Margot Henderson on Wellington’s Culinary Arts

Chef Margot Henderson on Wellington, New Zealand

Where to find great restaurants, fresh fish and chips and a delicious flat white

By Margot Henderson

Home is where the heart is, and Wellington has my heart — with its harbour, skies and hills, it’s just so beautiful. — My husband Fergus [founder of London’s St John] and I always plan our trip so that we fly into Wellington in time for lunch, and our first stop has to be Nikau Café (above), a superb restaurant attached to the City Gallery.

Lunch there is always a giddy moment, meeting up with family and friends to eat the most delicious food. Their kedgeree is a must — be sure to wash it down with some great New Zealand Pinot Noir.

The owners have also just opened a new restaurant in the Aro Valley called Rita, which has a fresh, bright feel. It’s a place where everyone makes you feel at home.

Moore Wilson’s on Tory Street is an Aladdin’s Cave for foodies. It’s a bit like a cash and carry, selling everything you could want for your kitchen or restaurant from utensils to fresh crayfish, whitebait and the best veg.

Wellingtonians take their coffee very seriously — the whole city oozes with roasteries and coffee machines. It’s all flat whites, smoothies, sourdough and avocado at the Seashore Cabaret, where tattooed darlings enjoy coffee and breakfast, looking out over the beautiful harbour.

You have to cross a busy road to get to it, but John’s Fish Market serves fantastically fresh fish and chips. Just choose a piece of fish and they’ll fry it right up for you. Make sure you get a potato fritter too.

The Petone suburb of Wellington is full of interesting food shops, from La Bella Italia (above), which serves good-quality Italian produce, to The Spice Rack, with its excellent range of fresh spices.

New Zealand-born Margot Henderson is co-founder of Rochelle Canteen, Rochelle ICA and Arnold & Henderson;

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