Okay, first thing’s first. It’s REALLY hard for me to write ‘mum’, as mum. I grew up in Canada, and even though I’ve lived the majority of my adult life in New Zealand, I still pause and feel weird spelling it that way. So apologies to MY super MOM, but I will Kiwi-ize this blog so I don’t get made fun of. (Warning: If you ask me to say ‘about’ one more time I will strangle you, sweet friends) … See? And you all thought Canadians were so polite.
Okay SO now that we have that out of the way!
Mother’s Day is THIS Sunday. If your Mum is as rad as mine, then she deserves a reminder that she is the coolest woman in your big warm heart. If she is a foodie loving mum, even better – because I’ve got your back, boys and girls. Below are some gift ideas and places to take your food lovin’ mama’s, grandma’s, and all other foodie ladies in your life.
Where to take Mum this Mother’s Day
I always battle about whether to tell people about The Wallace Collection or not. It’s one of my favourite places in Auckland to visit, but up until recently was pretty quiet, so it was a luxury to wander around the galleries of this beautiful centuries old home, or the outdoor sculpture gardens. There was always a cafe on site but during the last year or so has been decidedly average (panini, chips and slice were the only options). I think it must have been in a handover period however, because it re-opened a couple months ago and the new cafe is renovated and lovely, fittingly named Homestead. The staff are super friendly, the coffee is great, the menu is unusual (crumpets, smoked fish, salads full of goodies) and you can sit in the main cafe surrounded by art, or outside on the terrace surrounded by sculptures. It’s really the most lovely place. Also the gallery is free (donations gratefully accepted) – so it won’t break the budget.
It might be too late now, but if you’re lucky ring Poderi Crisci up and book in a table for their long lunch. I’ve mentioned it before here, but there is nothing better than four hours in a vineyard sipping on wine and eating all the Italian food. Your mumma will LOVE you for it.
Peking Duck at Empress Garden or The Blue Breeze Inn
Herne Bay or Ponsonby
Nothing says family like a bunch of you crammed around a giant circular table with a lazy susan in the middle, stockpiled with all the duck. Empress Garden do this best. Or, if you’d like to be slightly more fancy, you can also take advantage of Blue Breeze‘s Sunday Peking duck menu, an abridged version of their typical weekly menu but with 1, 2, 3 course duck which is also pretty damn good. Empress Gardens is BYO, Blue Breeze has amazing drinks served in coconuts. I’ll leave you to ponder.
The little & friday in Newmarket used to be one of my favourite cafes, located in the middle of Martha’s Fabrics (literally). They’ve moved, and the new space is just around the corner but less special (weird) than it’s predecessor. Regardless, doughnuts. Tarts. Sandwiches. Coffee. Did I mention doughnuts? They do cafe food astoundingly well and I am partial to the salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate filled doughnut myself. The Ponsonby location on Douglas Street is also great, offering up the same menu. There are big tables so if you plan well or don’t mind hovering you could smoosh your whole extended family in for a sitting. All locations typically have plenty of parking around them too which is a novelty, especially in places like Newmarket and Ponsonby.
I finally made it to L’oeuf on Anzac Day morning, and I have to say it was the only time I’ve ever been at a cafe at 7am. I’m not a morning person guys. Suffice to say, the early morning was made all the more memorable by my first breakfast at this little beauty. I wax poetical about Chinoissere and this place is owned by the same clever team, but open opposite hours. The breakfast’s are divine and unusual. No eggs benny here. Think Asian influences. Think sunflower crusted soft boiled eggs. Think YUM. Your mum will be very happy after this treat, I promise.
Gift ideas for Foodie Mum
Titled ‘My Underground Kitchen’ this awesome cookbook showcases many of the super tasty meals the JUK offers on weekdays, and then some. Jess herself is a very cool, smart woman, basically starting a business from scratch in her kitchen and expanding in three years to her own stand alone shop in Herne Bay. The recipes are really gorgeous, they are organised into seasons which is different and fun, and if you take advantage of her special website offer, you can get it for a steal at $37.50 including Jess signing it and writing your mum a personalised message. You’ll totally score brownie points with this one.
Libertine Blends & Tea Mugs from Iko Iko
What mum doesn’t love tea? Tea is awesome. And what’s even more awesome is tea made in New Zealand. If you haven’t tried the Libertine Blends teas, hop over to their website and check out their stock list or order online (free next day shipping if you buy two or more). At the moment they offer three delicious herbal options: Rock Ohm – manuka, mint, lemon balm & rosemary, Runaway Rose – elderflower, rose, lavender & vanilla and Kapow – kawakawa, lemongrass, cardamon & chilli, which can all be purchased loose or in bags. Runaway Rose is my personal favourite and it’s also really delicious chilled and poured over ice. Match the tea with a cool tea cup or mug from Iko Iko (I mean, check out the limitless super cute options, it’s ridiculous) and you are set.
Winter seedlings or a cool plant from Roger’s Garden Centre Mangere in a unique pot purchased at Junk & Disorderly
If your Mum has a green thumb, perhaps some veggie or herb seedlings from Roger’s Garden Centre in Mangere (39 Tidal Rd) will make you her favourite kid ever. Sorry siblings. If you haven’t been here yet, you really need to check it out. It’s an insane vast maze of every sort of indoor and outdoor plant you can imagine. Bright pink wheelbarrows are stacked outside so you can wheel your selections around while navigating. If you pick a plant that isn’t perfect, Roger will send a staff member to go find a better one for you. He’ll also explain in much detail, the exact ways to care for everything you’re purchasing. (I was there for ages while he told me the rules for each plant/seedling and was even shouting more instructions at me while I wheeled myself out, never mind the queue of thirteen people behind me). Everything at Roger’s is really good value (read: super cheap), but there’s no bells or whistles – including nice pots to plant your gift in so you will need to source a container elsewhere. I’d suggest checking out somewhere fun like Junk & Disorderly. Pro tip: Roger only takes cash so show up like an expert with a wad of dolla’ dolla’ bills yo.
A gift pack of yummy foods from little bird
Most of the treats I gift myself come from places like little bird. I wouldn’t necessarily buy their stuff all the time because let’s be honest – it ain’t cheap. But making a lovely homemade gift basket filled with macaroons, grawnola and crackers or letting little bird do the hard work for you by ordering one of their Mother’s Day gift packs is a very clever idea, especially if your Mum is clean eating.
Cooking Class with Sachie’s Kitchen
I’m a huge fan of ‘experience’ gifts, especially if you can somehow tie yourself into the experience! Book mum a cooking class at Sachie’s Kitchen, she has a massive personality and it sure to entertain. This would be great for anyone interested and capable of cooking but perhaps unfamiliar with how to make particular Asian or Pacific fusion dishes.
Happy Mother’s Day all you wonderful ladies <3
Images used are courtesy of the businesses above.