“Brunch puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and the cobwebs of the week.” – Guy Beringer, 1895
As a chef who generally started work before dawn, the prospect of going out for dinner mostly held no appeal. On top of that, my second job in catering evening meant serving others dinner could be part of my work day. Either way, it’s unusual for me to get the chance to dine out in the evening. Sunday brunch however is another matter. Sunday is the day I can normally wake up in my own time, relax and recharge. The only pressure I feel is to make sure I have time to enjoy a whole free day, catch up with my friends or enjoy time with my (now) husband.
Brunch is my favourite way to start one of these days.
In Wellington (New Zealand) dining options are plenty, but a cafe with a sea view nearly always wins for me. On beautiful sunny days it’s lovely being close to nature, on wild windy days, I enjoy watching the waves (from a distance). This is the list of my favourite brunch spots, in no particular order.
Scorch o Rama – Karaka Bay
Scorch-o-rama – Exceptional location with beautiful harbour entrance views. It’s not unusual to spot the odd orca, dolphin or even whale from here (I have). It’s a great place to watch ships and ferries coming and going. Plenty of outside seating beside the beach, fabulous on a warm day or a windless one with a coat. Friendly staff and usually very good service. There are good vegetarian options and black board specials.
The Bach – Island Bay
We have being going to The Bach for many years and have watched it try to morph from a rustic seaside cafe to a more upmarket eatery. There are a range of vegetarian meals on their standard menu, though we do find that that if you ordered the same meal it would change from week to week, not always in a good way.
For me, it is definitely all about the location, stunning views of the Cook Strait and the Kaikouras from the ruggedly beautiful South coast. It is spectacular during or just after a storm, but the deck is brilliant on a sunny day, perfect place for a cheese scone and a cuppa after a drive around the coast.
In the weekends the kitchen did often seem to have trouble coping when they are busy, 40 minutes or more for your meal was not uncommon.
Brahman – Harbourside Market, Central Wellington
For nearly a decade I have been buying a Masala Dosa from Balu and Shree at their food stall – “The Brahman” on a Sunday morning when we visit the Harbourside Market. This is a personal favourite vegetarian or vegan breakfast/brunch, made even more enjoyable by eating it on the beach at Wellington harbour.
Cafe Polo – Miramar
No sea views from Miramar, but with a diverse and delicious menu designed around locally sourced free-range and fair-trade products you’ll be too busy eating to miss a view. Meals are delivered promptly and the service is friendly, personal and attentive.
Cafe Polo is definitely worth the drive.