The Year of the Snake

So I went with a friend to the Chinese Gardens and made another photo journal of the trip!

Blue skies and clear water

Blue skies and clear water

I’ve always enjoyed my trips to the Chinese Garden over the years, it was one of the first places I visited when I first arrived in Dunedin. This may be in no small part due to the Tea House, their set menu is a bargain, and the lychee tea is my favourite.

Lychee tea for two, perfect way to spend an non-windy afternoon!

Lychee tea for two, perfect way to spend an non-windy afternoon!

So if you have for some reason not been yet, by all means do. Stop in for a cup of tea, sample the set menu, enjoy the peaceful and tranquil spaces, play around in the rock garden, and have some calm fun!

The photo journal can be found here at the blogs imgur account

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Away at Sea: How to Feed the Blues Some Sole

Apologies for the title, couldn’t resist the opportunity.

I was lucky enough to grab a last minute ticket to the Port Chalmers Seafood Festival. If truth be told I only really discovered I actually enjoy seafood a when I moved to New Zealand in 2010, living in a landlocked area of Middle England results in not the best options in terms of fresh and quality seafood. So thanks to my newfound appreciation for food found in vast bodies of water the opportunity to try fresh, well prepared and delicious varieties of seafood was not one to be missed!

Before I popped along to the festival I paid a quick visit to my favourite weekly market, the Otago farmers Market.

Stalls along the platform at the Otago Farmers Market

Stalls along the platform at the Otago Farmers Market

Resplendent with fresh, tasty food option all made by local producers, and local preserves, drinks, foodstuffs, and even plants. I had already had breakfast however, so did not indulge in my usual bacon buttie from Bacon Buttie Man.

Breakfast Heaven, curtesy of Bacon Buttie Man

Breakfast Heaven, curtesy of Bacon Buttie Man

A ticket for the festival included a free bus ride to Port Chalmers and back, which was very much appreciated and utilised by myself.

Luckily i took a quick picture of my ticket because it got taken away when I arrived at the festival!

Luckily I took a quick picture of my ticket because it got taken away when I arrived at the festival!

Upon arrival my ticket was exchanged for a green bracelet to let the bars know it was ok to serve me alcoholic beverages. The Port Otago A-Shed held the majority of stalls, offering a large variety of tasty seafood.

A-Shed entrance, full of people and stalls

A-Shed entrance, full of people and stalls

While outside was the Classic Hits stage, cooking demonstration tent, and children’s tent, a few more food stalls and some fishing information stalls all looked out onto the water.

The Classic Hits stage was behind the white tent on the left.

The Classic Hits stage was behind the white tent on the left.

I bumped into some of my tutors which was really nice as I had gone on my own. One of them had brought their family along with them, and in the spirit of curiosity I embarked into the children’s tent with them. The pirates, Festus McBoyle and his friend, were in fact remarkably entertaining considering I was at least 15 years above the intended age group.

Festus McBoyle and his friend I think named Crusty Carbunkle

Festus McBoyle and his friend I think named Crusty Carbunkle

After this some of my friends from uni turned up and I went and ate with them. I ate a really wonderful Garlic Prawn Bap thanks to the Otago Polytechnic Culinary Arts students, followed by a very tasty Salmon Pattie from Gilbert’s Fine Foods, I washed those down with two glasses of the Gibbston Valley Gold River Pinot Gris before finishing off my day with Calamari Rings from Fish Hook.

On our way our we checked out a couple of the stalls inside A-Shed, the one that caught my eye was The Naked Scotsman

The Naked Scotsman Stall

The Naked Scotsman Stall

Their selection was impressive, and the whiskey butter simply delicious, if I hadn’t spent my last $5 on some special salt I would have bought a pot of it, it really was wonderful!

I had a really wonderful time and am looking forward to next year, and possibly being able to take some of my friend who I know love seafood.

A Not So Scarfie Week

SO while this blog is usually my write ups of the various places to visit and things to do in Dunedin that involve creativity, I’ve never really described them in the context of my life as a student at the university. So I thought this post could remedy that; I present my week as a student in Dunedin.

Thursday

In the average scarfie week Thursday night is one of two nights to have a bit of a party and go to town (clubbing) before heading home and invariably consuming either Surfin Slices or MacDonalds while on your way. However, I have maybe been out on a Thursday twice this year. So once again, I was at home working.

Friday

Friday is usually a quieter night, everyone is saving their energy for Saturday night. However, my friends and I had a BYO at Manilla Grill, where I was intrigued to discover they actually offer karaoke! Keen to have a go at some late 80s classics my friends found the courage in their respective bottles of red and white!

After we had finished our meal and the antics offered at Manilla Grill we headed to Refuel. Tucked away on the corner of the Union building on campus, and underground, Refuel features live music most week nights, this Friday was local band Two Cartoons headlining. Two Cartoons : Get Happy Black Friday w/ Friends featured a fair few local bands, MalesAstro ChildrenErnesto AnemoneDeux Enfants, and DJ Tom Tremewan supporting the headline act before their set.

Astro Children's set, I thought their set was really good!

Astro Children’s set, I thought their set was really good!

Two Cartoons set was good, I had a really good night, although at this point I was on my third/fourth drink of the night and details get a little fuzzy. We got a taxi home, and went to sleep!

Saturday

Dunedin held its first (and hopefully annual!) Craft Beer & Food Festival at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Now as an eternally poor student I actually scored a job at one of the stalls thanks to my flatmate also having the same job. I was working for local brewery Green Man, I got a really awesome shirt for my uniform and my pass as a stall worker to wear for the day!

Green Man top and Festival Stall pass!

Green Man top and Festival Stall pass!

The festival ended up being a really fun place to work, and when we wrapped up we got Churros as a treat, and as anyone who has followed my adventures this year will know, they are my favourite!

After I had finished working and the festival was closing up, I left to go to a friends party, it was a good night and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday

Sunday is universally accepted in Dunedin as recovery day. I spend mine having a lie in, watching TV, and catching up with my friends. Occasionally if the next week is going to be a busy one I might even get some work done, that is a rare occasion though, and this Sunday was not an exception to my usual pattern.

Monday and Tuesday

I spend these days working on my various papers and assignments, unless its someones birthday I don’t really get up to much these nights. It was nobodies birthday, and hence I spent it being studious.

Wednesday

Refuel hosts its weekly Pint Night on Wednesdays, and my friends band was playing there too. So after using Velvet Burger‘s new weekly Grababurger vouchers for dinner, and meeting up with friends before going to Refuel, we finally arrived at Pint Night for the $4 pints.

The music part of the night – Independant Records Presents: ink Mathematics, Ded Sparrows & Paul cathro Feat. Alex Vaatstra – was really good, I think it was one of my best music experiences at Refuel in ages.

I got to hear Ded Sparrows set thankfully, and I really liked their music.

Ded Sparrows jamming away.

Ded Sparrows jamming away.

ded sparrows 2

My friends band was the headline act, Ink Mathematics. They played a fantastic set and kept the audience entertained throughout. The lead singer has a really engaging act and connects with the audience. All round great night and a great set by Ink Mathematics, my friend played an awesome set!

Goku was apparently playing drums, although he was sporting a new haircut!

Goku was apparently playing drums, although he was sporting a new haircut!

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The lead singer was really engaging, spoke to me and my friend at the end, nicest guy.

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Ink Mathematics, if you get a chance to see them take it, they were amazingly good!

And so there it is, my not so scarfie week!