We’re back. Little Miss T and her Mama had a wonderful time in Christchurch visiting family and hanging out with Nonna (a.k.a Mum to me). Three nights and 2.5 days whizzes by when you’re having fun and it came to an end all too quick!
But let’s not dwell on that. Let’s dwell on what made our fleeting visit so fantastical (I love that word and thought it appropriate right there!)
We spent Wednesday morning at the Botanical Gardens with two of my cousins and their children – 5 kids between us – and were joined by a friend and her daughter, my Aunt, my Mum’s cousin & her daughter in law and her gorgeous little boy. So, quite a tribe of us. We let the kids run around, clambering up slides and chasing each other around the swings and jumping on little see-saws. In truth, I sat and chatted whilst Nonna attended to Little Miss T and her friends and then we had lunch at the tearooms. It was a nice way to spend a fresh Autumnal morning.
As soon as we left there, babygirl fell asleep in the car so Mum and I thought it perfect timing to visit the Cupcake Parlour. We journeyed across town to the quaint little establishment and I rushed inside to choose my goodies. There was a great selection on offer – including cookies, slices & cakes, a blackboard displaying coffees & teas and beautiful mismatched sets of fine china caught my eye. Too bad I wasn’t sitting to indulge so I could sip from a pretty little teacup.
From there we drove across town in the other direction to another cupcake establishment that I had no idea existed – it pays to be in the company of a local right!? We arrived outside the very, very lovely Cupcake Collection. They don’t have a website unfortunately, but their premises are beautiful decked out, with a fresh & bright outlook and the staff wear lovely pinny’s, and is also furnished in shabby chic detail.
We’ll get to the taste test and feedback shortly, but I must digress to tell you about the best part about this Cupcake Hunt. And that is… discovering an absolutely gorgeous childrens bookstore right next door called The Reading Bug. I had intended on buying Little Miss T a new book whilst we were away, and couldn’t help but feel this chance encounter was more than chance! What a lovely space.
I wish we had something this fabulous in Auckland. The brightness of the store, the layout and the display of beautiful book after beautiful book make it somewhere I will be looking forward to visiting again and again. There’s even a cute little reading nook for the wee ones! I bought a beautiful book called Welcome to the Zoo which I thought fitting given our recent purchase of the Zoo Pass and the fact that we’ll be there regularly this coming year.
So, back to the cupcakes – I purchased four in total – top two from Cupcake Collection, bottom two from Cupcake Parlour.
They were all pretty good, but the Sticky Date was definitely my pick – that may be because Sticky Date pudding with Caramel sauce is my absolute favourite winter dessert!
I hope you’re still reading because I’ve left the best for last. Trust me when I say that the visit to J’aime Les Macarons was well worth it. I haven’t tasted anything quite that incredible and exquisite in a very long time. We returned the following morning to buy another lot to bring back to Auckland. I’ve shared them with Mr S, my Dad & given some as a gift to a very dear friend. Reports thus far have all concurred – they’re delicious! They send all over New Zealand so don’t let your geographical distance from the Garden City stop you from experiencing the magic.
Time to snuggle on the couch.
Have a great night.