Taste of Auckland opening night was scattered rain, muddy shoes, very nice wine, lovely cocktails and
fancy stunning food.
I met up with three friends and we ate our way through 13 menu items and various other tasty treats including the Dilmah/AUT Tea Tasting Platter, cheeses, meats, Petal cupcakes, avocado canapes and more.
The crowds kept away due to the weather meaning there were hardly any queues for those who were game. Sweet as. Taste is the kind of place where you can watch a random eat beside you and ask them about the dish. I had strangers ask me if I wanted to photograph their food. You don’t get that every day.
The new venue at Western Springs was an interesting change. Unlike the previous venue at Victoria Park, public transport to Western Springs can be a bit of a pain. I was super spoilt and got a ride there and back. Otherwise I would have relied on taxis.
The card/crown system was easy to use and painless, no maths required. Credit can be refunded at any time and 1 crown = $1. I ended up spending $90 tonight on food and drink. I feel like it goes up a little every year or maybe I just get a little greedier every year.
We loved chatting to various stallholders about their products and the festival. The effort the was made to get each exhibit look beautiful did not go unnoticed. There were a few fancy dress costumes that delighted.
The atmosphere was good and Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes injected their brand of upbeat, bopping big band swing, though the musical acts change daily.
Toilets at festivals can be a deal-breaker but if you enjoy your tipple, head to Prestige Loos. Seriously, the fanciest portaloos I’ve ever seen, no joke.
Below are my tips for Taste of Auckland, gleaned from 6 years of festival experience.
Tips for Taste of Auckland:
- Session times are 4-4.5 hours long. Get there on time and/or go during the day/week to avoid crowds.
- Look for show specials.
- Have a squiz at the menu early so you can plan your evening, but be flexible enough to change your mind if something else looks better (or they run out).
- Sharing with a friend means you can taste even more dishes.
- Wear sensible shoes. It’s a park and Auckland weather can turn the grounds into a chocolate dessert. A small umbrella would be wise too. Ladies, it shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it’s not common sense: DO NOT WEAR HIGH HEELS. Gumboots are perfectly acceptable this year.
- Bring a coat for the evening sessions.
- Take a camera, bring a shopping bag and an appetite.
- Catch a bus or a taxi so you can enjoy the delicious tipple.
Read more of my posts about Taste of Auckland here.