For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “Lambton Quay”


The Wellington Hospitality Group (Bethel Woods, Coene’s, Gasworks, Whitby Co-op, Munchen) has added yet another horse to its stable – Churchill bar on Lambton Quay where the Royal and various other bars have been.

Chruchill tweak1

There’s a bit of cheekiness at play in Churchill if one looks closely at the black and white ‘War is over’ mural on the wall, and like other WHG places, there are lots of different nooks and crannies depending on your mood.

We happened along on a Saturday evening pre-Hurricanes game, and the place was buzzing with hopeful anticipation, and bunches of folks getting warm food in their belly before the blast of cold to come.

The food leans British as you’d expect (bangers’n’mash, Cornish pasty with peas and gravy, Beef Wellington, fish’n’chips, Eton mess etc), but actually has a few contemporary dishes thrown in too – warm chicken, feta, quinoa and radiccio salad, or chickpea and cauliflower curry, to name just a couple.

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And to show that you can never tell with Wellingtonians, we metro dwellers ordered the fish’n’chips and bangers’n’mash, while the strapping rugby lads next to us ordered the chicken quinoa salad and grilled fish with veges, and were talking about the parmesan fries they’d made at home recently!

The food came promptly with satisfying braised pork, apple and sage sausages in my dish, and flaky fish inside the crisp batter of the chip fiend’s. The presentation was simple but appealing, and I confess to eyeing up someone else’s potted pork belly with pickled cucumber, sourdough and beer mustard on the way past.

The drinks list has the usual range of suspects, with a couple of not-so-usual leaping out – a black doris plum and ginger sour cocktail, and a Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill bubbly from France if one really wanted to push the boat out.

Churchill decor1

So next time you fancy a comforting bite and blast of conviviality, pop on down to Churchill.

132 Lambton Quay


New Funicular cafe

The cafe formerly known as Fresco, upstairs on Lambton Quay on the southern side of Cable Car Lane, is now Funicular cafe (no website yet).

The space has been remodelled and is now sleeker and warmer feeling.  Maybe due to the buttercup coloured benches, myriads of lightbulbs dangling on long red cables, or the counter now being in the middle of the space so its not such a big open barn.  At the southern end of the cafe is a dining space with a large table (and funky mixed colour chairs) for big groups or a semi-private working lunch.

The offerings include both cabinet food and menu options.  There was a good range of muffins and scones freshly cooked including raspberry and white chocolate, pear and espresso, and an interesting-looking savoury muffin.  The cheese scone I had included some greenery (visually appealing), was crisp on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. Delightful.

The breakfast menu also included one or two interesting options like savoury french toast with ham and cheese, and bircher muesli with poached fruit and honey yoghurt.  And I think the pancakes with blueberry mascarpone might be tempting me back this Saturday to see how the cooked food stacks up.

The new owner has recently returned from overseas if I remember correctly from a recent brief mention in the Capital Times, and aims to provide a quality cafe experience.  The service was very good (professional and timely), as was the coffee (Supreme) and the trim Chai latte (a limited number of places do them well).

It’s a nice spot to be sitting at the windows overlooking Lambton Quay below. Funicular is definitely worth checking out if you’re in that general area.  Monday to Saturday daytimes, from 7.30 weekdays.

POSTSCRIPT: I had to do it, the pancakes with balsamic blueberries, maple mascarpone and maple syrup.  Very well done, delicious with the balsamic tang, good presentation and again good service….

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