Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Father's Day

How was your Father's Day?
We enjoyed a weekend of gorgeous spring weather so made the most of it.
On Saturday, we took a jaunt to Piha, another of Auckland's fabulous volcanic sand beaches.
I was glad I'd only partaken of two glasses of wine the night before, because the road to Piha was windy and steep. I spent half the drive gritting my teeth and squealing, as Husband revealed his inner rally driver.
Nevertheless, we made it there safely, and the crazy drive was worth it.
"Why is the sand glittering?," asked C. "Mumma, there are diamonds in it!" exclaimed H.
Later, we enjoyed lunch at Occam, a Grey Lynn cafe we've been dying to try for ages, as it's always filled to the brim with happy campers. Er diners.
True enough, the meal was fabulous, all the better for nabbing the table closest to the fire.
I am constantly amazed at how few NZ restaurants specifically cater for kids with their own menu - though it is rarely a problem to serve up a mini-portion menu of a main, or something else altogether if you ask. In some ways, I think this is better than the standardised kids' menu, because the kids end up eating and appreciating real food as opposed to more nuggets and fries!
Most recently, the kids have enjoyed reduced sized (and priced) fish meals, pizza, pasta, and also breakfasts - just like the grown-ups, but for little tummies. And they've loved it!
The price usually needs to be worked out, but we've never felt ripped off. In fact, we'd rather pay a little more for our kids to eat specially prepared, quality food than reheated, stereotypical, frozen meals. (Hey, they can get that home. At least if I'm cooking!)
Father's Day Sunday was a relatively lazy day spent mostly at home, though we did venture up the road to our local, The Drake, for their famous two-for-one Sunday meals.
As usual, it was lovely, and as usual, the kids were mesmerised by yet another fire!

He looks so serious!

Oh, is that a fry? Don't mind if I do ...

Pan-fried snapper with wilted greens, kipfler potatoes and capers ... at Occam. Faultless!

Eel Bridge at Piha ... a tribute to the eels which live below. There are golden eel railings ...

And eels etched into the pavement!

Washing shells at Piha

Sibling love

Unspoiled beaches



Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I suppose having mini versions is much better than nuggets :P I feel sorry when kids only getting nuggets!

amber said...

Sounds like a fantastic beach area. Glad to here you had a great weekend. Hmm, I think I might have trouble feeding Miss R with no nuggets on the menu.

Honey the Great Dane said... always make me hungry when I visit your blog! :-) Love the pics of food you always take to show us what you've been enjoying...and hey, you found a place in Auckland with a fire? Where?? We really miss the pubs with roaring fires back in the UK but over here, it just never really seems appropriate, even in mid-winter, because it's so sunny and can never really be called "cold" in the daytime - at least, not compared to miserable, dark, freezing UK winters, we think! :-)

Glad you enjoyed Piha - one of our favourite beaches! That view from the top of the road is just spectacular, isn't it? But I agree about the winding roads!! We had friends visit from overseas and we took them there and the wife actually had to get out and be sick by the side of the road! Hey - we've been there loads of times but never knew about the Eel bridge! How cool! Where is it? Must check it out next time we're there...


MrsDesperate said...

Yes, Lorraine, I agree with you. I think restaurants need to give kids much more credit - mine also feel ripped off if only offered nuggets and chips, and often we end up buying them something off the main menu. I like the trend here where they can eat what they like, and we're charged half ... think it's much healthier all round.
And yes, Amber, beach was lovely, but not like we are used to in Queensland. Everyone surfing was in wetsuits as it was so cold ... but it was still gorgeous to visit.
And HsinYi I'll have to describe how to get to the eel bridge next time I see you.
Sorry if I make you hungry - perhaps we like our food a little too much?
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found that drive a little nail-biting ... though feel sorry for your friend!
(Also, have to admit that the fires were fake gas ones - but nice all the same, and a huge novelty to our kids who aren't used to them. Wait until you are in Queensland, and you will find out why!)