Birkenhead Artisan Market
We unexpectedly have a Saturday to spend in Auckland. A visit to Eventfinder.co.nz and we soon make a list of markets available. The Birkenhead Artisan Market is the one we choose. It’s held once a month at the Highbury Community Centre. It turns out to be a great choice, not just because of what the small market has to offer, but because of the doorway to this small shopping strip on Hinemoa Rd.
Birkenhead is just North of the Auckland Harbour Bridge – take Onewa Rd – the first exit. Follow the signs to Birkenhead, but drive through the main road, and take a left into Hinemoa St, and drive a km or so down this road and park. And walk – what a time we had.
The Artisan Market is small, but we still walked away with fresh bread and pastries, strawberry jam, hummus and some somosas for dinner. I also almost walked away with a blanket based wall hanging, but resisted as I am not sure of where my next abode will be.
Next step is coffee – it is Saturday morning after all. There are several great choices, but we walk into the Hinemoa St Organic Café which was great. The best service I have had for ages – water was brought to our table without asking, the coffee was good and strong, the cesar salad delicious, and not a word about two of us sharing it.
The serviettes were unbleached eco-choice, the chicken organic, the staff young and attentive and the atmosphere bustling. It has been open for just a few months, the owner Madelaine Clarke was at the coffee machine. 4380138 email
Fortified with coffee we set off to browse the nearby shops and galleries.
The Next Door Gallery at 132 Himemoa St had some very tempting NZ design pieces, and I loved the tea cups on windwands outside. Behind that we browsed Reuben Price’s 100% New Zealand photographic gallery, and down the road Vivid, a recycled clothing shop had us trying on a few pieces.
The Tea Lady
All this was great, but perhaps the real treasure, which we almost missed until one of the other shop owners kindly told us about it was The Tea Lady .
Owner Lynette was behind the counter in her apron and white hair.
There were china tea cups (of course) and a large number of boutique teas to choose from. The tables were laden – a crowd had recently departed.
And when I expressed some interest in the concept and said it was something we had been considering, she was generous with information and ideas. It seems its not just the older generation into tea – all sorts of people are heading to places like The Tea Lady for high tea.