13 July 2011

Tea Party

As I don't drink coffee, I have resorted to trying out different kinds of tea to battle the boredom of plain water. It's also a great way to warm up when it gets a bit chilly. At the moment I've got 8 teas in my office drawer:
  1. Green tea with lemongrass and lemon
  2. Whole leaf Chinese white tip green tea
  3. White tea
  4. Chai tea (black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper)
  5. Lemongrass tea
  6. Pomegranate & grape fruit infusion
  7. Tamarillo & honey fruit infusion
  8. Guarana herbal tea (containing as much caffeine as a standard cup of coffee)
This is in addition to the complimentary tea stocked in the office - English tea, jasmine green tea, and South African rooibos (red bush) tea. On any given day I'd take about 3 or 4 different types of tea - of which I'll limit to a single cup of tea with creamer and sugar. Everything else is taken sans sugar.

I've also got chamomile tea at home for relaxation and sleep aid, but that's not something I need often in a place like New Zealand.

07 July 2011

Review: Squids Bar and Restaurant

On the penultimate day of my travel I decided to treat myself to a proper good meal. For 6 days I've existed on Subway sandwiches and hastily cooked pasta meals in hostel kitchens, so enough is enough!

My phone's Ovi Maps GPS application has a Trip Advisor utility that combines tourism reviews with the address, so it can suggest and show me nearby places. Under restaurants it recommended Salt as the #1 place to eat, based on user ratings. So I eagerly made my way there:

I stood near the entrance and inspected the menu posted. No one came to ask me if I wanted a table, so I just walked in and plopped down at a table in the al fresco area overseeing the marina. It could have been a pretty peaceful sight if not for the 5 or 6 kids playing roughly while their parents socialize, uninterrupted by the ruckus.

But the thing that broke the camel's back was being ignored. Passing waiters did not bother to hand me a menu or serve. After 5 minutes I got up and just walked out. I instead dined at the eatery across Salt - Squids Bar and Restaurant. What a great choice!

Continue reading my review of Squids after the jump.

04 July 2011

Review: Cat's Pyjamas, Whitianga

This hostel was one of the better ones I stayed at in this trip. Though quite crowded we're sufficiently spread out, with plenty of common areas to relax. It's a short 5-10 minute walk to the marina and beach, so a strategic location.

The manager is very friendly, though the resident cat may not always be! Tairua Bus Company (Nakedbus) transports can stop and pick up from this hostel - just let the driver/hostel manager know in advance.

Cat's Pyjamas reception

Well equipped kitchen with working stuff!

Dining area inside

Lots of places to chill outside

Catch some sun or sea breeze here

Living room with books and DVDs

Common bathroom