The Local Dairy, the Bus Stop and a Cafe – all on our morning walk!

This is my new walking companion. His name is Mahia. go-then-047

For lunch yesterday I raided the fridge for a  few of my favourite New Zealand ingredients.  we;;y1-005

Look at the colour of that butter! That cow has been on some good grass. Armed with a big mug of hot tea I made kiwi style cheese souffles for lunch. we;;y1-008

Then our new mother and I went for a walk along a track that skirts the perimeter of the zoo. The lions with their cavernous roars were not out though, maybe next time.  Later we passed a lovely corner Dairy. I have a great fondness for these little Dairies so we might collect a few of them during our stay. we;;y1-015

These little corner stores have battled to stay solvent, like all wee shops around the world,  due to the big supermarkets. But our supermarkets are not that big nor are they that cheap and Fourth Son reports that often he finds it cheaper to buy bits and pieces down the road as the supermarkets are ridiculously expensive in this country. we;;y1-013

I am convinced that it is the New Zealand love of hot steak pies (meat pies) and hokey pokey ice cream that keeps these stores alive.   Meat pies area about the size of a small hand and are delivered daily to the store and kept very hot all day in a pie oven. They are sold in a paper bag, so that you can eat them straight from the bag, not burning your hands or showering yourself with crumbs.                                                                        go-then-009                      I I hope to go inside this little shop today, and buy a hokey pokey ice cream, maybe they will let me take some shots inside  – so you can see.  Our Dairies have always stood alone in the midst of residential  areas, usually on a corner and have been the backbone of New Zealand last minute shopping since before I can remember. we;;y1-018

This is a typical little bus stop. The bus services in our big cities is normally pretty good. we;;y1-022

And finally we reached our destination. A wee cafe sat outside the Newtown Zoo.  In a New Zealand cafe you go up to the counter to order your coffee, pay, then go and sit down  (we sat outside as it was an unusually perfect Wellington day) with whatever item of food you have bought, and  a staff member will bring your hot coffee out to you.  Every country has a different custom.  Coffee in New Zealand is always served in real cups.  Until I lived in the US I took this for granted.  I have never been able to resign myself to paper or polystyrene cups and plates. If you order a pie in a cafe here it will be served on a real plate, with a knife and fork and a bottle of tomato sauce (ketchup) plonked on the table.

It is not common to find a NZ home with a coffee machine. We will drink tea or instant coffee or plunger coffee.  When I lived here I always made my morning coffee in  a plunger.  For a real cup you walk to the local cafe, there are more cafes in New Zealand than you can shake a stick at, and we sit with the paper or a friend and drink in a leisurely fashion.

I had left our wee mother, with her baby sleeping in the pram, and was across the road inspecting the bus stop when our coffee was delivered. The cups were so beautiful that my daughter in law just knew that I would want to show them to you. So, she very sweetly did not touch her perfect cup until I came back. You are getting to know me I laughed, as I arranged our cups and took the photograph. We both took little sips of my first real New Zealand coffee since I got home, then sat back in our chairs under the Pohutukawa tree and had a gossip.  Bliss.

Good morning. We pick up my daughter from the airport this afternoon, she is flying in from Melbourne. The pace will go up a level when she arrives. So I will need to be on my toes. For dinner tonight Mama’s meat loaf has been requested. Isn’t it sweet how kids love their childhood food!  We will take pictures!

Have a lovely day.

celi

67 Comments on “The Local Dairy, the Bus Stop and a Cafe – all on our morning walk!

  1. Hey there ! What a great time of year to go on a trip home to the sunshine! That custard slice looks so English it really made me smile. And those pies fabulous xx

  2. Wonderful writing, C – your joy just oozes right through!
    Youngest Step-Son sneers at my coffee maker – he only drinks pressed. Which is fine by me…long as he does the washing up!
    Have a lovely day!

  3. Lovely Cinders and you look like a teenager in your profile! 🙂 love that coffee cups photo! Puts Starbucks to shame!! 🙂

  4. I wondered why there were so few comments, so far… aaahh, we are currently in the same hemisphere… I also could hear the happiness in your ‘voice’ as you recounted your day, which in turn made me smile 🙂 Simple pleasures… great food, a good looking pie, proper corner shops, wonderful coffees & cups…

  5. Oh I cannot cannot get over that butter–nor can I imagine such charming bus stops in chicago! One year, I think it was 1999, we had a festival of cows darling cows painted in such creative unique ways placed about the downtown–I’m telling you they brought tears to my eyes. I am wondering what is plunger coffee? And I love that German shepherd !!

  6. I agree, we’re very lucky to have such a great coffee culture here in NZ and where would we be without our pies!

    I love how we call it plunger coffee. So no-nonsense and ugly sounding. I found out that Americans call it a French Press. Now that sounds much fancier.

  7. And what beautiful weather you have arrived home to! i have to say i wouldn’t touch plunger coffee, it taste awful after all our great espresso coffee that you find everywhere here.

  8. Now I see why my dad always said NZ would be the place he’d like to live – he loved all the little places – like his small town.
    Cheese souffles – yummy, now getting hungry for real food.
    (wonderful dog, of course he would pick you to walk with!)

  9. A lovely happy post. Yay to proper cups and plunger coffee – Why pay a fortune for a fancy machine which has loads of fiddly bits to clean and takes ages to make one litle cup of coffee?

    I like the little shop a lot – I do most of my shopping in our village shop, which apart from convenience, is also great for meeting all your friends; Use ’em or lose ’em. Even more important, I don’t need to use polluting fossil fuel at vast cost to go go town.

  10. It all sounds perfect! And I did have to chuckle about customs – Big Man was horrified that in an English pub he couldn´t just order a little tapas portion of food, or have a splash of anis in his coffee at 9am and then (to cap it all) he had to pay for it before he had drunk anything and then carry it to a table, only to have to repeat the whole process when it was time for the next round!

  11. There’s another post …. kiwi fruit and the shy KIwi bird. Love that bus stop shelter. Laura

  12. This is a delight: I am learning about current US customs and ways by you telling your readers about those in NZ: of course they are basically the same here 🙂 ! And, of course we would shake a stick at anyone not bringing the coffee over in proper cups 😀 !

  13. I’m having such a good time on our trip! The butter looks so rich and delicious!

    If you get a chance to take a picture of a tuatara, I would be ever so grateful! And save me a piece of meatloaf!

  14. Oh yes life in NZ sounds very similar to here in SA, except the big stores have virtually destroyed the corner shop… coffee shops are much the same and of cause the hand held pie… “Mama’s Pies” I love them…. coffee and tea in a cafe also in china cups and food on a china plate… must be a Southern hemisphere thing… sounds like you’re having a great time… wonderful…

  15. Oh! A Belgian Tervuren! We lost ours about two years ago, she was a gentle sweet soul, kind to everything that crossed her path for 12 short years. We recently acquired a Belgian Malinois, I only hope she will be half as wonderful as our Terv was.

  16. Look at that butter!!!! I look all over Southwest France for butter that color. I found some grassfed Jersey Cow butter, but It’s very expensive and she doesn’t make much of it. Our Salers are great milkers, but I’m not up to setting one aside for a milk cow just yet.

  17. Sounds like a wonderful homecoming, Celi, and glad to hear your daughter is joining/has joined you. It will be quite a nice reunion for you all. Great that you and Mahia get along. Once you get used to walking with a dog, a walk without one just doesn’t seem right.
    If you can, bottle up some of that sunshine and bring it home with you. Our skies have been gray since your left. 😦

    • But not too too cold I hear. i do hope that baddest weather holds off until I get home so things are easy for the farmy people.. c

  18. What pretty cups and saucers! The baby’s mama was sweet to wait so you could share this moment of bliss with us. 🙂 You make it sound so lovely there, and what I’m seeing through your lens is believing.

  19. What a fabulous time you are having Celi – I can feel the love bursting through my screen. Our coffee is also served in real cups here – the thought of paper or polystyrene is not very appealing.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  20. I see your holding some steak pies, you need to put tomato sauce (ketchup) on it for an authentic Kiwi taste and flush it up with L&P

    • I have always loved L&P.. but I have never liked tomato sauce on my pie, I like the pie to stay HOT, my daughter would not eat a pie it without it of course!!

  21. Wow, how lovely to catch up with you and see the pictures. I’ve completely lost the plot of how many children you have! But it seems like you have the most wonderful family…all over the place. 🙂 I remember having a friend from France visit a few years ago and we walked to the local Starbucks to get her some coffee. You should have seen the look on her face when she was handed a to-go cup…like someone had just shot her dog! Funny. (but not for Danielle)

    • Poor Danielle, it just does not taste the same! and i have five children. Four boys and a girl.. hard to keep up with! c

  22. The last time I was in New Zealand, I was twelve years old and that was quite a while ago – I have never forgotten where we stayed in Mt Pleasant and the delicious orchards of stone fruits and the zoo! Enjoy this special time and welcome to the Southern Hemisphere!
    Flavia

  23. I’ve never been to either NZ or Oz but I have heard so much about their pies. In fact there’s a shop in London that specialises in Australian pies. You sound like you’re having a great time and the weather looks beautiful. Love the bus stop. We have similar in the French countryside, except there are no buses to go with them:)

  24. What a fantastically beautiful looking country. Of course I’ve seen pictures before, but have never had the pleasure of views through the eyes of a native. So fun! You look great and I’m glad you have a new walking buddy in Mahia…such a handsome fellow. Your souffle and those meat pies are making my stomach growl like a lion! Have a fantastic day. 🙂

  25. You are right about our grown kids loving their childhood favourites – since my son and his girlfriends arrived from Asia last week, our kitchen has been bustling with baking all day!!

  26. I love the bus stop and the way you present quintessential New Zealand. It’s a treat for me, and I live here!

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