AM to PM: how to VWOAP all day
I'm always thinking about food, so the countdown until VWOAP starts is making for some long days and nights. But it's not long to go now – in a month's time the words "meal planning" will take on a whole new meaning, as I employ VisaWOAP.com, spreadsheets, schedules and maps to triangulate all possible options across the city.
The great thing about VWOAP is that no matter what time of the day those hunger pangs hit, there's always ways to keep you satisfied no matter what time of the day it is.
Start as you intend to finish
Burger fiends rejoice! Now you can add an extra burger to your schedule and legitimately call it breakfast. Hippopotamus' Le Petit Déjeuner burger takes classic breakfast staples and stuffs them into a brioche bun: a chorizo and black pudding patty, frittata and tomato chutney, served with hashbrown tots and mustard aioli.
The best weekends are spent recharging after a busy week, so for all you brunch lovers out there, Sterling have you sorted with Brunch, Bellinis and Bacchus. As the name suggests, this will be a truly indulgent affair.
Something in between
The morning's done and dusted and there's still a few hours before dinner - you definitely need a little somethin' somethin' to tide you over. As I was lucky enough to preview, trust me - the Lobby Lounge high tea event at the InterContinental will hit the spot.
They've pulled out all the stops in this celebration of champagne, infusing cupcakes, panna cotta and macarons with, you guessed it, the flavour of champagne. The champagne jelly atop the panna cotta is to die for, and the chocolate and raspberry popping candy lollypops are a cracking great treat. The usual suspects are present too – after all, high tea wouldn't be complete without cucumber sandwiches and scones.
(Hint: head to our Facebook Page from 6pm Thu 12 July to be in to win a double pass to this event!)
Make every dinner a party
Time for the main event. Your first port of call is to check out the glittering selection of Dine menus and festival dishes on offer. I've got my eyes on Restaurant 88'spiña colada rice (a mouth-watering mix of seafood, rice and coconut sambal served in a pineapple) and Field & Green's stuffed confit duck leg, which sounds like a perfect rustic winter dish.
Or I highly recommend, make dinner even more of an occasion with this year's jamboree of dinner events.
Go back to early 1900s with Bastardo's Novecento, a multi-course dinner inspired by the books, films and art of the era. Wellington's always embraced its bohemian side so dine accordingly with old-fashioned cocktails and classical dishes.
Celebrate classic Italian breads and their companions with Leeds St Bakery: no need to carb your enthusiasm for this five-course meal, accompanied by house-made kombucha and kvass (a traditional Slavic and Baltic drink made from rye bread).
Choose who's coming to dinner with Circa Theatre's dinner AND a show. The Dinner starts with two courses and wine before you, the audience, help devise characters and a plot for an improvised play performed by a talented troupe of comic actors - sure to be a great night out.
I Hope It's Not Your Last Supper at Portlander will test the apostle in all of us over a five-course meal matched with wines. There will also be a bountiful grazing table on hand for anyone still feeling peckish - if it's going to be your Last Supper, you might as well go out in style.
So you and your dining companions have enjoyed a lovely dinner. You all step out of the restaurant into another balmy Wellington eve, but there's a hesitation among you to call it night. You all dance the long goodbye dance until you take control and suggest a nightcap somewhere. Well done, you.
If wine's your tipple of choice, head to the Pop Up Match Wine Bar at Noble Rot and if you're feeling particularly adventurous, order one of the blind–test flights and see whether you can guess what you're drinking.
There's always room for dessert, and at The Library you'll find their Pop Up Chefs Do Partie cocktail menu, putting a spin on some of our local chefs' desert island desserts.
There are more delicious cocktails to be found among the Cocktail Wellington selections, like Forresters Lane's Born, Buried and Dug-Up, a rum-based concoction that is currently ageing in barrels under Ōtaki as you read this (yes, you read that right). Or perhaps El Matador's Cigarra is more to your liking, featuring coffee-infused tequila, crème de menthe, and fresh cream with a cicada praline rim.
Whatever you end up choosing, it'll be the perfect full-stop on another fine VWOAP day.