Photography with thanks to Swift & Click

From the young trio that brought – I have to say it – the first decent serve of coffee to Taupo (with Storehouse)… their sophomore eatery Palace, a casual burger and cocktails joint in my hometown of Mount Maunganui.

Owners Sam King, and Melissa and Brad Dellar worked together on the 80’s new wave aesthetic (Brad designed the tables and bench seats for example), pulling in the talents of Brad’s Architect dad (Rosetta Stone Architects), and Design Dairy on the brand and graphic tip.

Fave bit for me: the grid theme running throughout. You know me, love a grid – and they’ve done it down to the last detail with the grid greaseproof paper your burger sits on.

Eat with your eyes, then make sure to visit next time you’re at the beach.


Palace Burger website     /   Instagram






I’ve been wanting to show you around this spot since its opening. Of course, it was that ultramarine blue (Pantone 072, perhaps?) that first caught my eye. The name’s on point, too – perfect name for a place where the blue is royal and the food and design are both big wins.

Champ is run by the two brothers behind Mt Eden’s loved RAD cafe, with interior design by Material Creative.

The interior is clean and contemporary, but also serves you a little 80’s American diner vibe, with some nostalgic nods to my New Zealand childhood – especially the plastic food trays, and the special menu of Toasties cooked in the classic triangle toastie machine. These ain’t your mums toasties, though. ‘Spaghetti & Sausage’ is really Pokeno Toulouse pork sausage, with a housemade pasta swimming in rich tomato sauce spiked with loads of fresh herbs, and the humble cheese toastie is an oozy 15-month gruyere with truffled butter, mustard, onion and chives. Maybe chase with one of the vanilla bean donuts they bake fresh every morning. Uber Eats to Mount Maunganui pls?

Champ offers espresso blends from Rocket that are created especially for them, and they also serve their current favourite single-origin filter brew.

Things noticed and loved: mint green staff shirts (love the choice of a slightly clashing colour); pieces of flair (shout out to Office Space) including a Champ coffee pin; herringbone subway tiles; those nostalgic tea room plastic trays and Champ diner mugs; gorgeous black King Dome pendant lights by Dowel Jones; the epic blue Marzocco; Benjamin Franklin’s famous morning mantra as a neon sign; and the takeaway cups which say FANTASTIC on one side (we love little surprising touches like that).

Check Champ out on instagram for seasonal speshs (and more little design details not shown here).



Imagery by NZ freelance photographer Rachel Soh (follow her on insta, too)



Honey Bones

Love the perfectly imperfect ceramic water jugs and teeny milk jugs

Custom linen aprons

Takeaway coffee window – love this idea


Hugo Baird (we introduced you to Hugo and his first cafe here) has done it again with this sweet and sophisticated little eatery in Auckland’s Grey Lynn.

Honey Bones (best. name.) was designed by Hugo himself – he sourced every last thing, installed it all… even built the front counter one late Friday night.

Design elements noticed and loved:  dark oak alongside brass (a refreshing change from the blonde timber we see everywhere now), your table water coming in a handmade ceramic jug (by NZ maker Vicki Fanning) that epic wooden menu, the custom-made brass lighting, the very clean, simple graphic design by Lucy Jamieson Design, the takeaway coffee window.

You might also like to know that leading the Honey Bones kitchen team is Reginaldo Richard of Odettes Eatery fame. And if you’re a menu pre-planner like me (hey, it’s kinda like eating somewhere twice, doncha think?) you can see the current menu here.


Imagery by NZ freelance photographer Rachel Soh (follow her on insta, too)





Comes and Goes

Coconut chia pudding

Bacon Banana Waffles


New(ish) to Wellington’s cafe scene, Comes & Goes (seriously great name) designed by NZ interior architects Pennant & Triumph.

Design is in the details – like that big circular kitchen pass (love the in-built shelving, and the wall clad with thin vertical battens); the curvy like-yo-girl counter (also wearing those sexy battens); the Douglas and Bec brass pendants and wall lights; the No. 18 Bentwood Bar Stools by Thonet; and the original native timber floorboards. Also, if you and I ever go out for breakfast, I will race you to the banquette… I always call shotgun on a nice banquette.

And look at that food! The minimal, linear interior is a great foil for the explosion of colour, edible flowers and artistry happening on the plates here. And while this is not a food blog (Google Comes & Goes and you’ll find loads of rave food reviews) you might like to know that Comes & Goes serves a number of Korean-fusion dishes, alongside lots of other all-day-breakfast type dishes, and plenty for veges and vegans.  You cannot get a good banh mi where I live so that’d be my first pick, although this also sounds real good: Al Brown sesame seed Ugly Bagel with mashed avocado, ricotta, dried tomato, 63-degree cooked egg, fennel seeds, lime zest and paprika oil. What’s Korean for heck yeah?


Wellington photographer Meg Wyper shot these images for The New, thank you Meg!
(Meg has her own lifestyle blog here, and you should also follow her Instagram)

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