However training did not go as planned and about a month ago we downgraded to the half marathon distance. We then realised how expensive the half marathon was - $135! Lame. So we decided to not race, and seeming we've been working super hard lately and not getting a lot of time together we would just go for a nice weekend of r & r instead.
So what we decided to do was find a super nice reassuring to go to. Something super fancy that we had never done before. I guess we had the cost of two marathon entries to spend :-)
Kate discovered Clooney! This had three appealing points. 1-fine dining, degustation menu and it was rated in Aucklands top restaurants. 2-there was a vegetarian degustation menu. Something I do not see often! 3-The restaurant has the same namesake as our dog! So done deal.
Pretty much the dining experience was amazing! The best dining experience we have ever had. The food was amazing. Staff were knowledgeable and super friendly. The cocktails were amazing. So the serves were generous and so amazingly constructed. It took vegetarian cuisine to a place that I had never previously experienced.
On top of the 7 courses, they also brought out an amazing little starter and bread with the most amazing blackened butter! And to really tie up the experience, they gave us each a little take home brioche with chia jam for breakfast the following morning, really trying together the whole culinary experience.
Auckland was amazing. A beautiful city with nice views, great public spaces and great food. We were also blessed with beautiful weather, which also helps with exploring a new city. After arriving on Saturday we headed to a quaint little farmers market out by the Domain Park where we purchased some fresh sourdough, amazing strawberries and blue Brie cheese! We then munched this sitting on a grassy hill in the sun overlooking Auckland! Amazing start to the holiday! Following this we wandered around Parnell, visiting some cool stores and markets. By now it was early afternoon, so we made our way back downtown for a beer at Brothers Brewing and some retail therapy on Queen Street. We took a nap on the grass in Albert park and then headed to the hotel for a hot tub and swim.
This left just enough time for a nap and some chillaxing, and then we were off to Clooney! See above!
On Sunday we spent some nice time lying in the sun at some cool downtown public space, explored Davenport and the bunkers that tunnel under two hills around the town and played giant Jenga over some beers at a downtown bar/cafe. The fortifications in Davenport from WW1 were really interesting and kind of spooky. They were used to protect the naval base in Auckland harbour and are still open to wander around! Many of the bunkers go pretty deep and are really dark. Un unexpected meeting with some other tourists on a blind corner caused an amusing moment with Kate :-) We also visited the Marathon finish line! This provided some much needed motivation to get back on the sub 3 hr marathon horse! It's on for Wellington marathon next year! Training starts now!
We ate at many cool places, and all offered great food and fun dining experiences! All up it was a great weekend of relaxation, and we are returning inspired and refreshed to kick start some running and to really smash out some amazing work for the coming busy months at Weta! Kate and I are loving life right now :-) Enjoy it while you can and make the most of it all! It's all to short to look back and wish you'd done it differently :-)
Photos to come :-) Thanks for reading!