to the ferry building I spied a coffee shop!  Yes, just what I needed to rebuild my already frazzled nerves!!!  How on earth people have more than 3 kids permanently will never cease to amaze me!

As we pulled the kids towards the ferry building, I spotted a cafe, well more like I spotted a coffee machine.

You may remember my blog about ‘The Hauraki Store’ and saw my photo of their beautiful shiny yellow coffee machine.  Well this one was (as below) a criss cross pattern of yellow, black and white, and I am seriously in love with it!

IMG_0031How cool is it!!  Never seen one like that before!

This little cafe has been open for around 2 months the barista told me.  With the name Dogmatic, which now makes sense to me, given their hotdog fetish, it is a tiny little place with a great fitout.  It really makes me wish my new job was in the city near this place just so I could pop by everyday for my fix and just to admire it.

IMG_0043 IMG_0042I wish I’d got more background, but another person came in who looked as desperate as I was for coffee, so I forewent my desire to learn more about this place…oooh how unselfish of me!

Typical ‘Keep Calm and…..’ poster, but I like their take, eat hot dogs?  Now that is something my kids could sympathise with.


Even their coffee cups were a work of art…sorry about my spillage on the side, sacrilege!

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Now for the line up of their lights as you all know I have a fascination with retro lights….Even though every light was different, they still kinda matched.

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Funky artwork, hmmm love some of this in my ‘dream gallery style hallway’



The menu, they really do ‘do’ hotdogs.  Who knew you could get 11 versions of hotdog.  I particularly like the ‘Slum Dog’…



Believe it or not this visit only took a mere 10 minutes, then we whisked the baby birds away to Devonport, on a showery, often sunny Auckland day.  What a perfect day, and great adventure for kids.  Sa x

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My first stop in the morning…


IMG_0732Every morning before the sun rises, I drag myself and whichever child is up down to the beach to walk my fur babies…

Often wearing my pj’s (I sleep in trackies often) with gumboots, my first stop is the little ‘drop in’ cafe conveniently located half way between home and the beach.

A mere 50 metres from home, its become a dangerous addiction….the staff know me well and shout greetings to the whole family.  Its part of what makes me love where I live, how many people can get coffee and yummy treats and a quick chat so close to home???

You should see the parking outside this place, it is crazy filled with cars (as my fellow locals know).  I’m so pleased I don’t have to park there, though I have been known to stupidly attempt to stop there on my way out (and I’ve ended up parking back in my own driveway).


IMG_0728 They have the yummiest food here including Gelato that owners Scott and Jackie even went to Italy to learn how to make.  Now that’s what I call dedication.








If you decide to visit, make sure you come either really early or a bit later to miss the rush. From about 8.30am-11pm it is manic there!!  Everyone wants a coffee to take to the beach!

Update on Me!

Its been a crazy week here in my household..mainly for me.  I’ve been housebound most of the week save for a lovely friend helping me out by driving me around.  My car died and a small fortune later, I finally got it back yesterday!  I was offered two full-time contracts which I did think seriously about.  But I have decided against working full-time as my youngest baby bird starts school early next year and I really want to be there to settle her in, just as I was for the other two.

We’ve also decided to hold off on the renovation until next year as it was all getting a bit rushed and carried away.  This way we can start choosing products, colours etc without ending up picking the wrong stuff in haste.  Something which I know I can easily do.  I think by holding off and taking our time the process will become so much more enjoyable, and hey whats another year in the scheme of things!

On that note, I spent the whole of Thursday rearranging my kitchen/dining/lounge, I figure I may as well make it feel a bit nicer if i’m stuck with it for a while longer.

This is how the room looked before….



After…(didn’t buy anything, just worked with what I already had)



When the old fridge died last year, we decided to replace the old with a new big french door for the new kitchen, little did we know we would be delaying the kitchen….So the wine fridge is in the old fridges home (a vast improvement I think, priorities right?), i’ve had to disguise the back of the fridge with an ikea unit, work pretty well I think.

So whats the verdict?  Is it an improvement? PS. Had to throw a pict in of my beautiful boy!

Jules, I’ve put larger photos up on ‘My Renovation’ > ‘Before and After Photos’ for those that might like to see larger ones.

Sa x

“The Bar”, our long awaited local addition

First off, check out the new hairstyle…..Sarah  I’ve never in my entire life had hair this long and thank goodness for Shannon my fab hairdresser!!!!!  He has managed to make me love my long hair and given me a gorgeous style for a night at the new local bar.

Now you’ll have to excuse the shocking quality of my photos, I forgot to take the iPad Mini and had to take photos with my old iPhone.  They certainly do not do the bar justice.

My good friend Heather and I popped around the cnr a couple of nights ago for a catch up and to check this place out.  Mainly to reassure ourselves it really wasn’t a mirage, the rumors were true, IT WAS OPEN.

This place was once a carpeted, unstylish bar, and has now been taken over by the clever Scott and Jacqui! Hallelujah for us locals!!   With an opening date sign posted up on the window stating Jan as the ‘official date’, we were to be disappointed.  First off it was Nov which excited me as it meant my sister and BIL who were coming over from Sydney could join us for a tipple. Then is changed Dec, Jan, Feb, then yes, March, then they jumped to May…well we gave up at that point.  And the poor girls at “The Store”, got sick of the constant questioning, “when, when, when, will we be able to drink and stumble home?????

It finally opened this week, and why am I so excited? Well its a mere hop, skip and a jump from my house…..and I’m convinced it’ll soon become a local hangout (if it hasn’t in the first week opened).  Hmmm think if I get a baby monitor I may just be able to hear the kids wake up while i’m there…..No just winding you up, calm down!!!

I think the delayed opening dates only have made it a legend in its own right.  One local resident who is currently residing in splendor in Canada, upon seeing one of my FB photos saying it was opening a month ago promptly requested someone write ‘yeah right’ under the latest ‘opening date’ in true Tui Beer style…..wish i’d taken a photo of that!!  Yes some did write that underneath!

When we managed to get in the front door (which is a tad tricky, given it was stuck and there was a man on a seat preventing it opening (hmmmmmm there’s one serious design flaw, can’t get in the door is a big one I’d say!).  Jeremy, the manager of many, welcomed us.  Many of you will know who he is and those that don’t, when you visit he will make you feel like an old friend.


No, that’s not Jeremy in the photo to the right, he refused to let me photograph him, even though I tried my hardest to persuade him!  But as you can see this young man was very obliging for me.


Heather and I had a bite to eat, yummy gnocchi, fried chicken, salad, potato fritters (yes really).  All washed down with vodka, lime and lemonade….nothing like spirits to wash away that flu-ey feeling right?

I recommend you giving it a go, it wasn’t packed, we managed to easily get seats and there were still a few free…..So who’s going to check it out and if you have, let me know what you think?

Sa x

Ps. I forgot to mention they have this cool wine bottle oxidiser thing that means they can open an expensive bottle and sell a 75ml drop and then re:pressurise it. This means if you want to drop $45 for 75ml of Sassicia from Tuscany then you now have the option otherwise buy a bottle which will set you back a mere $445.

Oooh I forgot to add…Petal Cupcakes…..

Petal I crossed the path of this little shop in Newmarket as I walked from the car to visit A Bolt of Cloth.

On the second time past I just had to stop and buy one as there was this lovely young man who looked out at me every time I went past. I felt like a stalker and had to dispel that image by introducing myself and telling him about my blog.



Check out these! My choice was the last little top one – raspberry and I can tell you its delicious!!!

Baked on the shore and then iced in store at 8 Teed Street, Newmarket, these cupcakes are delicious!

muffinThe packaging is amazing, perfect for a gift if you want to surprise a friend.


IMG_0589I’ve even taken close ups of my muffin while itching to taste it! Very restrained I know!


I love cafes


I’ve just been to a cool new cafe on the shore. Freshly opened on Monday and owned by Hauraki locals Greg and Jennine, The Hauraki Store is another indication of how much Aucklanders and Auckland have spread their wings and taken the plunge over the last few years.

Just over three years ago I was happy to leave Auckland and head to Singapore for a year.  It was cold and really felt rather boring to me at the time.  Maybe that was me, in fact I think it was, I was working full time with three young children, battling a dodgy gate saga and awful complaining neighbours.  Sorry Auckland, on re reading this it wasn’t your fault I fell out of love with you, I just fell out of love with my life.

When I returned on the eve of the Rugby World Cup, I discovered Auckland had seemed to change.  It went in my eyes from those comfy old shoes that you know will always be there to a new place full of expectations of style and quality (excluding the awful asian cheapie shops on Queen street of course).


My first foray was Wynyard Quarter, where I was blown away with the effort gone into creating an area all Aucklanders can visit.  Next up was with the opening of ‘The Store’ by Scott and Jacki right across the road from home, plus the reinvention of Britomart, Imperial Lane and the likes, I’ve decided I am firmly in love with my home city and insist those involved with making it one of the worlds most ‘livable cities’ need to stand up and take a bow!

Back to The Hauraki Store:

This place has a really cool history. Greg, the vision behind it tells me it used to be a butchery that he walked past often as a young lad….how cool is that!  Same places, new things right!


In order to retain some of the original character they enlisted the help of an interior design firm who came up with some cool ideas such as wallpaper that looks like concrete and a beautiful pressed iron ceiling that they tell me was a bugger to put up.


Jennine and Greg were very welcoming upon my visit and seemed pleased I’d made the trip from the city side especially with the purpose of visiting them.  They were eager for feedback and happy to share they were exceeding their expectations in their first week of finding their feet.  I find it so awesome to hear the local community is embracing this couples new venture.  And i’ve gotta say Charlotte my youngest gave the thumbs up to the huge chocolate coated fluffy they generously gave her.

Coffee, Food & Interiors

I know I’m not exactly a coffee connoisseur but I know what I like, a strong intense flavour, which is what I got here from their choice of Allpress coffee beans.  Along with my yummy, extremely well priced chicken baguette I was pretty happy.

What brought me over to the shore in the first place?  Well my love of interiors really, I mean check out their coffee machine!  Funnily enough I saw it on Facebook through a good friend, along with photos of their the work they were doing and just had to go to see for myself…

hmmmm maybe my future will be trying out all the funky Auckland cafes and showing them to you all …….ha ha ha, what better way to get around the city right and indulge my love of cafes, coffees & interiors…..


Sa x

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