Monday, 16 February 2015

Thorndon: Molesworth Street (A Local's Guide to Wellington)

Molesworth Street is one of the main streets of the suburb of Thorndon. Here I look into the sights and delicacies scattered around.

Parliament
A huge draw for tourists (both international and domestic), Parliament comprises of several buildings, some more attractive than others.
The beehive has a very mixed view, with some loving it but most hating it. I prefer the more traditional building next to it, where parliamentary sessions are held. The beehive holds the MPs' offices. Parliament Green sits in front and many people come here at lunch to enjoy nice weather, either sitting on the grass or on the park benches that are dotted around.

A bit further along is 'New' Saint Paul's Cathedral, which is pink and ugly and needs a good scrubbing. I won't burn your eyes with a picture of it here. Go and see Old Saint Paul's if you want to see a nice church (on Mulgrave Street).

The National Library of New Zealand

The National Library is one of my favourite places just to go and read. You can also use a computer to work on. Upstairs there are computers that have software useful for research and ancestry tracking, all free of charge. I'm amazed this place isn't packed full of people all the time, it's such a useful resource.

There's a cafe inside called HOME. The food is generally good, but the staff are not up to par, which really brings it down. They serve a variety of cabinet food - the slices are the best, with my top 5 picks being:
1. The ginger slice. It's so gingery that it's spicy, with an oaty base.
2. The banoffee slice. Rich with a caramel sauce and chocolate chips on the top.
3. The lemon slice. Properly lemony and lighter than the others, suitable for a nice morning tea.
4. The coffee slice. There are walnuts chopped into the base. This one is also lighter but it's quite sweet.
5. The anzac slice. Enough said, amiright?

Word of Mouth Catering
I generally go to Word of Mouth if I'm eating out for lunch. The staff are brilliant, and they have a large range of food to chose from, for reasonable prices. They have several salads that they make fresh every day, and it's always something new. If you're after something light, I recommend the ham and cheese roll (sourdough roll, gruyere cheese, champagne ham) which costs less than $4, with a side salad of your choosing. They also do a soup of the day, hot dish of the day (pictured below is the chicken tagine), and a panini of the day.
There are so many slices and cakes on offer that I just ask the staff member on till what they like the best. The coffee can be a bit hit and miss, however.

Nudel
Whenever someone comes into the office with Nudel for lunch, everyone wants to go out and get some for themselves. It smells amazing (and tastes it, too). You get so much food for $10-15 that it often lasts me two meals, and there is plenty on offer including vegetarian options. The cooks stand right behind the counter tossing around huge woks and everything is made fresh in front of your eyes. It might not be very healthy, but it's good Asian comfort food.

Cellarvate
A tiny coffee shop and bottle store, Cellarvate is right next to the Backbencher (see below). There are always people lined up to get their coffee fix before work. I've tried it, and it's not the best coffee, but also not the worst. And at $4 for a small takeaway cup, it's cheaper than the customary $4.50 around the area.

They also do daily soups. I took a picture of this sign because on that day I read the "beef goulash" as "BEES goulash" and found it far more funny than it ought to have been.

The Backbencher
I haven't eaten at this pub, as it's a bit out of my price range, but it's known that many politicians have eaten here (and continue to eat here as it is right across from Parliament). They air a TV show called Back Benches from here, with MPs and candidates being questioned by the hosts and members of the public. You have to get in early, as it's always crammed full with people wanting to join in the debate or just go along to watch.

Metiria Turei's puppet as an eco warrior, co-leader of the Green Party (source)
The political puppets are an interesting sight lining the walls. They had a fire a couple of years back and lost several of them, but you can still see satirical representations of John Key, Winston Peters, Bill English (entirely remade after the fire), and many more. From a stuff.co.nz article, the cause of the fire is said to be "spontaneous combustion of tea towels".