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Wellington Insider’s Guide: Beth Brash from Wellington on a Plate

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Programming Manager for Wellington on a Plate, Beth Brash reveals the city’s hidden gems. Photo / Celeste Fontein

Beth Brash is Head of Programming and Event Delivery for Visa Wellington On a Plate. She lives, breathes and consumes Wellington’s food scene.

Beth Brash is Head of Programming and Event Delivery for Visa Wellington On a Plate.  Photo / Provided
Beth Brash is Head of Programming and Event Delivery for Visa Wellington On a Plate. Photo / Provided

Before Covid it always amazed me how many Aucklanders had visited New York but never Wellington. Listen, I’ll never claim that Wellington is the New York of the Down Under, but it’s a city with a lot of charm, style and courage.

I would recommend anyone coming to visit the capital – and who has the ability – to walk, walk, walk.

Stroll through iconic streets and alleys, looking for hidden bars, street art and secret peanut butter windows. Take a stroll through the leafy urban belt that sits just on the edge of the CBD and teems with native birds. Travel the Craft Beer Capital trail map (craftbeercapital.com/trail/how-it-works) collecting stamps at participating bars – if you fill out your stamp map, you get a free t-shirt.

Wander the iconic streets and alleyways in search of hidden bars, street art and secret peanut butter windows.  Photo / Wellingtonnz
Wander the iconic streets and alleyways in search of hidden bars, street art and secret peanut butter windows. Photo / Wellingtonnz

Another tip I have for visiting Wellington is to make the effort to chat with people, especially the locals. Ask them where they eat, where they drink, and controversially ask who makes the best cheese scones (everyone will have a different answer to that). Chat with the super friendly staff at Floriditas, sit at the bar at Hawthorne Lounge or the chefs bar at Field & Green – these are the people who know what’s good.

Walk the Craft Beer Capital trail map collecting stamps from participating bars.  Photo / PIVOT Photography
Walk the Craft Beer Capital trail map collecting stamps from participating bars. Photo / PIVOT Photography

As for me, my favorite brunch spot is Floriditas; Rita for a special occasion – and where the fixed three-course menu changes daily. Taste of Home has outstanding noodles, Charles Plimmer Park on Mount Victoria is ideal for a picnic with a view (and dog-watching), and the best cheese scones come from Milk Crate. They are crispy and cheesy with a hint of chili.

As Head of Programming for Visa Wellington On a Plate, myself and the entire team have jumped right into planning for Visa Wellington On a Plate 2022 which will take place – all good – August 1-31. Applications are open to industry this month. We also have a big year ahead of us as we look to make big changes for 2023. These will see more of the festival being served at different times of the year, giving people even more reasons to visit Wellington throughout the year.

Wellington is a city full of charm, style and courage.  Photo / Nicola Edmonds
Wellington is a city full of charm, style and courage. Photo / Nicola Edmonds

It’s never a bad cry to bring a little piece of Wellington home; to remember your time here and to remind you to come back. A piece from Wellington’s incredible ceramists featured at Vessel or a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing from a Wellington designer at Service Depot would be right up my street.

For more information on Wellington on a Plate, visit visawoap.com/visawoap

For more travel inspiration, visit newzealand.com/nz.

Check traffic light settings and Department of Health advice before traveling at covid19.govt.nz