Betty’s almost entire family were up in Auckland this week to watch sister number five, Right-Angle Girl, have surgery. In between vigils, sister six (not a blogger) went out for breakfast with Betty and the husband person.
They began with eggs Benedict at Revel, and wandered around Karangahape Road, and then took the bus to Britomart and walked through the train station. Baggins (sister six) sniffed Christopher Brosius perfumes, examined vintage dresses and perused Scandinavian stationery with the best of them. After much walking, they popped into Raw Power and had a bowl of soup. Civilised, no?
Betty’s new favourite cafe is Hum – in a near-derelict house at the hospital end of the Grafton bridge, shared by an artists’ collective, and with plans to include a deli and food in the future. Just now Hum serves excellent Kokako organic coffee, and keeps oat milk on hand as well as soy. Proceeds from the coffee go to restoring the house, which is beautiful and cosy, and in the meantime there is always a spot on one of the sofas whenever Betty wants to have a post-lecture mocha or shelter from the rain.
Betty especially likes the coloured lanterns that hang everywhere – along the verandah, in the fireplace, from the ceiling – and the genial, friendly staff.
This travel agent is in a tiny mall next to an Asian supermarket in, arguably, the most awesome street in Auckland. I suppose if the vintage shopping starts to feel a little pedestrian, it’s nice to have the opportunity for a more direct sortie to the past–or, indeed, the future.
Betty turned 27.
The boy person friend took her to lunch at Revel on Karangahape Road. Betty loves Karangahape Road. Back in the day, when she was writing her thesis, she used to have breakfast there sometimes. Many is the time she hiked all the way up Queen Street in search of a vegan marshmallow from the SAFE shop in St Kevin’s Arcade. To this day, she occasionally hankers for Thai food from a truly horrendous foodcourt on Mercury Lane. There is a greenish-gold dome on one of the older buildings that she has determined one day to explore. Sometimes she gets a deliciously low-rent tofu hot dog from a tiny hole-in-the-wall takeaway near the Grafton Bridge. I digress.
Revel is a lovely cafe. One time, when Betty was feeling poorly, the man behind the coffee-machine made Betty an impromptu cup of lemon and ginger toddy; he offered a shot of whisky, which Betty declined, though she immediately wondered why she had; but her throat felt ever so much better afterward.
The boy person friend asked for a lemon, lime and bitters, and was somehow talked into this elderflower-and-rhubarb concoction; it was extremely nice.
He also had wedges. Betty had eggs benny with delicious mushrooms and zucchini. Her tea was made of almonds and hibiscus, among other things; they have escaped her memory due to her advancing years.
I crept into the city early the other Sunday and had this coffee (soy mocha, in fact) at Columbus on Queen and Karangahape. When I had finished it, some old friends from Melbourne met me there and we had a good old catch up. It was nice. So was the mocha.