Sunday, September 04, 2011

NZ part 2 - Wellington shopping (& a bit of south island gorgeousness)

Hello! I'm back to prattle on more about NZ. First stop, Wellington!

Wellington is a gorgeous city, and is indeed just like a smaller version of Melbourne in many ways. I definitely felt at home there, which is saying a lot because I find it hard to feel at home anywhere other than my beloved Melbourne! Although coming from Melbourne where everything is generally quite flat, I was also enamored by the landscape and all the gorgeous houses dotting the surrounding hillsides.

Whilst in Wellington I was fortunate enough to have three things on my side. 1) A very patient man-friend who didn't mind being dragged all over town, 2) a very lovely local client (Celestina of Vida Textiles) who showed us around some fantastic local design stores, and 3) the Design*Sponge Wellington City Guide at hand (I used screen-shots on my phone when lacking internets).

One of the stores that Celestina took me to was Madder and Rouge, a customer who had recently placed an order for some custom printed colourways of our Large Scale Birch. It was so exciting to see what they had done with the fabric and how their vision for it tied so well with the rest of the store:

Madder & Rouge, Wellington

Madder & Rouge, Wellington - Birch in Black & white!

The next day, following the advice of the D*S city guide we ventured to a bunch of cute little designy/homewares/cute objects stores scattered around the city:

Vessel and Swonderful, Wellington

Here's a list of some of the fantastic little design/craft/indie stores we visited whilst in Wellington:

- Vessel
- Swonderful
- Made it (owned by the very talented Melina Martin)
- Pixel Ink
- Madder & Rouge
- ES Design (amazing mid-century furniture awesomeness here too)
- Small Acorns

On our last day (thanks to Janette from Verdant Design) we discovered the Frank Kitts Market full of indie crafty/design goodness. I had to giggle though, not only was this design market in an undercover carpark (sound familiar?), I also found three stalls featuring our fabrics, including the very first stall I encountered when I came through the entrance! That was trippy, I tell you what.

Frank Kitts Market (including the very lovely Craft Me Up stall)

Verdant Design at the Frank Kitts Market (Acacia lamp!)

After Wellington we headed down to the South Island via ferry to Blenheim, where Jon grew up. We stayed with his folks for most of the time but also borrowed a car and drove down to Hanmer Springs for a night (hot springs and mineral pools half way up a snow-capped mountain!)

Let me just say, the drive down to Hanmer was A-MAZ-ING. Such spectacular scenery. Imagine rolling hills, winding roads, deciduous trees with new spring growth, cherry blossoms in bloom, cute little spring lambs everywhere with their crazy tails, single lane bridges over little creeks, black pebble beaches, seals sunning themselves on rocks... and all the while these huge dramatic snow capped Mountains in the distance.

The drive to Hanmer and Cheltenham House

We picked a winner again with the accommodation too - a beautiful sprawling, refurbished 1930's house turned into a B&B - still with it's original billiard room and full sized pool table. We stayed in one of the rooms off the garden and awoke to this view - more snow-capped mountains in the background of course!

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip and now that I'm back into the swing of things at work it feels a world away. But I still love my Melbourne ;)



Bianca said...

You have convinced me... I MUST go to NZ! (after south America... so that'll be in 2013 because I'll need to build up my leave)

SakuraDreams said...

I'm from New Zealand and I'm looking to move to Wellington to study there in 2 years time. I can't wait. There's a chocolate store/cafe there called butlers (i think) , had the most delicious white chocolate and marshmallow hot chocolates... *DROOL*

oscarlucinda said...

We stayed at Cheltenham House years ago when we visited Hamner. Such a goodie! Hope you made it to the Springs!

Wellington is on my list of places to go in NZ along with Nelson and the art deco haven, day!

Diane said...

Looks amazing! I'll hopefully be heading over to NZ later in the year, so your roundup will come in very handy!